A DARK comedy incorporating masks, dance, hip-hop culture, rock and rhyme in a masquerade, makes its debut performance at Wales Millennium Centre next week.

RATS (Rose Against The System) follows the story of The Butetown Rats who have been planning the takeover of Cardiff Bay for generations and now it is time to unveil their plans. Central to the plot is a young Rat who is about to go through her family's traditional initiation. Starring as the young Rat is Welsh actress Danielle Fahiya. Danielle recently answered questions about the play from Andy Howells.

How did RATS- Rose Against The System - come to be created?

It started off as an animation and has been in development for the past 3 years with 20 minute showings after every research and development period. The show is the brainchild of artist Kyle Legall who was an artist in residence with National Theatre Wales in their inaugural year. The essence of the story is about the community Butetown and the gentrification and redevelopment that it has faced over the years. We see the theme of identity be at the narrative’s core as the community being represented as the underdog, (the rat characters) try to find a place in the redeveloped Cardiff Bay.

Can you tell us a bit about your character?

The story is told from the perspective of my character as she begins to navigate her way from her home into the new Cardiff Bay. According to her family’s traditions and initiation, she is sent on a mission to find her name and to do so has to steal something not edible from the humans and whatever that will be will become her name. My character is all about identity and finding her place in society and as a young person myself I know how difficult it can be to find your purpose in life; as the world is changing politically and socially all the time and that can sometimes be a daunting task. It was really that understanding of how identity and purpose forms a big part of how confident you are of your place in the world that made me want to take on this role.

As you are the only female character and lead in this production, what pressures if any, or responsibility does that bring?

I do feel a sense of responsibility being the only female actress in the cast and being the lead, as I am aware as history has proven it is harder as a woman to play a non-stereotypical role like the one I have been given, than playing a certain type cast that can fit a certain ‘female stereotype’ I.e. sexy female love interest, naive young woman, emotional, single and lonely to name but a few. This role is quite the opposite, it is all about finding inner strength to overcome the discrimination that my character is faced with, she is also not willing to rely on anyone else and blazes her own trail by using her intelligence and not the physical assets of being a female. In terms of pressure, I think with every role there is pressure on your performance and showing the truth of your character but this is special to me as I want the women in the audience to connect to the role and feel inspired by my character getting ahead on her own in literally the rat race of her life. Ha!

RATS (Rose Against The System) is a Kyle Alonzo Legall creation, supported by the Arts Council of Wales and the Wales Millennium Centre. It runs at the Wales Millennium Centre from June 2-3 at 8pm on both evenings and a matinee performance on June 3, at 1.30pm. Tickets are available by visiting www.wmc.org.uk or calling 029 2063 6464