National Theatre Wales

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National Theatre Wales
Formation May 2009
Founder John McGrath
Headquarters 30 Castle Arcade
South Glamorgan
CF10 1BW
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Official language

National Theatre Wales is the English language national theatre company of Wales, founded by a community of theatre makers and practitioners in May 2009, with the launch of an online community social network web site.[1]

The company proposed a national theatre of Wales with no permanent theatre building, but instead based on an accumulated body of practice, commissioning a series of new works, each initially located within a different site or community.[citation needed]

The company focuses on the production of work in the English language, rooted in Wales, with an international reach, and aims to build strong relationships with theatre makers, creative talents, participants and audiences in and beyond Wales.[2]

It has a counterpart in Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, the Welsh language national theatre of Wales, founded in 2003.


First season

In its inaugural season National Theatre Wales realised thirteen new productions, each located in a different part of Wales.[3] Its founding artistic director was John McGrath.[4] In terms of media coverage, perhaps the two most notable of these were The Persians[5][6][7] and The Passion,[8][9][10] both of which received critical acclaim and subsequent awards. The productions of this first season included, in chronological order:

  • A Good Night Out in the Valleys
  • Shelf Life
  • The Devil Inside Him
  • For Mountain, Sand and Sea
  • The Beach
  • The Persians
  • Love Steals Us From Loneliness
  • The Dark Philosophers
  • The Weather Factory
  • The Soul Exchange
  • Outdoors
  • Mundo paralelo
  • The Passion

Second season

In May 2011, after a successful first year, the company launched its second season,[11] including the productions:[12]

  • The Dark Philosophers Tour
  • The Village Social
  • Nofit state tour
  • A Provincial Life
  • The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning
  • Little Dogs
  • In Water I'm Weightless
  • Coriolan/us
  • Branches

National Theatre Wales Assembly

Alongside their main season of performances, the company has also developed the National Theatre Wales Assembly programme. This is defined as a series of 'rousing performance/debate event[s] that [respond] to local or global issues in a creative setting with time during the performance for the audience to debate and react'. [13]

In their inaugural year, each Assembly took the form of a single event running alongside each of their thirteen productions. These centered around a question specific to each location. For example, in Barmouth (For Mountain, Sand & Sea, NTW04), the question that was raised was 'What's left after the summer tides?'. While the Assembly projects were facilitated by NTW Associates, the events themselves were largely led by local community members who often performed creatively in response to the specified question; such as by writing and reciting poetry, or performing musical compositions. The Assemblies also included a space for community people to sit alongside visiting audience members and debate these questions and other relevant issues, in the hope that such conversations might continue to reverberate after NTW's production team had left the area.

More recently, their second year saw the initiation of the next phase of the Assembly programme. The events were decoupled from productions, with people around Wales invited instead to submit proposals on 'the theme and location of the next Assembly'. [13]

Wales Drama Award

In 2012, National Theatre Wales, in partnership with BBC Cymru Wales TV Drama, established the Wales Drama Award, the first writers award in Wales, to be awarded for a drama in any medium.[14][15]


  1. "National Theatre Wales Community". Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  2. "What's On". National Theatre Wales. 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  3. "What's On". National Theatre Wales. 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  4. "National Theatre of Wales: by the people, for the people | Stage". The Guardian. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  5. Michael Billington (2010-08-15). "The Persians | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  6. "The Persians, National Theatre of Wales, review". Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  7. "Aberystwyth University - September". 2010-09-06. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  8. Lyn Gardner (2011-04-26). "The Passion – review | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  9. "Port Talbot Passion, Port Talbot, review". Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  10. Kate Bassett (2011-05-01). "The Passion, Port TalbotCardenio, Swan, Stratford-upon-AvonMacbeth, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon - Reviews - Theatre & Dance". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  11. "National Theatre Wales announces its second season | Theatre reviews, news & interviews". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  12. "What's On". National Theatre Wales. 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "What's On". National Theatre Wales. 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  14. "What's On". National Theatre Wales. 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  15. [1] Archived March 26, 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links