“It’s our duty to make our voices be heard, and I don’t think our voices are being heard.” Christian Patterson is widely regarded as one of Wales’ top stage performers, so it’s no shock that he represents Wales in My Country, the National Theatre’s state-of-the-nation play.

“I’m a very proud Welshman,” tells Jafar Iqbal without a hint of irony. “If you cut me, I bleed Wales.” That national pride feeds into the eleven voices he portrays on stage, from a thirteen-year old boy to a retired teacher. “And in-between them, I play people who are sick and tired of immigration, or people who feel they’re not being given a chance, and then I play a Polish lady who feels the European Union was doing fantastic things to the Valleys. I run a gamut, really, a plethora of opinions.”

Created in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, director Rufus Norris’ verbatim play tries to give a voice to the voiceless communities of Britain. 52.5% of Wales voted for Brexit, and many of those people were upset about not being listened to. “This is the people of Britain who are speaking, be it from my area Merthyr Tydfil or elsewhere. It’s important to come and listen to the voices of the people who voted leave and remain.”

Christian is keen to point out that the play does have its lighter moments. “People can be very funny, and people can be very, very naturally funny and not know. Some of the humour is so beautiful and so pure because it’s coming from people of the country. And then some of it is written by Carol Ann [Duffy], and is just insanely beautiful.”

My Country comes to Cardiff as part of a UK tour, playing to the very audiences that helped create it. “The response has been absolutely incredible. People’s reaction to the play is like their thumbprint, it’s a completely individual thing to them.

“I’ll be part of something that’s incredibly current,” he continues, reflecting on the play’s cultural resonance. “I personally think restaging this in five years would be a brilliant idea and I think it would be equally valid to revisit the same people. That would be fascinating.”

Time will tell how Wales will be affected by the Brexit vote, but the Merthyr-born actor has faith in his country’s resilience. “When the proverbial hits the fan, we get ourselves through it the best we can until the ship starts to sail properly again.”

There’s no doubt that, like the subject matter itself, My Country will divide opinion. But, as Christian himself believes, understanding both opinions is important for Wales and the UK. “Whether you love the piece or you hate the piece, whether you love or hate what’s being said, I think it’s important that you see it because I think it does put things into perspective. And hopefully, you’ll leave with a little bit more understanding.”

My Country; A Work In Progress runs at The Sherman Theatre from May 2 – 5 For ticket details visit shermantheatre.co.uk