COMPANY ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR FOUR RESIDENCIES, INCLUDING ITS FIRST INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION, IN JAPAN, AND A TOURING ROCK SHOW
National Theatre Wales’s third season will include four new productions by Welsh writers alongside four residencies – in Butetown, Cardiff; in Japan; on Anglesey and in Treorchy – and two large-scale productions – a touring gig with Neon Neon’s Gruff Rhys & Boom Bip, and an adaptation of Terry Jones’ children’s book Fairy Tales staged at Cardiff Castle.
Each residency will feature a new production created by some of the country’s very best writers and performers…
• In Butetown, Cardiff, March 2013
De Gabay, a one-day, site-specific exploration of the Butetown area of Cardiff, with a focus on the lives of its young Somali poets and the generations that came before them, written by a group of young, local poets. Audiences will move from private living rooms to wide boulevards to Cardiff’s political centre, swept along by both intimate and large-scale spectacular performances including an extraordinary parade.
• In Tokyo, Japan, in April 2013
The Opportunity of Efficiency, written by Alan Harris and directed by John E McGrath. A story of small lives caught up in a global power struggle, performed in Japanese at the New National Theatre, Tokyo – this will be NTW’s very first international production, and its first collaboration with another national theatre.
• On Anglesey, north Wales, June 2013
Things I Forgot I Remembered, a co-production with Hoipolloi. This show will bring Anglesey’s most famous son, Hugh Hughes, home to the island for the very first time to be reunited with the family he’d left behind. Audio walks around Anglesey will allow audiences an even more intimate glimpse into the life and times of one of its most intriguing sons, and his thoughts on the island where he was born.
• In Treorchy, south Wales, October 2013
Tonypandemonium, by Rachel Trezise. A hard-hitting, hilarious and autobiographical play about a young girl and her alcoholic mother, set in Trezise’s native south Wales valleys, and performed at the Park & Dare as part of its centenary celebrations.
Alongside those productions, the four residencies will each include over a month of collaboration with local artists from all disciplines; up-and-coming, mid-career and beyond, through the company’s WalesLab initiative. The NTW Assembly programme will also take root in the four locations. National Theatre Wales will work alongside the Welsh Music Foundation, which supports and assists the development of the music industry in Wales, to present up-and-coming bands.
Two additional, large-scale productions will be produced in 2013…
• Praxis Makes Perfect, in May 2013 in Cardiff, and on tour
A touring rock gig by Neon Neon (the music collective led by the Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys, and artist Boom Bip), written by Tim Price and directed by Wils Wilson, and based on the extraordinary life of Italian publisher and political activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli.
• Silly Kings, in December 2013/January 2014 at Cardiff Castle
Former Monty Python Terry Jones’s Fairy Tales – beloved by children and adults alike – will be brought to life in the capital’s dramatic castle over Christmas 2013.
Also today, the company launches its newly redesigned website at nationaltheatrewales.org featuring a live, multiplatform content stream, improved accessibility, and an open News section offering professional and social media users free, downloadable audio, video, images and press releases*.
Additional ‘surprise’ productions will be announced later in the year.
Artistic Director John McGrath said: “Everyone at National Theatre Wales is immensely excited to be launching into our third year of work. With projects ranging from our premiere in Tokyo to our Anglesey and Treorchy residencies to our Christmas takeover of Cardiff Castle, we are truly digging deeper and traveling further than ever before. And with artists ranging from Gruff Rhys to Terry Jones to Rachel Trezise on board for the year, we can once again promise the very best of Welsh talent to ever-growing Welsh and international audiences.”
Chair of National Theatre Wales’ board Phil George said: “‘This is a very exciting third season for National Theatre Wales. It takes the company deeply into Welsh communities, from Anglesey to Butetown and Treorchy, and it gives our work international profile in Japan. And I’m thrilled that we’ll be offering bold large-scale productions with Praxis Makes Perfect and Silly Kings.”
DE GABAY [THE POEM]
Written by Daud Farah, Ali Goolyad, Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan, Hassan Panero & Ahmed Yusuf
Directed by Jonathan Holmes
Date: Sunday 3rd March, 2013
Location: Butetown, Cardiff city centre and the Bay
The first production in National Theatre Wales’ third season, De Gabay [The Poem], will be a one-day, site-specific exploration of the Butetown area of Cardiff – home of the largest Somali population outside Somalia.
The day will begin with visits to private houses across Butetown for a series of intimate performances by poets and residents. Later, two extraordinary parades will emerge from secret locations across Cardiff – representing different generations that have come to the bay area - and travel to Wales’ political heart, in Cardiff Bay. On arrival, the audience will experience a one-off parliament where young Somali poets will take the place of politicians, linked digitally to young people and artists across the world.
De Gabay will be live-streamed to key port towns around the world. Audiences will be able to interact with and watch the production, as well as films made in and by international Somali communities, online.
Audiences who book tickets will receive an email in the days before the show, with details of where to begin their day on Sunday 3rd March. All proceeds from ticket sales (for which only a voluntary payment will be asked) will be donated to future community projects in Butetown. Anyone who wants will also be able to join the show during the parades, at the Assembly building or for the finale, without the need for a ticket.
De Gabay is being produced with support from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s participatory performing arts programme. National Theatre Wales was awarded £175,000 in June 2011 for the development of a new performance piece of uncompromising quality which brings together leading professionals and people from local communities.
The cast and crew will include members of the local community, and will be announced in February 2013.
Jonathan Holmes is the director and founder of Jericho (www.jerichohouse.org.uk). In 2007, he wrote and directed the testimony play Fallujah in a found space on Brick Lane. In 2008, with The Sixteen he revived Henze & Bond’s opera Orpheus Behind the Wire at the SouthBank Centre, and in 2009 his testimony play Katrina was produced in association with the Young Vic. In 2010, his documentary feature Perpetual Peace was premiered at the South Africa International Film Festival. With the Royal Ballet he recreated the Inigo Jones/Ben Jonson masque Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly in 2011, and he also wrote the libretto for Liza Lim’s opera The Tongue of the Invisible. His original play Into Thy Hands premiered at Wilton’s Music Hall in June 2011, while in autumn of the same year his production of The Tempest ran for five weeks at the Barbican and became the first to tour throughout both Israel and the West Bank. In 2012, he premiered four monologues by Samuel Beckett, performed by Alan Howard as part of Spitalfields Festival.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a European charitable foundation established in Portugal in 1956 with cultural, educational, social and scientific interests. Its founder, Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, was an Armenian born in Turkey. Multicultural and multilingual, and a noted art collector, he spent his career bringing people from different cultures and nationalities together. Based in Lisbon with branches in London and Paris, we are in a privileged position of being able to address national and transnational issues and to act as an ‘exchange’ for ideas. The purpose of the UK Branch, based in London, is to help enrich and connect the experiences of people in the UK and Ireland and secure lasting, beneficial change. For more information, visit www.gulbenkian.org.uk
Date: Sunday 3rd March 2013
Times: Events between 10am and 8pm
Location: Cardiff city centre, Butetown and the Bay
Box Office: nationaltheatrewales.org / WMC 029 2063 6464
Tickets: By voluntary donation
Please note: Specific times, locations and instructions will be sent to the audience upon purchase of a ticket
THE OPPORTUNITY OF EFFICIENCY
In association with the New National Theatre, Tokyo
Written by Alan Harris
Directed by John E McGrath
In Tokyo, Japan
Alan Harris (writer of NTW’s first ever production, A Good Night Out in the Valleys) returns to create the company’s first ever international production, set in Wales but staged at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, in Japanese, and directed by National Theatre Wales’s artistic director, John E McGrath.
Inspired by the growth of efficiency as a force for change in society and the influence of big business on national and international affairs, The Opportunity of Efficiency is a story of small lives caught up in a global power struggle.
Bio-scientist Iffy Scott has made a discovery that could save millions of lives – but, it seems, not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.
National Theatre Wales will bring its trademark mix of digital and community-linked skills to NNT’s stage – the production will include 360degree video screens around the auditorium, plus free talks. The company will also work with artists in Japan to create the company's first international Assembly, exploring the themes of efficiency and creativity in Japan today, and we will be searching for Japanese artists to join us in Wales next year as part of WalesLab.
Writer Alan Harris has recently written a new play for BBC Radio 4 (Wolf) and adapted Rhinegold for liveartshow at The Yard theatre, London (currently nominated for an Off West End award). His other writing credits include: A Good Night Out in the Valleys (National Theatre Wales), Manga Sister (liveartshow), The Lighthouse (BBC Radio 4), The Gold Farmer (BBC Radio 3), The Journey (Welsh National Opera MAX), Cardboard Dad (Sherman Cymru), Miss Brown To You (Hijinx Theatre), Brute (Operating Theatre Company), Orange (Sgript Cymru) and was part of Paines Plough’s Come To Where I’m From tour. Alan has worked with WNO’s MAX department on a range of projects (including a three-month residency writing short librettos for street opera) and is a new writing tutor with Sherman Cymru. He has also worked with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and in prisons, including with prisoners at HMP Cardiff on a play entitled I Forgot To Tell You (a Koestler platinum award winner). Currently he is also collaborating on a number of projects with Crashmat Collective, Kitch n Sync and Invisible Ink.
Director John E McGrath is Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales. He was Artistic Director of Contact Theatre, Manchester, from 1999 until 2008. John trained and worked in New York for several years, including a stint as Associate Director of leading experimental company Mabou Mines. As a director, he has worked with a wide range of artists including poet Lemn Sissay (Storm, Something Dark and Why I Don’t Hate White People) and hip hop theatre artist Benji Reid (b like water). For National Theatre Wales, he has directed A Good Night Out in the Valleys by Alan Harris, Love Steals Us From Loneliness by Gary Owen, The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price and In Water I'm Weightless by Kaite O’Reilly.
New National Theatre, Tokyo (NNTT) was founded in October 1997, and is Japan’s only national theatre dedicated to the performing arts of opera, ballet, dance and drama. The Opportunity of Efficiency will be the inaugural production of a new series entitled With – Connecting with World Theatre introduced by Keiko Miyata, the artistic director of drama, in which the NNTT will present new works developed in conjunction with international theatre artists.
Dates & Times: 9th-26th April, times vary
Venue: The Pit Theatre, New National Theatre, Tokyo
Box Office: Tickets will be on sale from the New National Theatre, Tokyo, from Sunday 24th February: www.nntt.jac.go.jp/english
PRAXIS MAKES PERFECT
Conceived and performed by Neon Neon
Written by Tim Price
Directed by Wils Wilson
In Cardiff and on tour
Conceived and performed by Neon Neon (Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals and LA-based producer Boom Bip), with playwright Tim Price and director Wils Wilson, this immersive live music gig imagines the life of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, the millionaire Italian communist and publisher at the heart of many of the most extraordinary events of the 20th century.
This unique event will happen in tandem with the release of Neon Neon’s much-anticipated second album, also entitled Praxis Makes Perfect. The new record follows the duo’s 2008 debut, Stainless Style, which was inspired by the life and times of playboy engineer, John DeLorean.
Praxis Makes Perfect brings together unique the experiences of a live gig and site-specific theatre. Neon Neon and their band will take to the stage with a cast of professional actors at every performance, which will include some unexpected interactions with the audience.
Born into one of Italy’s wealthiest families, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli was a life-long left-wing political activist and founder of the publishing house Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore. He discovered and published some of the greatest literary works of the last century including The Leopard and Doctor Zhivago, the latter following lengthy battles with Soviet censors. He died in suspicious circumstances in 1972.
Writer Tim Price's theatre credits include: The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (National Theatre Wales, tour), For Once (Pentabus, Hampstead Theatre and national tour) Salt Root and Roe (Donmar Warehouse, Trafalgar Studios) which was nominated for the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, Demos (Traverse Theatre), Will and George shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award 2011, and Café Cariad (National Youth Theatre of Wales).
Director Wils Wilson is a freelance theatre director. She was co-founder and co-Artistic Director of wilson+wilson (1997-2007), making innovative site-specific theatre, installation and art in diverse locations across the UK. Her award-winning work continues to explore the boundaries between audience, story, site and performance, through collaborations with theatre makers, writers, musicians, artists, academics and inspiring people of all ages and from all walks of life. Most recently Manchester Lines (for Library Theatre Manchester) took audiences into a bespoke Lost Property Office created from lost objects (winner of TMA Award) and the multi-award-winning The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (National Theatre of Scotland) is currently touring internationally.
Dates: 2nd-5th May in Cardiff, (more dates tbc), then on tour
Location: tbc in Cardiff
Box Office: nationaltheatrewales.org / WMC 029 2063 6464
THINGS I FORGOT I REMEMBERED
This show marks the return to his native Anglesey of emerging artist Hugh Hughes*. In his first ever production on Anglesey, Hugh will share his experiences of growing up on the island. As well as the stage production, Hugh will also create audio walks around Anglesey, allowing audiences an even more intimate glimpse into the life and times of one of its most intriguing sons.
Hugh says: "I recently found the journals I wrote as a child in my bedroom in Llys-Derwydd in Llangefni, on the Isle of Anglesey over 30 years ago, between the age of five and 14, between my fifth birthday on 22nd August 1973 through to Thursday 2nd September 1982.
I have decided to use them as the foundation of my art project, which I have titled Things I Forgot I Remembered. I will make audio material that people can listen to on site, develop a website, make short films and create a live show to share what I discovered when I found my childhood journals."
Responding to Hugh Hughes' reputation as Anglesey's most famous emerging artist, NTW will be basing an array of activity with other emerging artists on the island for the month, including a two-week WalesLab summer camp, and an DIY festival of emerging work 14th-16th June, with all artists invited.
Hugh Hughes is an emerging artist from Wales, Anglesey, Llangefni to be precise, and his story has been one of creativity, charm and making connections. It’s also been a journey of exploration – when Hoipolloi first met Hugh, he was working on a project about beached whales using photography as his medium – and Hugh has since embraced different media to enhance the way he shares his stories. In 2005, Hugh Hughes created Floating – the fantastical tale of the island that floated away that was subsequently aired on BBC Radio 4 as an afternoon play. He worked with Hoipolloi and his friend Sioned to develop a way of bringing his experiences to life by merging recorded medium with theatre performance and storytelling. Hugh second show, Story of a Rabbit saw Hugh working with his friend Aled, who played live music to capture the atmosphere expressed in the story. In 360 Hugh boldly dispatched with set, props and music to perform a story about friendship that exercised the imagination of the audience. Stories from an Invisible Town, his latest show, was crafted from the memories of Hugh and his brother, Derwyn, and sister, Delyth. That project was stuffed so full of memories that it spilled off stage into an online world. Hugh is really looking forward to returning to his roots in Anglesey and making a very special new show with National Theatre Wales.
The heart of Hoipolloi is the creation of new work. With a sense of adventure, a thirst for pleasure and an instinct for laughter we work towards discovering ways of presenting work that will engage and excite our audiences. We create work that is full of energy and verve, connecting with a broad audience and sweeping them away from their everyday lives. Our brand of theatre enables audiences to delve deep into their imaginations and brings them to the edge of their seats, making them laugh along the way. Hoipolloi has also been delighted to facilitate Hugh’s continued exploration of digital opportunities, and we are thrilled to have recently presented a show that can be experienced both in the theatre and online at www.invisibletownstories.co.uk We think this is quite a radical step, and are really interested in the way that audiences will engage with the depth and breadth of material made by Hugh, Delyth and Derwyn, which we’ve presented online in their childhood home.
* Hugh Hughes is the creation of writer and performer Shôn Dale-Jones, Artistic Director of Hoipolloi
Dates: 12th-15th June
Venues: Theatr Fach, Llangefni
Box Office: nationaltheatrewales.org / WMC 029 2063 6464
Dates: 19th-22nd June
Venues: Ucheldre Centre, Millbank, Holyhead
Box Office: nationaltheatrewales.org / WMC 029 2063 6464
Written by Rachel Trezise
Directed by Mathilde López
At the Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy
During its centenary year, the Park & Dare Theatre in Treorchy plays host to the first play from Dylan Thomas Prize-winning author Rachel Trezise; a raucous, raunchy, hilarious, heartbreaking and autobiographical account of a daughter’s fraught, decade-spanning relationship with her beautiful, fun-loving and alcoholic mother.
“You just know it’s going to be one of those nights. Hormonal teenager and neurotic mother under one terraced roof? My father’s got a word for it: Tonypandemonium.”
As part of its residency in Treorchy, National Theatre Wales is teaming up with Wales's most exciting fringe theatre company, Dirty Portest, to present Dirty, Gifted and Welsh - a celebration of the extraordinary new writing emerging from Wales today - with new plays, music and debate taking over every corner of the Park & Dare Theatre.
Writer Rachel Trezise was born in the Rhondda valley in south Wales, where she still lives. She studied at Glamorgan and Limerick Universities. Her novel In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl won a place on the Orange Futures List in 2002. Harpers & Queen magazine voted her New Face of Literature, 2003. In 2006, her first short fiction collection Fresh Apples won the Dylan Thomas Prize. She was writer in residence at the University of Texas, Austin in 2007. Her most recent novel is Sixteen Shades of Crazy. A second collection of stories, Cosmic Latte, will be published in Spring 2013.
Director Mathilde López trained at Central Saint Martin’s in Performance Design, has a Masters in Theatre Directing from Birkbeck College and was a founding member of National Theatre Wales, where she was a Creative Associate for two years. Her directing credits include: Cien Años (London/Prague), Yvonne, Princess Of Burgundy (Hoxton Hall), Hotel Europa, La Suspension Du Plongeur and Prometheus Bound (Cochrane Theatre/Hoxton Hall), Crosswired (East London Dance/Barbican Centre), Serious Money (Waking Exploits), De Gabay development weeks (National Theatre Wales), Man On The Moon (George Orange/Wales Millennium Centre), and Pornography (Waking Exploits). Her theatre company August 012 focuses on staging international contemporary plays in Wales, and will open Who Killed The Elephant? (Chapter) a new piece from Hong Kong in February 2013 and Caligula in April 2013 (Chapter)
The Park & Dare Theatre dominates the skyline of Treorchy, in the Rhondda fawr valley. Its construction in 1913 was funded by the miners of the local Park & Dare Collieries. Owned and operated by Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC Cultural Services, together with the Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare and the Muni Arts Centre Pontypridd, it forms RCT Theatres – an ACW Revenue Funded organisation. Tonypandemonium and NTW’s residency at the theatre are two of the many events and productions planned to celebrate its centenary in 2013. Full details of all the celebrations can be found on the RCT Theatres website at www.rct-arts.co.uk.
Dates: 11th October-2nd November 2013
Venue: Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy
Box Office: nationaltheatrewales.org / Park & Dare Theatre: 08000 147 111
Tickets: £8 earlybird offer (before end of May)
DECEMBER 2013-JANUARY 2014
Based on a children’s book by Terry Jones
Directed by Jo Davies
At Cardiff Castle
Building on National Theatre Wales’s history of creating exciting theatre in amazing places, in December the company will stage its first Christmas show at Cardiff Castle – a magical, musical production for children and very silly adults, adapted from the fairy tales of Monty Python’s Terry Jones.
Book earlybird tickets now for this mischievous and hysterical Christmas experience in the capital of Wales.
Terry Jones was born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, and is best known as part of Monty Python. Jones and the other Pythons got together in 1969 and wrote and performed Monty Python’s Flying Circus until 1974. Jones co-directed the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam in 1975 and directed Monty Python’s Life of Brian in 1979 and Monty Python’s Meaning of Life in 1981, which won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes. Fairy Tales, on which Silly Kings is based, was his first children’s book, published in 1981. It has been translated into six foreign editions and adapted for television and radio. The Saga of Erik the Viking won the 1984 Children’s Book Award. Nicobobinus was awarded a Silver Seal by the Parents’ Choice editors; Fantastic Stories won the Smarties Prize 1992; His has a series of books: The Knight and the Squire, The Lady and the Squire and The Tyrant & The Squire. The Lady and the Squire was shortlisted for the 2002 Whitbread Prize.
Director Jo Davies trained at Bristol University, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, on the National Theatre Studio’s Director’s Course and at the RSC with Greg Doran and Cicely Berry. She has worked as a director and associate director at the ENO, The Royal Opera House, The Royal National Theatre, The Barbican, in London’s West End and on Broadway. Jo has also mounted operas, plays and musicals worldwide, most recently in France, Italy and the US.
Date: 18th December-4th January
Time: 1pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm
Venue: Cardiff Castle, Cardiff
Box Office: nationaltheatrewales.org / WMC 029 2063 6464
Tickets: Earlybird offer before end of May, £15 adults, £10 under 18s
The National Theatre Wales online community was launched before the company announced its first production, and has since grown to more than 4,000 members. Over 150 groups ranging from set builders to unpleasant coach trip survivors, have been formed there. Join now to join the conversation, or start your own with a blog.
WalesLab is our artist development initiative funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, offering artists the opportunity to apply for short residencies to develop an idea or piece of work. We’ve made projects happen from Castell Coch to Capelulo, Cardiff Airport to Cilgerran, and Castlemartin to places that don’t begin with C. What matters most is the ideas these projects pursue, and the development of the artists making them.
Everywhere NTW goes, we collaborate with and support an ever-growing network of TEAM members. These are the people who play a part in everything we do, giving us a truly international reach. They are our leaders in their communities: they create, inspire, perform, teach, write, organise, run projects, give feedback and make decisions with us on the future of NTW.
National Theatre Wales’ Assembly programme offers participants the opportunity to experience theatre as a space for exploration and discussion.
In the company’s first year, Assemblies were held in pubs, empty shops, disused banks, marquees, bus stations and ice-cream parlours, and explored a key question for each community.
In its second year, the programme became a series of bespoke, democratically-elected events which took place in different areas of Wales, voted for by the public online, ending with a SuperAssembly in Bangor in December 2012.
In 2013, NTW’s Assemblies will be linked to its residencies, including the first ever international NTW Assembly in Tokyo in April. The company will also be developing the democratic strand of the Assembly, looking at how it can expand the role of the public in deciding what projects we undertake.
NTW’s Jerwood project
With support from The Jerwood Foundation, NTW and web designers Hoffi are developing a new digital space to allow artists to collaborate and share ideas.
The first stage of the project involved 16 artists working together over nine months to explore the possibilities and restrictions of online collaboration. During 2013, a new site will be created and tested, allowing users to develop and share projects in a more collaborative and open way. Watch this space.
National Theatre Wales was launched in November 2009, and creates invigorating theatre in the English language, rooted in Wales, with an international reach. The Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales are supporting National Theatre Wales. For more information on National Theatre Wales’ shows, visit: nationaltheatrewales.org
"National Theatre Wales reinvents the language of theatre every time it puts on a show"
The Daily Telegraph