Kully Thiarai today announces her first full season as the company’s Artistic Director. It includes collaborations with female artists from across the south Asian diaspora, Migrations, Quarantine, Junoon, Oily Cart, Gruff Rhys and Elis James, as well as a month-long festival to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS, two productions reflecting on the migrant experience in and beyond Wales, the first two productions in a three-year cycle of experimental works, and a work-in-progress.
Multi-artform work including new writing, contemporary dance, music, comedy, sensory theatre and visual art, with performances in hospitals, schools and theatres, on a boat, underwater and at locations across Wales. The company also welcomes its first ever Associate Artists; theatre makers Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes, digital installation artist Shanaz Gulzarand television drama executive producer Bethan Jones
Making the season announcement, Kully Thiarai, National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director, said: “Our 2018 season is all about People and Places. We’re inviting audiences to join us in locations across Wales and take a moment to walk in others’ shoes, be they south Asian women or migrants from all over the world, NHS staff or patients past and present.
“These productions will be experimental, political, diverse and provocative. All of them will explore the human condition, what effect places have on our identities, and our impressions of others’ identities. Join us next year for this exciting new season of work, and see Wales, the world and its people through fresh eyes.”
The season includes:
THE STORM CYCLE
Created by Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes
Locations across Wales
Theatre-makers Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes, who have created some of National Theatre Wales’ most critically-acclaimed work to date, will join the company as Associate Artists and begin an extraordinary, three-year collaboration with NTW in 2018.
The Storm Cycle will be a series of six productions conceived, designed and directed by Pearson & Brookes. These multimedia works will be performed at different locations across Wales, at a variety of scales and sizes, and will explore two key themes; truth and testimony. They will culminate in 2020 with the creation of a major, new, large-scale production for NTW’s 10th anniversary programme.
Created by Kully Thiarai, Sameera Iyengar and other female artists from the South Asian diaspora
Date: 20 April 2018
Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Sisters is a conversation across continents about the richness, complexity and diversity of being a south Asian woman today. Stories recalled and half-remembered, embedded in objects, left behind on trains and in airport lounges. Journeys and conversations between women in India and Wales.
Sisters is us at our best, our worst, our strongest, our weakest. Unadorned and visible, we just are.
This all-female work-in-progress by leading British-Asian and Indian artists aims to hold a mirror up to life as a south Asian woman today, wherever she lives; the echoes and the contradictions, the (in)visibility and the comradeship, all told with playfulness, honesty and humour.
Sisters is part of India Wales, a major season of artistic collaboration between the two countries to mark the UK-India Year of Culture, and is supported by British Council Wales, the Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International.
with Wales Millennium Centre
Part of Festival of Voice 2018
Dance House, Cardiff
English is spoken by 1.75 billion people worldwide – that’s one in every four. Non-native speakers far outnumber first-language English speakers.
What happens to your sense of self when you move someplace where you don’t really know how to say who you are?
It’s said that by the end of this century, we’ll have lost more than half the world’s languages. In June, National Theatre Wales – which itself operates in a bilingual country – will collaborate with Quarantine to create a brand new production exploring language, migration and identity, how we learn to speak, and how we learn to listen.
Quarantine was formed in 1998 by artists Simon Banham, Richard Gregory and Renny O’Shea. Over the past 19 years, the Manchester-based company have developed an international reputation for their pioneering work in re-shaping who gets seen and heard in performance, and are widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading contemporary theatre companies. Working with a shifting constellation of collaborators, the company makes theatre and other public events that are characterised by their intimacy, fragility and a playful instinct to place everyday life side-by-side with moments of rare, crafted beauty. Quarantine work with virtuosic performers and with people who have never done anything like this before – electricians, philosophers, families, soldiers, chefs, children, florists, opera singers and countless others.
NHS70: A FESTIVAL
Locations across Wales
On 5 July 1948, one of the biggest ideas ever to come out of Wales was born. The brainchild of Ebbw Vale MP and the UK’s Health Minister Aneurin “Nye” Bevan, the National Health Service was a revolutionary idea, formed along with the Welfare State during Britain’s austere post-war period, and under the principle of collective responsibility.
National Theatre Wales will celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday in July 2018 with a month-long festival, inspired by some of the founders, staff and patients of this unique institution. This countrywide tribute to the NHS will feature seven multi-platform productions and events, made and performed live across the country and online.
THE TIDE WHISPERER
Written by Louise Wallwein
Directed by Kully Thiarai
Designed by Camilla Clark
An immersive experience written by poet and playwright Louise Wallwein, The Tide Whisperer will tackle the global phenomenon of displacement and mass movement. Record numbers are on the move all over the world. What is it like to leave your home, and to live with the uncertainty of ever finding another?
The Tide Whisperer is full of stories, forever a nomad, having travelled the oceans and been carried by the tide to fresh new shores.
On the shores of Tenby, the audience gathers. The tide is turning fast and a storm is coming. The future feels uncertain – humanity is on the move and seeking refuge. Will we be met by kindness or rejection; offered sanctuary or forced to survive the perilous, treacherous sea?
The Tide Whisperer, in which audiences will take to the sea to explore the coast of Pembrokeshire by boat, will be made with a leading Welsh creative team including award-winning composer John Hardy, sound designer Mike Beer and theatre designer Camilla Clark, who grew up in the area.
A renowned and award-winning poet, playwright and performer from Manchester, Louise Wallwein has made a name for herself as an explosive artist that detonates her audiences’ imaginations. Louise was brought up in 13 different children’s homes and wrote her first play at the age of 17. Her career took off in 1998 when she performed an award-winning one-woman show on the wing of a World War II Shackleton reconnaissance aircraft, and her various experiences as a cleaner, club promoter and dancer at the Hacienda and activist for organisations such as Anti-Clause 28 and Viraj Mendis’ defence campaign have undoubtedly shaped her. Three radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC. Theatre includes Sydney Opera House, Royal Exchange, Contact Manchester and HOME mcr. She has written several outdoor spectacular shows for Walk The Plank. Glue, her acclaimed one-woman show is currently on tour was broadcast this year, when Louise was a BBC Contains Strong Language resident poet in Hull 17. Glue The Extended Remix published by Smith Doorstop is Louise’s first volume of poetry and is now on sale.