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25 January 2017

Cardiff and Vale College students get bilingually creative

Performing Arts students from Cardiff and Vale College have had an insight into the benefits of speaking Welsh in the creative industries with a visit from actors Rhys ap William and Rhydian Bowen-Phillips.

Rhys ap William has worked in theatre and has an extensive portfolio of voiceover and TV work, including the recent National Theatre of Wales show Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage about the life of Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas. He also acts in S4C’s Byw Celwydd, scenes of which are filmed at the College’s City Centre Campus.

Rhydian Bowen-Phillips is a voiceover artist, actor and presenter who currently performs voiceover work for Sky, adverts and presents a programme on Made in Cardiff about Cardiff City Football Club.

Rhys and Rhydian came to the College’s Theatr Michael Sheen at its City Centre Campus to see the Performing Arts students as part of the College’s enrichment programme, with the support of the Welsh Language team. CAVC’s B#Epic enrichment programme aims to give students additional employability and entrepreneurial skills by introducing them to the world of work.

The two actors talked about their training, being self-employed and dealing with agents, and gave an overview of their careers. The learners then split into two groups – one worked with Rhys on a monologue from Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage and the other with Rhydian on a voiceover he did from the recent Roald Dahl Celebrations. The workshop closed with a Q&A session which gave students an opportunity to ask for advice and pick up tips about the industry.

“Doing workshops can sometimes be testing but at CAVC it was an absolute pleasure,” Rhys said afterwards. “What a great building and what a great little theatre – the only thing to top that was the great students and staff.

“A bilingual afternoon discussing my career and working with the talented students at the College – even the Q&A was fun. Diolch!”

Rhydian added: “It’s always nice to be asked to take part in things like this, but it’s even nicer when the students are so appreciative and willing to take part and take things on board. There’s a lot of talent at Cardiff and Vale college and myself and Rhys had a lovely afternoon. Even if the smallest piece of advice strikes a chord with the students it’s been worthwhile."

The students also found it a positive experience. “It was an eye-opening experience which really helped me develop my acting skills,” 18-year-old Jac Elias-Williams from Penarth said.

Aled Gomer, 18 and from Cardiff, said: “We have learnt that you can have an extremely successful and long career in performing arts in Wales. Rhydian and Rhys have worked on lots of different projects and their ability to speak Welsh has really helped them in their careers.”