A Cross-River Musical Celebration Between Wirral and Wales

The story of Wirral is often told through its relationship with Liverpool. However, the deep, cultural and creative unison the peninsula shares with North Wales mustn’t be overlooked.

We are delighted to be working with FOCUS Wales to present CILGWRI I GYMRU; a celebration of the vibrant creative relationship between the Welsh on one side of the great Dee estuary and those of the land of ‘Cilgwri’ on the other.

Through a special programme of live performance, unique collaboration and screening in both the Welsh and English language, Cilgwri I Gymru will be a contemporary take on this ancient relationship.

Birkenhead hosted the National Eisteddfod of Wales on a number of occasions in the early 1900s, most notably the 1917 ‘Eisteddfod of the Black Chair’.

However on this occasion, the recipient of the honour of best poem was unable to take his place in the Bardic chair, as it was announced that he, Ellis Evans or ‘Hedd Wyn‘, had been killed on the battlefields of France. This tragic story has become enshrined in Welsh culture and was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film in 1992. A commemorative stone stands to this day in Birkenhead Park.

For Future Yard 2019, Hedd Wyn’s poem Yr Arwr – the piece which won him the chair of the 1917 Eisteddfod – will be re-interpreted through a unique contemporary cross-Dee collaboration. Lisa Jên of experimental Welsh folk group 9Bach will perform the poem, soundtracked by a new score from atmospheric electronic Wirral artist Lo Five.

New emerging Welsh artists MEILIR, ANI GLASS and HMS MORRIS will also play live at Birkenhead Priory on Saturday 24th August. And to coincide with the new commission and live performances, 1992’s Oscar-nominated Hedd Wyn feature film will also be screened on the day in Birkenhead Priory.

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