Theatre in Wales

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smouldering passions     

Botticelli’s Bonfire is the latest production from the award-winning NYTW who return to Aberystwyth in August. Greg Cullen’s new play has been specially written for the young company, who come from all over Wales and represent the best of a new generation of performers. They will premiere Botticelli’s Bonfire at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre on September 2 (7.30pm).

The play depicts how a once enlightened city comes close to ruin as a charismatic, religious leader holds sway over a terrified population. Set in Renaissance Florence, Botticelli’s Bonfire raises strikingly modern questions as it tells the story of a groundbreaking artist who falls from favour when the forces of intolerance take a hold and attempt to ban new ideas and means of artistic expression. Books, paintings and sculptures are burnt in the streets as the followers of Savonarola, a militant Dominican Friar, seek – literally – to reduce the artistic achievements of Botticelli and his contemporaries to ashes.

The play will be given a “filmic” score with original music composed by Steve Allan Jones, a former member of The Alarm. Guest director for 2005 is Debbie Seymour, who joins NYTW for the first time. She has previously directed news plays with Paines Plough, Hampstead Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama amongst others.

The company is made up of performers aged from 16 – 21. Many are already studying at some of the UK’s leading drama colleges, including RADA, Central and the RWCMD. Pobl y Cwm actress Alex Roach (17) is also on board this summer- she plays Elin in the popular S4C soap drama.

Botticelli’s Bonfire will premiere at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre on September 2 (7.30pm) with further performances on September 3 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Box Office: 01970 623232. Tour diary: Clwyd Theatr Cymru (1.00pm & 7.30pm, September 6); Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon (7.30pm, September 7; 12.30pm, September 8); Sherman Theatre, Cardiff (1.00pm & 7.30pm, September 9; 2.30pm & 7.30pm, September 10).

“You can expect a lively show in the award-winning style that has become synonymous with the National Youth Theatre of Wales.”
(Buzz Magazine on NYTW, 2005)
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Penny Simpson
Monday, August 08, 2005back



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