My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

New theatre production to showcase the history of monumental Welsh women


The Monumental Welsh Women (MWW) campaign in partnership with Cerflun Cymunedol Cranogwen Community Monument (CCCCM), a sub-group of the Llangrannog Welfare Committee and Mewn Cymeriad Theatre Company are very proud to announce the tour dates of a special theatre show that will capture the extraordinary life of Cranogwen .

Cranogwen was born in the parish of Llangrannog in 1839. At a time when women were expected to sit at home quietly sewing, Cranogwen, or Sarah Jane Rees as she was known, took a completely different path to her peers. At the age of 26, she was the first woman to win a prize for poetry at the National Eisteddfod, much to the surprise of all the men who competed.  Her poem was about The Wedding Ring even though she never married herself. She became famous not only in Wales but also all over England and America.  After all the travelling and lecturing, however, she would always return to her native village of Llangrannog. But why? This is a show about an unique, unexpected and talented girl. Her name was on the short list of Hidden Heroines as she was a pioneer in so many ways. All of this, is highly impressive and even more so when we consider the era in which she lived.

Mewn Cymeriad was commissioned by MWW to create a one-woman show to travel all over Wales. Its aim is to share and promote the history of Cranogwen and hopefully inspire audiences to continue celebrating and sharing her unique history. A portion of the ticket income from the theatre tour will go towards her statue which is currently being created.  By the time the statue is unveiled in the village of Llangrannog during 2023, it is hoped that there will be further growth in the nation’s awareness of all the truly amazing things Cranogwen achieved during her lifetime. The theatre tour will contribute to this as well as the long awaited biography by Professor Jane Aaron.

Helen Molyneux of Monumental Welsh Women said,

“We are delighted to announce this theatre tour about Cranogwen, an alternative way of celebrating the life of one of the inspirational women for whom we are erecting a statue. Following the theatre tour this Autumn, we will unveil the statue of Cranogwen during 2023. This will be the third statue commissioned by the Monumental Welsh Women project to celebrate the achievements of Wales’ hidden heroines – women whose contributions to the life and culture of Wales have been largely ignored because of the period in which they were born. The first statue was of Wales’ first black headmistress, Betty Campbell, in Cardiff, the second, of Elaine Morgan, the evolutionary theorist and playwright in Mountain Ash and the next one will be Cranogwen.”

Cranogwen encouraged the talents of other women throughout her life and the play has been created by an all female team led by Eleri Twynog, Eleri commented,

“Before starting this project, I had little idea about the history of Cranogwen, and so it has been a real pleasure, especially as a Cardi myself, to get to know this amazing girl. We look forward to sharing and celebrating her history with audiences all over Wales.”

Ffion Dafis has scripted the play, Janet Aethwy is the director and Lynwen Haf Roberts will act the part of Cranogwen. Lynwen recently received praise and credit for her memorable performance of a feminist role in ‘Lloergan’, the opening show at the recent Ceredigion National Eisteddfod.  Ffion and Lynwen were also part of a panel discussing Cranogwen at The Literary Pavillion during the week.

The ‘Cranogwen’ theatre tour will open with a performance in Pontgarreg Hall on Friday, the 30th of September. A very suitable location to start the tour as Cranogwen was born a stone’s throw from the hall and was a teacher at Pontgarreg school. Elin Jones, member of the Cranogwen Sculpture Steering Committee said –

“It will be an extremely exciting time over the next few months as we pay a permanent tribute to Cranogwen. The Cranogwen theatre show by Mewn Cymeriad will be an excellent start to a year when we will also see her statue and her biography. Hearing Cranogwen’s innovative story will bring her character to life to a new audience and keep her in our memory forever.”

There are only 12 performances of the show, so make sure you don’t miss out on an event that will give us an insight into the life of a truly inspirational woman.