Drama radio premiere for Bangor students

Sunday 30th October will see Bangor’s Student Radio Station, Storm FM, air the premiere of the radio drama Pontypool. The drama was adapted by members of the Bangor English Dramatic Society (BEDS) from the novel Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess, a horror novel set in Ontario, Canada and recently turned into a feature film.

The drama gives a thoughtful look into language and how we use it, with a particular emphasis on the importance of multilingualism. It tells the story of a highly infectious virus spreading through the Welsh town of Pontypool, affecting those who catch it in a highly disturbing way. The survivors, the crew of a local radio station, soon realise that something connects the spread of the virus to the very language they speak, with bilingual speakers gaining the edge in this dark, tense horror.

The students decided to give the story a Welsh spin after having lived in Bangor and experienced what it is like to live in a bilingual community. They hope that the drama will help new students from across the border settle in to a Welsh speaking area and help them to understand the importance of the Welsh language.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to be able to transfer the setting to Wales," commented Daniel Short, Vice-President of BEDS and a cast member in the play, "It's an opportunity to look at the struggle of the Welsh language from a unique perspective; hopefully everyone that listens to it will be able to appreciate both sides of the bilingualism debate."

Pro Vice-Chancellor - Welsh Medium & Community Engagement - Mr Wyn Thomas added “This is an excellent initiative on the part of Bangor University’s students and a most welcome addition to the English Dramatic Society’s activities. Not only is it an indication of their willingness to engage with the bilingualism debate, but also an ideal opportunity for them to broadcast their achievements on air. I look forward to similar ventures in the future.”

Pontypool is due to air at 9pm on Sunday 30th October on Storm FM, available at 87.7FM or online at http://www.stormfm.com/ and is the first of several radio projects from BEDS this year.

Storm FM broadcasts 24 hours a day seven days a week to the main student residential site at Ffriddoedd Road. Reflecting the bilingual nature of the University, the station also broadcasts in Welsh.

Publication date: 27 October 2011