ROWAN Rheingans tours her courageous new solo show ‘Dispatches on the Red Dress’ this autumn, following her critically acclaimed debut at Edinburgh Fringe and celebrated debut solo album and arrives at Theatr Mwldan on November 11.

Rowan is a fiddle player, banjoist and songwriter widely regarded as one of the foremost innovators in folk music today.

Best known for her work with acclaimed bands Lady Maisery, The Rheingans Sisters and Songs of Separation, Rowan has won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (‘Best Original Track’ in 2016 and ‘Best Album’ in 2017) and is a six-times nominee.

Her duo The Rheingans Sisters are currently nominees in the prestigious ‘Best Duo/Group’ category at the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

In what will prove to be a career-shifting year, Rowan premiered her new solo show ‘Dispatches on the Red Dress’ in a two week run at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August - “a mesmerising gig that had me thinking for days” writes fRoots.

Now she takes this ambitious and deeply personal one-woman show on a national tour, including a date at Cardigan’s Theatr Mwldan on Monday, November 11.

An intimate and adventurous exploration of memory, identity, joy, sorrow, trauma-recovery, war and waltzes, Dispatches on the Red Dress tells the true story of Rowan's German grandmother's youth in 1940's Germany.

With genre-melding fluidity, Rowan weaves immersive storytelling around 10 new songs (Rowan won 'Best Original Track’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2016 for her song Mackerel) performed live with fiddle, banjo, guitar and subtly inventive use of pre-recorded sounds.

In the current time of deeply felt political tensions, with the rise of racism in our communities and a new nationalistic fervour gaining pace across Europe, Dispatches on the Red Dress is a highly resonant and much-needed historic provocation for our current political and social climate.

Slowly revealing what is at once a warm family story and a troubling elegy on the modern human condition, Rowan explores how hope for the future may be found in the very darkest pockets of our history.

As well as being a heartfelt yet unflinching anti-war and anti-fascist statement, the show is also an uplifting celebration of small acts of every-day resistance, speaking directly to the human capabilities of transformation and change. It is Rowan’s most courageous, most political and most personal work to date.

Having taken over two years to write it, Rowan says: “For me, this is a show about horror and beauty. It is also about trauma recovery, birdsong, war and waltzes.

“Hidden in the folds of my own grandmother’s story, there is a profound darkness alongside, I think, a deeply hopeful message about humanity’s capacity for transformation.

“It feels important, in our current social and political climate of half-truths and fake news, fueling a collective inertia that sometimes feels akin to a dangerous forgetting or mis-remembering of history, to share this story.

“I hope it will spur conversations about how we can resist the rise of the far right in constructive, supportive, creative ways. It is about the peace-making potential of telling different kinds of stories…"

Already celebrated by music critics as “an excellent songwriter with a fine grasp of the delicate balance of joy and pain that makes us human" (Folk Radio UK), Dispatches on the Red Dress takes Rowan’s songwriting to another level; this is adventurous and necessary new writing that asks fundamental and troubling questions with her characteristically ‘deep emotional charge’ (Louder Than War).

Developed in collaboration with Liam Hurley (Karine Polwart’s Wind Resistance) the live show brings the intimacy of a folk concert to meet the ancient traditions of storytelling and textures of contemporary theatre in a troubling, tender and powerful performance.

Rowan’s debut solo album, The Lines We Draw Together, is a companion to the live show and was released 23rd August 2019, fast garnering critical acclaim from the folk and world music press.

Songlines gave it 5 stars at the much coveted ‘Top of the World’ award while Folk Radio UK hailed it as “the pinnacle of her musical journey to date”.

As testimony to her reputation as a folk artist truly carving new and innovative paths, the album was granted unconditional funding from both PRS Women Make Music and Arts Council England.

“Vivid songwriting and composing… spectacularly beautiful,” says Mark Radcliffe, of BBC Radio2.