[Jack Jones, Welsh playwright: a Mid-Rhondda production of his Mid-Rhondda Depression-era play.] Typescript of 'Rhondda Roundabout', for a production by Garrick Dramatic Society of Mid-Rhondda, belonging to Jack Heycock, who played the male lead.

Jack Jones (1884-1970), Welsh novelist, playwright and trade union officer [Jack Heywood, Garrick Dramatic Society, Mid-Rhondda]
Publication details: 
'Garrick Dramatic Society, Mid-Rhondda'. Circa 1939.
SKU: 21346

A satisfying association: a copy of the typescript of a play set in 'Mid-Rhondda', for a production by an amateur dramatic company from Mid-Rhondda. [1] + 80pp, 4to. Duplicated typescript. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. Each page is on the recto of a separate leaf. Stapled into a dark-blue card binding, with cloth spine, the front cover of which carries: '”RHONDDA ROUNDABOUT” | A Play in 3 Acts by | JACK JONES | GARRICK DRAMATIC SOCIETY | Mid – Rhondda'. Preceding the text of the play is a page carrying a list of characters and their ages, and a 'Scene-Sequence'. The page also states: 'Place - - - Mid-Rhondda | Time - - - The Present'. Ownership inscription on front cover: 'JACK HEYCOCK | GARRICK D. S.' Signed on first page: 'J. Heycock.' Heycock evidently took the lead role of 'SHONI LLOYD Aged 48', as stage manuscript directions for that character are given in red ink. The reverse of the final leaf carries pencil sketches for what appear to be set designs, with the words: 'Square Shorter. Largeness of Vision | larger hearted Balance. | Never gets angry except in the passage | (Look at that Kid.)' The play was published in 1939 by Hamish Hamilton in 'Six Plays of 1939', but no separate publication has been noted, either on OCLC WorldCat or on COPAC. For information regarding Jones, see his entry in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography. On the recommendation of Emlyn Williams, a stage version of the first of Jones's three novels, 'Rhondda Roundabout' (1934), enjoyed 'a good brisk run on Shaftesbury Avenue' (Welsh Review). Further details are given in Michael Mullin's 'Design by Motley' (1996), which states that the production was by the Queen's Season company, under the direction of Glen Byam Shaw (1904-1986), in the 'Globe Season' of 1938-1939. Mullin quotes Margaret Harris: 'The cast were nearly all amateurs from Wales […] The Welsh actors were a bit uncontrollable. Glen would put them in a scene and they would cooperate. Then as soon as they were let loose on their own with an audience, they did what they felt like doing, and it went a bit mad.' The literary critic Raymond Williams discusses Jones's novel in his essay 'The Welsh Industrial Novel', and refers to it as 'socially panoramic' in his 'Region and Class in the Novel'.