A performance of the play ‘Kate’ by Carys Gwilym of ‘Mewn Cymeriad’ will be held at Berea Newydd Chapel, Bangor, on Monday, 16 September, at 7pm.
The play tells the fascinating and complex life story of the queen of Welsh literature, Kate Roberts, who was born in Rhosgadfan in 1891. She is known mainly for her short stories, but also wrote novels. She was also a prominent Welsh nationalist.
She attended the council school at Rhosgadfan from 1895 to 1904, and Caernarfonshire School from 1904 to 1910, before graduating in Welsh at Bangor University, which she attended from 1910 to 1913 under John Morris-Jones and Ifor Williams, and trained as a teacher.
It was the death of her brother in the First World War that led Roberts to writing. She used her literary work as a means of coming to terms with her loss
Most of her novels and short stories are set in the region where she lived in North Wales. She herself said that she derived the material for her work “from the society in which I was brought up, a poor society in an age of poverty.”
Roberts met Morris T. Williams at Plaid Cymru meetings, and married him in 1928. Williams was a printer, and eventually they bought the printing and publishing house Gwasg Gee (The Gee Press), Denbigh, and moved to live in the town in 1935. The press published books, pamphlets and the Welsh-language weekly Y Faner (The Banner), for which Roberts wrote regularly. After her husband’s death in 1946, she ran the press for another ten years.
In 1965 Roberts bought Gae’r Gors and presented it to the nation, but at the time there was not enough money to restore it. It was not restored until 2005 after a long campaign to raise the money. It is now in the care of Cadw as a museum about Roberts.
She remained in Denbigh after her retirement and died in 1985. Alan Llwyd’s 2011 biography of Roberts used diaries and letters to shed fresh light on her private life and her relationship with Morris.
The play scripted by Janet Aethwy has toured all over Wales and has been extremely well received. There were two performances in the Merched y Wawr tent at the Eisteddfod in Llanrwst, with all tickets sold out.
Neil Williams from popular group ‘Maffia Mr Huws’ will also be performing live guitar presentations to accompany the performance.
For more information and to book a £7 ticket, call 01248 370 050 or email email@example.com
Tea and biscuits will be provided on the night.
Photo: The play ‘Kate’ featuring Carys Gwilym will be performed in Bangor on 16 September