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S4C converts rugby icon play into biopic

Welsh broadcaster S4C has commissioned a biopic drama about Welsh rugby legend Ray Gravell, adapted from the stage show about his life.

Gwenllïan Gravelle

Filming on Grav will begin at the end of June, with actor Gareth John Bale reprising his leading role from the one-man stage show of the same name for the small screen.

The drama, which has been adapted from the stage show created by Owen Thomas, Peter Doran and Bale at Wales’s Torch Theatre, looks at the life of one of Welsh rugby’s most revered figures.

Director Marc Evans, who has worked on programmes such as The Pembrokeshire Murders, Manhunt and Y Bomiwr a’r Tywysog, will direct the television adaption of the show.

S4C has commissioned Regan Developments, with Tarian Cyf, to produce the one-off, which will be screened in September.

Branwen Cennard, coproducer on Grav, said: “The original drama goes to the root of what drove Grav as a person and the show was universally praised.

“In adapting the show from the theatre to film and television, the drama has developed significantly. But the story remains the same, and we hope that the additional visual layers, under the guidance of director Marc Evans, will lift the production to an even higher level.”

Gwenllïan Gravelle, S4C’s drama commissioner, added: “It’s a privilege to commission a drama about a true Welsh folk hero, Ray Gravell. Grav was such a famous figure; as a strong and talented leader on the rugby pitch, and an affectionate, colourful but complicated character off it. His story is emotional and one that drew plaudits from theatre audiences across Wales.”

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