Salsa at the Stiwt is hot stuff

One of Wales’ most popular actors will be seen as he’s never been seen before  – swivelling his hips seductively as he sweeps across the dance floor in a new play.

Phyl Harries will show off his light feet and dancing skills in Salsa at the Stiwt Theatre, in Rhos near Wrexham.

Appropriately, the Welsh language co-production by Theatr Na Nog and Theatr Mwldan will be on between Tuesday, August 2, and Friday, August 5 –the week that the National Eisteddfod is in Wrexham.

To get the audience in the mood, pre-show tapas and paella will be available courtesy of the La Tasca restaurant chain from 5:30-7pm throughout the run but pre-booking is essential to guarantee a table. 

Phyl says he can’t wait to get back on the Stiwt stage, a theatre where he just loves performing.

He said: “Salsa is a great night out and, although a Welsh language production I would say it is suitable for Welsh learners of all standards. It’s also a very visual drama.

“It’s a great story about a middle-aged couple, Wayne and Rhian, who want to start a family and join a salsa class as a way of losing weight.

“The problem is Rhian twists her ankle and can’t carry on while Wayne, secretly trying to please his wife, continues with the classes so he can show her his new moves and the fact he’s shed a few pounds.

“The problem is the classes are run by the rather gorgeous Adela Vega, a truly delicious Spanish dance teacher. And while Wayne, who turns out to be a bit of a natural when it comes to salsa, is encouraged by the stunning Adela he grows to love the attention a bit too much.”

And Phyl says the audience is kept in suspense wondering whether Wayne will follow his heart or his head when it comes to the crunch. Will he chose to stick with his wife or switch his affections to his dance teacher?

He said: “It’s a great play and a lot of fun. There are lots of other interesting characters we meet along the way and while there’s lots of dancing it’s not just salsa but cha cha and tango too. It’s a very physical play, believe me.

“And we get the audience involved and up there with us at the end of the performance too. It is really high energy and a great show.”

Phyl has numerous TV appearances to his name as well as countless theatre credits both as an actor and director.

He said: “As an actor I have been very lucky in some respects but I am a firm believer that you create your own luck through hard work. It’s a tough life being an actor especially when you are on the road so much.

“I do miss being home with the family and I’d like to see more of the grandchildren to be honest but work is work and this is what I do.”

Born in Ystalyfera in the Swansea Valley, Phyl graduated from the Welsh College of Music and Drama.

His theatre CV is impressive and varied and covers everything from Shakespeare to pantomime with a host of theatre companies, not just across Wales but the rest of the UK too.

While his extensive list of TV credits includes a three year stint on the BBC’s longest running soap, Pobol y Cwm, playing Ken Coslett, as well as roles in Doctor Who, Tracey Beaker and Torchwood.

And Phyl says he just finished filming another S4C show called Zanzibar in which he plays an Aberystwyth bar owner obsessed with Queen’s Freddie Mercury.

“Variety is the spice of life,” said Phyl. “Of course the one role I really want is to be the next Doctor Who! Let’s wait and see. In the meantime I’m happy just being busy as an actor, whether on stage, TV or radio, as well as directing.

“And I am looking forward to returning to The Stiwt. It’s a lovely theatre with a great deal of character to it. I’ve played there before in several productions and always get a warm welcome from Rhos audiences.”

When not taking his acting and directing skills on the road and living out of a suitcase Phyl enjoys his role of master of ceremonies at Welsh-themed banquets held in Cardiff Castle.

He said: “Together with my wife, Margaret, who is a harpist, I run the entertainment at Cardiff Castle for the banquets which is something we really enjoy together.

“Mags does come on the road with me when she can but it’s always nice being able to work together at Cardiff Castle. She a terrific harpist and we work well together both personally and professionally.”

Phyl is a talented musician in his own right and plays the flute, accordion and tenor saxophone to a high standard as well as being a talented baritone.

He said: “I love music, probably because I’m Welsh, it’s in the genes as they say. However, I’m just happy performing and, although I have worked hard at it, I have been lucky to be so busy as an actor for so many years. 

“I really am delighted to be back at The Stiwt and would encourage anyone who can speak even basic Welsh, or who is learning our wonderful language, to come along and enjoy the show. It’s a tremendous, well written play with lots of humour too

“It’s a great night out but, be warned, we’ll have you up on your feet by the end of the show joining in with the cast and enjoying a bit of heart-pumping salsa too.”

Salsa will be performed at the Stiwt Theatre Rhos between Tuesday, August 2 and Friday, 5th. For ticket information visit or contact the Box Office on 01978 841300. Tickets will also be available from Stiwt’s stall in the Drama Café on the Maes at the National Eisteddfod.

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