Theatre in Wales

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The internationally acclaimed 'Black Watch' to debut in Ebbw Vale     

The internationally acclaimed 'Black Watch' to debut in Ebbw Vale Black Watch, the internationally acclaimed award winning play from the National Theatre of Scotland, stages its Welsh debut in Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre next month.

'Black Watch' (c) National Theatre for Scotland
The play about the Scottish Regiment and the lives of its soldiers in Iraq has had hit reviews wherever it has been staged and US critics voted it the best theatre event of 2007 when it toured the States last year.

It is being brought to Wales through the support of the Heads of the Valleys (HoV) regeneration programme and Ebbw Vale will be the only Welsh venue during its current tour of the UK.

Supporting and promoting the arts, heritage and tourism is a key component of the HoV programme which is tackling both physical and community regeneration and geared to improve quality of life.

Attracting a world class production like Black Watch to Ebbw Vale is seen as a coup and Leighton Andrews, Deputy Minister for Regeneration, said it presented a rare opportunity for people to see first class theatre on their door step while also bringing outside audiences to Ebbw Vale.
"It's about changing perceptions and stereotyped images - it speaks volumes that Ebbw Vale is hosting the Welsh debut of Black Watch and of the National Theatre of Scotland.

"It brings an internationally acclaimed production that has toured the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to the Heads of the Valleys.
"It enables local people to enjoy a play that has delighted theatre critics around the world while also encouraging theatre goers from Wales and the West to visit Ebbw Vale and to come to the Heads of the Valleys region, perhaps for the first time, to see what the area has to offer."

It is being supported by the Heads of the Valleys because of the wide impact it will have and follows on from a number of major events that have been hosted in the region.

HoV funding will be spent on the venue, accommodation for the crew and cast, transport and marketing which will also bring direct benefits to the local economy.

Theatr Brycheiniog was not large enough to host the event in Brecon but is presenting and promoting the event together with Blaenau Gwent Arts Services and RCT Theatres.

Heritage Minister, Rhodri Glyn Thomas announced last year that the Welsh Assembly Government is to invest in the development of a National English Language Theatre of Wales which is administered by the Arts Council of Wales. The new company will be a commissioning body rather than based in one building, a model which is similar to that adopted by National Theatre of Scotland.

Welcoming the visit to Blaenau Gwent, he said:
"The success of Black Watch is exciting and inspirational and I'm delighted that the people of Blaenau Gwent will be getting the Welsh premiere of this world class play.

"We have wonderfully creative writers, actors and theatre professionals in Wales, and as well as performing in our established network or theatre and art centres, I hope the company will take performances out to centres and communities so that the whole of Wales can benefit".

Dai Smith, Chair for the Arts Council of Wales (ACW) said: "The Arts Council of Wales is thrilled to have been able to bring the National Theatre of Scotland's internationally acclaimed production of 'Black Watch' to Ebbw Vale as part of our cross-cutting work for the arts with the Welsh Assembly Government. ACW is also delighted to have the support from Leighton Andrews, Deputy Minister for Regeneration, and to facilitate the event through the Welsh Assembly Government's 'Arts Outside Cardiff' funding scheme. We hope audiences will love the show and that they will await eagerly for future productions by the newly established National Theatre of Wales".
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008back



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