Photographer’s credit: Danilo Moroni
I loved you and I loved you is the latest stage production brought to you by A Sweetshop Revolution, co-produced with Coreo Cymru and Chapter in association with Galeri, Caernarfon and National Theatre Wales.
Choreographed by award winning Sally Marie (2014 winner of The Choreography for Children Award and twice voted dancer of the year by Dance Europe) and with accompaniment by Brian Ellsbury. I loved you and I loved you explores the life, talent and love of one of Wales’ most unsung talents – Morffyd Owen – and is brought to life with a talented cast of five performers.
Born in the Welsh valleys in 1891, Owen showed the signs of a promising musician at a very early age and her first hymns were actually published while she was still just a teenager. To this date, she is the most awarded individual to have ever attend the Royal Academy of Music. Owen was a woman passionate about her Welsh heritage and Welsh music, and as talented as she was, she was equally admired for her beauty and sense of fun. Owen passed away at the young age of 26 under mysterious circumstances and sadly her full potential was never fully achieved.
I love you and I loved you explores many aspects and areas of Owen’s life, such as the intense relationships between both her husband Ernest Jones (who was a leading British psychoanalyst and close associate of Sigmund Freud) and her friendship with Elliot Crawshay-Williams, who was parliamentary private secretary to Winston Churchill.
This production is described as dance theatre and contains many layers, exploring every aspect of her life, her talent and misfortunes. Finding the right combination of dance, theatre and live music, this is a new kind of performance. The piece originally started off as a duet focusing on the connection between Owen and her husband but in 2012 a stack of letters were released into public domain showing an intense connection to her friend Crawshay-Willaism, and the piece then evolved into a trio.
The talented dancers Karl Fargerlund-Brekke, Faith Prendergast and Dan Whiley are joined on stage by the vocals of Ellen Williams and the pianist Ellsbury (who is the first pianist to have recorded the solo works of Morfydd Owen). This is Marie’s first biographical dance project and she says:
“It is a fascinating story and journey, I want to make the people who the piece is based on proud. So if they were sat in the audience it would be true to their story”.
She continued to explain about the theme of love within the piece and how you will watch a whole movie waiting for that moment or connection of love. Whereas this piece is, “like a movie kiss, but you have that feeling throughout the entire piece. It’s the silence that comes from in-between the full stops of a sentence”.
With funding from Coreo Cymru and National Theatre Wales this a lovely patriotic piece highlighting some of the talent which the rest of the world may not yet know of. Showcasing some never before heard music, Ellsbury has taken these unplayed scores and brought them to life within this piece. Ellsbury’s first volume was released on iTunes last year. Virtually all the music used within I loved you and I loved you will be from Morfydd’s own compositions.
The show premieres at Edinburg Fringe festival, which kicks off the start of their 19 venue tour. A different piece of theatre combining so many elements it’s sure to appeal to a wide audience.
I Loved you, I love you is performing at Zoo Venues, Edinburgh Festival 23-31 August, and then going on tour around the UK. For more information and tickets, see their website.