S4C and BBC Cymru Wales have commissioned a new dark comedy drama, Pren ar y Bryn (Tree on a Hill), starring Rhodri Meilir (In My Skin, Hidden) and Nia Roberts (Craith/Hidden, Yr Amgueddfa).
The six-part series is being produced by Fiction Factory, part of the Tinopolis group, in association with All3Media International and investment has come from Creative Wales. It is written and created by Ed Thomas (Hinterland/Y Gwyll, House of America) and will air on S4C, BBC One and iPlayer.
Filming has begun on location in Ystradgynlais on the River Tawe at the edge of the Brecon Beacons, where Thomas grew up.
International distribution will be handled by All3Media International.
Laced with humor and a touch of the absurd, Tree on a Hill is a story with Margaret and Clive Lewis at its heart. These unlikely heroes’ quiet lives are changed in an instant when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Set in a bypassed town at the edge of a valley, this is a story about crumbling values, resilience and transgression being the key to liberation.
Thomas said: “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to tell this big little story about change set and shot in the place I grew up at the edge of the Brecon Beacons in the Swansea Valley. It’s a world where resilience and a healthy sense of the absurd is the only thing that will get you through when the situation you find yourself in is desperate—but not serious.”
Nick Andrews, head of commissioning at BBC Wales, said: “In what promises to be the biggest year of Welsh drama on the BBC, this is one of those distinctive scripts that stands tall—Ed Thomas at his lyrical best. A rich mix of dark humor and the absurd peppered with characters you’ll never forget. I’m so looking forward to seeing this incredible cast bring Ed’s words to life.”
Gwenllian Gravelle, S4C’s head of scripted, said: “Pren ar y Bryn/Tree on a Hill will bring an abundance of mischief and dark humor to our screens. We are delighted to be in partnership once again with Fiction Factory, BBC Cymru Wales and Creative Wales for this groundbreaking commission.”
Gerwyn Evans, deputy director of Creative Wales, added: “It’s fantastic to be supporting this bilingual drama for BBC Cymru Wales and S4C. This drama is one of six Creative Wales is supporting over the coming year that will air on BBC/S4C. We’re delighted that by providing funding and support more and more dramas are being made in Wales, using our facilities, creating opportunities for crew and trainees and showcasing our stunning Welsh locations.”
All3Media International’s Maartje Horchner added: “Since helping Fiction Factory launch Hinterland/Y Gwyll to the world nearly ten years ago, establishing Welsh Noir as a world recognized genre, we have been in awe of Ed Thomas’s creative talent. We are thrilled to partner again, now, on Pren ar y Bryn/Tree on a Hill.”