A Riot with Apples and Dance: Gŵyl Daniel Owen Festival 19 – 26 October 2019
The Daniel Owen Festival in Mold is a week of literature, creative arts, spoken word, heritage and live performances, celebrating the life and work of prominent Victorian Welsh language novelist Daniel Owen. This year’s Festival has a focus on the Mold Riots, which took place in the Town a 150 years ago, when Daniel Owen was working as a tailor in Mold, and about to embark on a career in literature and public life. The political unrest features in Daniels Owen’s work.
Apples and Dance is the opening event, on Saturday 19 October, bringing to life Victorian Mold with a unique combination of traditional dancing and apples in the Daniel Owen Square from 10:30am to 3.30pm. There will be demonstrations of apple pressing to make juice. This stems from the former widespread orchards in the region, which were an important food supply in Daniel Owen’s time. The aim is to encourage the local community to use the many apples from trees still growing in Flintshire. Visitors are invited to bring their own apples to be pressed instead of the fruits going to waste. The event is part of Taste of Flintshire. From 12:30 visitors will be able to watch glorious traditional Morris dancing which showcases the different dance styles practiced in Tegeingl (medieval kingdom of North East Wales) through a 500 year evolution to dancing of the Victorian period. Renowned local side Tegeingl Tanglers, will be joined by other dancing groups and the ever popular Cambria Band will bring their own stirring brand of Welsh marching music to add to the show!
On Saturday night the renowned Welsh musician and composer Robat Arwyn will be appearing at the Daniel Owen Centre for a musical evening and sharing the stories behind his popular songs and performing his personal selection. One of his most famous compositions ‘Benedictus’ has been performed by The Priests, Bryn Terfel and Rhys Meirion and numerous choirs. His latest commissions include Llwybrau (Paths) a piece for cello, first performed by Steffan Morris, I Am The Song for The City of Chester Male Voice Choir and Diamonds That Shine In The Night for Chester Ladies Choir. Originally from Talysarn in the Nantlle Valley, Robat Arwyn now lives in Ruthin and conducts The Rhuthun Choir that he first joined in 1981.
In the Steps of the Rioters on Sunday 20 October is a community walk from Leeswood to Mold and an opportunity to remember the tragic events at Tyddyn Street in June 1869 where lives were lost.
The centrepiece of the the 2019 Festival is Theatr Clwyd’s performance of the Mold Riots. They invite their audience to bear witness to one of Wales’ forgotten dark days as they bring it to life in this large-scale promenade show through the streets of Mold. Miners stand trial in Mold for attacking their manager after their wages are lowered. A crowd has assembled to hear the verdict – will they get a fair hearing? Stones will be thrown and blood will be shed but will anyone find justice? The dramatic scenes will be part of a major production on the streets of the town, which will feature a cast of more than 100 “rioters” taking over the centre of Mold. The riots erupted following tension between English and Welsh miners, and left four people dead. The show, which has been written by Bethan Marlow and directed by Katie Posner, will lead its audience through the same streets where the riots took place and runs from 21– 26 October.
The annual lecture will be presented on Tuesday 22 October by Bethan Marlow, the writer of Theatr Clwyd’s production on the Mold riots of 1869. Bethan will speak about her work, experience, the process of writing the drama, and discuss the themes that were present in Daniel Owen’s time and which are reflected in society today.
‘A life on my knees’ on Friday 25 October is a talk by the eminent botanist Dr Goronwy Wynne, author, amongst many publications, of ‘A Flora of Flintshire’ who will be discussing his life-long interest in plants and their local habitats.
Kevin Matthias, on behalf of the Festival organising group, said, “This is a special year for the Daniel Owen Festival as we commemorate the Mold Riots of 1869. The full programme has something for everyone, for all ages and interests. Some events are in Welsh, and others are in English or bi-lingual reflecting our heritage here in North East Wales.”
Full programme details www.danielowenfestival.com Take a look and join in! Croeso cynnes i bawb, everyone is welcome
Many of the events are free of charge. Tickets for festival events can be booked at Mold Town Council, or by phoning 01352 758532. Tickets for Mold Riots are available from the Theatr Clwyd Box Office: (01352) 344101 / 701521 or