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Last Updated: Monday, 7 February, 2005, 13:53 GMT
Ifans in tribute to drama roots
Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans got the acting bug 25 years ago in Ruthin
The actor famous for wearing the scene-stealing grey y-fronts in the film Notting Hill has sent birthday wishes to the drama company where he first performed.

Rhys Ifans took part in Ruthin Drama Society's first ever production 25 years ago alongside his parents.

The society was set up in 1979 by the Reverend John Owen who had moved from Llanberis in Snowdonia to Ruthin.

"The company is very close to my heart," said Ifans.

It's the first drama company I joined, the first time I was on stage and in Welsh
Rhys Ifans

Rhys Ifans now lives in London, after leaving north Wales to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the age of 18.

He told BBC Radio Cymru on Monday: "It was the first drama company I joined, the first time I was on stage and in Welsh. I was there with my family which is a very rare thing," the actor said.

"My mother, father, brother and I were all in the first plays.

"The strength of the society is the bravery of the producer, the Rev John Owen, in choosing the plays."

Reverend Owen said the society has performed every year except one.

"We perform three act plays - original, classical, translations and humour," he said.

"We try to give a variety to the audience, who have remained very loyal."

One of the current actors, Dyfan Phillips, has been with the company for five years.

"Unfortunately, there is a small group of us this year but we are a close group," he said.

"There is a mixture of the older and younger people and it's a joy to come to rehearsals."

Ifans started his career in Welsh language television, most notably as one half of the Two Franks on S4C.

Since Notting Hill, he has starred in numerous films such as Rancid Aluminium by Welsh director Ed Thomas, Kevin and Perry Go Large, The 51st State with Samuel L Jackson and more recently, the comedy drama Once Upon a Time in The Midlands.

His brother Llyr, who lives in Caernarfon, is also an actor and appeared with Rhys in the Swansea-based film, Twin Town.




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05 May 03 |  North East Wales



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