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The Independent Culture
"Caradog Prichard's Full Moon offers an amazing insight into the Welsh culture, which seems familiar to us and yet proves to be a revelation. It's also a discovery for English audiences of what is already a Welsh classic." So says Helena Kaut-Hows on, the Polish-born director who during the last three years as artistic director of Theatr Clwyd, took up the torch for the Welsh nation. Under her inspired leadership, Theatr Clwyd rose from being just another provincial theatre to arguably the closest thingthere is to a Welsh national theatre. She attracted the stars (Anthony Hopkins, Imogen Stubbs, Maria Aitkin, David Yelland) but she also pioneered experimental and specifically Welsh works, of which Full Moon was the jewel in the crown.

Written in Welsh by the thrice-crowned Bardic poet Caradog Prichard, Full Moon (above) is a semi-autobiographical story of his slate-mining community at the time of the First World War. The novel was made into a Welsh-language film On a Moonlight Night, and combines gritty observation of life with flights of mystic lyricism.

Given her passion for Welsh culture, it is ironic that Full Moon was her last production for Clwyd. Bureaucratic pettyfogging and a reshuffle of regional funding have denied her a job, and she is fearful for the future of a theatre which she left in sucha thriving condition. Kaut-Howson is now pursuing a freelance career but it's hard to believe a woman of her vision will lie low for long. If she did so much for a national theatre of Wales, what could she do for a National theatre in Britain?

`Full Moon', Young Vic, from Tuesday (071-928 6363)