Lawson and the Lingo, previously

I missed this at the time, but from the comments on the Guardian article in the previous post, comes a link to a discussion between Mark Lawson and John McGrath, the Director of National Theatre Wales. Now here is a man with his finger on the pulse of Wales.

(My emphasis in the following quotes.)

LAWSON: But far more than it arises perhaps in Scotland, you have the language question, which is whether the plays should be performed in English or in Welsh how have you resolved that one?

MCGRATH: Well we’ve come up with a canny solution for that in Wales, which is to create two theatre companies, National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. Theatr Genedlaethol has been going for a few years now, so that’s really opened a space up for an English language theatre.

LAWSON: So all your plays will be performed in English?

MCGRATH: They’ll be performed in English but more important than that they’ll be performed in theatre.

LAWSON: I understand but we know that this is a big political issue in Wales. You are confident that you won’t have people standing outside the theatre with placards which many of your actors and writers won’t be able to read, protesting about the fact that it’s all in English?

MCGRATH: There’s been absolutely nothing but enthusiasm for the project in Wales and the Welsh speaking community’s been a huge part of the support. It’s an issue I think for people in England, it’s not an issue for people in Wales. Here we’re talking about a very confident country that has increasingly got its own government and wants to speak to the world.

Mark Lawson has recently been interviewed for the role of Controller of Radio 4. I wonder if a drama like Pleidiol Wyf i’m Gwlad would have been made under a Controller who seems to think all Welsh speakers are unstable nutters.


About Nic Dafis

Yn wreiddiol o'r Waun, Wrecsam, bellach yn byw ger Llangrannog, Ceredigion. Gweithio fel tiwtor Cymraeg i oedolion.
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3 Responses to Lawson and the Lingo, previously

  1. Dylan Llyr says:

    I remember listening to this at the time and muttering a “what the fuck?” But I’d forgotten about it until now.

    It’s a more sinister line of questioning every time I think about it. I would imagine – hope – that a senior arts correspondent would know, or at least would have been briefed beforehand, that Wales already has a Welsh-language national theatre. That Mr Lawson continues along that line of questioning even after McGrath points that out suggests there was something more than mere ignorance going on. What with the Crimewatch thing, Lawson sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder or something. Very strange. I’ve been a big fan of his programmes along the years, but this is very very irritating. Get a grip, Mark.

  2. Carl Morris says:

    McGrath did really well to stay cool during that line of questioning.

    The show’s still available to listen again. (If you’re in the right mood.)

    This was also discussed on the NTW Community.

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