Theatre in Wales

Commentary and extended critical writing on theatre, dance and performance in Wales

National Theatre Doing Visual Arts

Nohing Has Changed- Mae Dim Byd yn Wedi Newid

The direction of NTW...has led to a worrying internal culture which, despite the organisation’s name, seems to take pride in ridding itself of a theatrical identity...just one project is listed on your website for the remainder of 2018 – an exhibition of photographs taken with disposable cameras...A National Theatre Wales show has to have theatre in it...if it's not NTW should not be funding it.” -40 Playwrights of Wales, Wales Arts Review September, 2018

“A spokesperson for NTW said it was aware of the letter and claimed much of its content was “factually incorrect”. NTW declined to identify what it believed was incorrect in the letter.” -BBC, September 2018.

“Our third point is that an NTW show has to have theatre in it. This is not to put down stand-ups, artists or singers, but the company is not called National Productions Wales. Its list of artistic goals reads like a document belonging to an anti-National Theatre in London.” -Guardian, September 2018

“A National Theatre Wales show has to have theatre in it. If it’s a song, then it’s a song. If it’s a comedy night, then it’s a comedy night. But if it’s not in some sense theatre, NTW should not be funding it.” -Writers Guild, September 2018

“In recent years our members have reported their views that the company's theatrical output and ethos seems to be changing...This has led to concerns being raised at our National Committee, and that these changes are now being reflected in its artistic programme which seems to be moving away from the theatre's stated aims such as: ‘The nation of Wales is our stage, its incredible stories and wealth of talent our inspiration’. -Equity Statement, October 2018.

“Theatre is made through collective experience, by artists...with spectators, those who bear witness to the experience.” -National Theatre Wales site, October 2018

“As a national company, NTW recognises and respects that it holds a rare and privileged position that comes with huge responsibility. The company takes that responsibility very seriously. All strategic decisions are taken with great care and consideration.” -National Theatre Wales, October 2018

“First, NTW needs to revisit the question of ‘mix’ – in the rich range of what it offers it needs to have ‘marquee’ events that can attract substantial audiences, wherever this work is staged.” -Arts Council of Wales, November 2018

“We can't avoid a certain letter signed by 40 Welsh playwrights...focused on what the signatories believed to be a shortcoming in the philosophy of National Theatre Wales...It's all become a bit of a mess and conversations between NTW and the signatories have apparently been moved behind closed doors...Try as we might to talk about the great work being put on in Wales by a diverse range of artists we are forced to keep coming back to this.” -Radio Wales, January 2019

“Its role in the theatre ecology is clear. Its presence is to reduce the production of theatre for audiences of Wales.”
-Theatre Wales, April 2019.

May 2019 National Theatre Wales participates in non-theatre event.

Interview with visual artist presenting new work in, prints, quilts and a radio play produced in partnership with National Theatre Wales at:

author:Adam Somerset

original source:
01 May 2019


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