A mobile power generator has had to be set up outside the Paget Rooms Penarth for this week’s performances of the Welsh National Theatre company’s production of “Nansi” .
It’s understood the Paget Rooms – owned by Penarth Town Council – doesn’t have anything like enough mains power on hand to supply the complicated sound and lighting rig being installed for the show.
The production tells the story of the famous Welsh harpist Nansi Richards (played by Melangell Dolma) – born in 1888 in the rural village of Pen-y-Bont-Fawr in rural Montgomeryshire and was taught by local gipsies how to play the harp.
Her astonishing virtuosity on the devilishly difficult Welsh triple harp ( which has three rows of strings ) won her three prizes at the National Eisteddfod. She played on the stage in the West End and for Royalty in Buckingham Palace and also toured the USA and became the Royal Harpist for Prince Charles .
It was in America she met Will Kellogg – the originator of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes – and as the name Kellogg sounded similar the Welsh name for a cockerel ( “Ceiliog”) the legend has it that it was she who suggested he use a logo of a cockerel on the packets of his famous breakfast cereal.
Nansi Richards died in 1979 at the age of 91 – leaving open the question of whether there ever anything more between her and her American millionare friend than just a mutual love of harp music.
The original Nansi may have travelled with just a harp – but the present touring stage production needs a 50-foot-long articulated trailer for the extensive set and consumes considerably more more power than Nansi’s home village needs even today.
“Nansi” is on at the Paget Rooms at 19:30 on June 22nd, 23rd and 24th with a matinee on June 23rd at 13:30