STORIES by a hardy and weather-weary hill farmer from the Elan Valley are conjured up as National Theatre Wales (NTW) go on tour with ‘The Stick Maker’s Tales’ written by author, screenwriter and producer Peter Cox.

Peter, who wrote 227 episodes of the Channel 4 soap ‘Brookside’ has made Rhayader his home for many years and has a close association with CARAD and other local arts groups, and he drew on the experiences of local people to create the shepherd Geth Roberts who is the focus of the play.

It was written as part of a set of five monologues or ‘Love Letters to the National Health Service’ as part of the service’s 70th birthday celebrations last year. Geth recalls stories of his life including times before the NHS and people who fell ill or were injured had to cope as best they could.

With award winning actor Llion Williams back in the role as Geth, NTW director Kully Thiarai says they can’t wait to share the show with a wider audience across Wales after having staged the show at Llandrindod Wells and Welshpool last year.

The tour opens at Caernarfon on Tuesday and Wednesday, and can be seen at Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli, next Thursday night, April 25; and at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27.

It will be coming to The Hafren, Newtown, on Friday, May 3; and Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon, on Tuesday, May 7, before ‘coming home’ to the CARAD theatre in Rhayader on Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11, to bring the tour to an end after also visiting Mold, Abergavenny, Milford Haven, and Swansea.

Peter Cox was awarded an MBE in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List for services to the Arts in Wales. His plays have been performed on stages throughout Britain and also performed on radio.