In 1831 the sky above Merthyr in the industrial heartland of south Wales was black with smoke belching from the furnaces that fired the town’s iron works. But there were even greater flames ablaze in the hearts of the people. Amidst the background of the nationwide campaign for Reform of Parliament and growing localized social unrest, political protest turned into a riot that was brutally suppressed by the authorities.
During a violent clash between soldiers and workers outside the Castle Inn, a soldier was stabbed and seriously wounded. Richard Lewis (aka “Dic Penderyn”) the crime, tried, convicted and hanged. The evidence presented against him at the time was questionable and hindsight has led to the overwhelming conclusion that Richard Lewis was innocent.
THE WAY THINGS ARE - video montage from the workshop production of My Land's Shore at RADA Studios, London on January 18, 2013 - vocals by Rebecca Trehearn
Dramatically driven by the ideological clash between union activists Richard Lewis & Lewis Lewis and the pillar of the establishment, Richard Hoare Jenkins, High Sherriff of Glamorgan - the plot heads towards its climactic conclusion while taking a glimpse at the lives of the hero's best friend and two women who love him: Dafydd, who puts love before politics until events present him with harshly ironic trials of conscience; Irish widow Cliona, who is loved by Dafydd but who carries a torch for Richard and is torn apart by tragic personal loss; and Angharad, the archetypal Welsh heroine - caring and firm-willed, a survivor made strong by the scars of her early life, who helps Richard find "love on the edge of their tears".
AIR FOR A WISE CELTIC FOOL - performed at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden on October 7, 2012 by Killian Donnelly.
Buy the audio single of Air For A Wise Celtic Fool sung by Killian Donelly on iTunes
"My Land's Shore" is a tale of conflict, social injustice, moral dilemmas, love, guilt and heartbreak - an epic musical gift from the musical nation of Wales to the world.