WJEC leads the way in celebrating diversity and inclusion

WJEC leads the way in celebrating diversity and inclusion

Leading awarding body WJEC has recently published several newly commissioned Welsh and English translations of set texts to support its AS Drama and Theatre specification from September 2024. The plays cover a wide array of inclusive and current themes, including immigration and heritage/identity, sexual acceptance, rural depopulation, the woman’s role in society, and euthanasia. The works form part of WJEC’s ongoing commitment to enhance inclusion, diversity and representation within their texts.

Commenting on this achievement is the project’s Manager and Editor, Mari Watkin: “WJEC has embraced inclusive themes in the new plays selected for its current AS Drama specification, allowing learners to study material that will truly resonate with them. In total, WJEC has commissioned over forty Welsh-language translations of classic and modern plays in recent years to support its Drama specifications – a significant contribution to Welsh-language theatre in Wales. WJEC has also enhanced its provision of English translations of Welsh plays for English-medium learners, sharing the wealth of Welsh-language plays with the world.”

A star-studded list of leading Welsh-language authors were approached by WJEC, and they delivered translations of the highest order: Manon Steffan Ros (recipient of the Carnegie Medal for Children’s Writing), Caryl Parry Jones (singer/song and script-writer), Ffion Dafis (Welsh Book of the Year Award and actress/director/TV presenter), Betsan Llwyd (actress/director), and Nia Morais (the current Welsh-language Children’s Poet Laureate). One of the late prolific playwright Wil Sam’s classic adaptations has also been resurrected, as well as the current Archdruid, Professor Mererid Hopwood’s adaptation from German of one of Bertolt Brecht’s plays.

Delivering a unique translation

These new texts include Nia Morais’ translation of Winsome Pinnock’s critically acclaimed play Leave Taking, which opens new doors in the Welsh theatre. Working alongside cultural literary experts and diversity champions, this groundbreaking translation from WJEC incorporates a combination of the Welsh language and Caribbean dialect to enable Welsh learners to fully immerse themselves in the play.

Pinnock’s play explores the dislocated identity of black British immigrants. The story follows two sisters and their mother as they struggle to live in a tough, contemporary Britain. The play looks at issues such as identification and the consequences of leaving your homeland and being caught between two cultures.

Commissioning a culturally sensitive translator

WJEC was committed to commissioning an author-translator with an appropriate cultural background that would respect the heritage of the play. Following extensive research within the world of theatre, Nia Morais was appointed.

The translation of the play includes a mixture of original text, keeping the Caribbean dialect for the original immigrants’ roles, which is interplayed with Welsh translation for the younger generation roles, providing an immersive experience for both actors and audiences alike.

Nia Morais reflected: “It was a pleasure to work on a play which brings to light the experiences and contribution of black immigrants to the UK. ‘Leave Taking’/’Ymadael’ highlights an important part of British history. I thank WJEC for the opportunity to pen this Welsh-language adaptation.”


Working alongside literary and cultural experts

WJEC’s Editorial Team worked with several external experts to ensure that the translation was respectful of the source material, and that an appropriate translation was delivered where the meaning and sentiment would be maintained.

Their team engaged with a broad range of experts including Arwel Gruffydd (former Artistic Director, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru) and Dafydd Llewelyn (prolific TV Producer and Playwright), who both agreed that from a theatrical viewpoint, this would be a groundbreaking translation. Furthermore, they explored linguistic approaches to the translation with several contributors including Wayne Howard (S4C Contributor) and Jalisa Andrews (Actor).

The team also worked alongside DARPL (Diversity and Anti-Racism Professional Learning) who provided general consultation to their translation approach, ensuring it was culturally appropriate. Through this work, the team was put in contact with Roma Taylor, a Cardiff resident from the Windrush generation and her daughter Suzanna Smart, who helped to ensure that the translation would resonate with a Welsh language audience, whilst remaining true to the spirit of the play.

Full list

The translations of the plays below are now available, offering learners across Wales access to material that will enhance their learning experiences, and champion the themes of diversity, inclusion and acceptance.

  • Cân Serch, Manon Steffan Ros (Lovesong, Abi Morgan)
  • Tŷ Dol, Ffion Dafis (A Doll's House, Ibsen, adaptation by Tanika Gupta)
  • Ymadael, Nia Morais (Leave Taking, Winsome Pinnock)
  • Yr Argae, Wil Sam (The Weir, Conor McPherson)
  • Unwaith, Caryl Parry Jones (Once, Enda Walsh)
  • Y Cylch Sialc, Mererid Hopwood (The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Bertolt Brecht)
  • Face to Face, Betsan Llwyd (English-language translation of Meic Povey’s Wyneb yn Wyneb, published by Atebol)

Please note, six of the seven plays will be published for FREE on WJEC’s Portal.


For further information:
Jonathan Thomas
PR and Brand Manager
029 2026 5102