Theatre in Wales

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Missing - a new play inspired by true events and folk tales     

Missing - a new play inspired by true events and folk tales This autumn, Theatr Iolo tour their latest production ‘Missing’ which is a newly co-commissioned play by internationally renowned and award winning playwright, Charles Way.

Missing, directed by Kevin Lewis, is a gripping story of a brother desperately searching for his missing sister in a sinister world of deceit and unknown peril. It is a modern day fairytale about two poor children surviving desperate circumstances through a rich mix of imaginative power, loyalty, love and sheer cunning.

When asked, what the inspiration was behind the play, Charles Way said:

“Consol Theater in Gelsenkirchen, Germany were performing one of my plays, Red Red Shoes at a festival in Berlin and I was very impressed by the quality of the production which won several awards. The director, Andrea Kramer felt the play gave a director ‘room to move’ – and would be interested in working with me on a new project. She spoke of her desire to address the issue of ‘poverty’ since there is a great deal of ‘poverty’ in the district where her theatre is. A region, not unlike parts of South Wales with a collapsed mining industry.

I returned to Britain, and began to think of stories I knew about poverty, and ‘Hansel and Grethel’ came to mind. At the time, the tragic episode of Karen and Shannon Matthews was under discussion in the media and the family were described as ‘the new poor’. I began to address, not the ‘issue’ of poverty but the ’question’ of poverty. What is it in a country where almost everyone has their basic needs met? I then began to merge the story of Hansel and Grethel with several real life stories from across Europe where emotional poverty had led to dramatic incidents, and ‘Missing’ or ‘Looking for Grethel’ came into being. I wanted to write a text that allows a director ‘room to move’ – and as a consequence it is not written in the style of an ordinary play. The director and actors can decide who say which lines. The play has a storytelling quality but can be performed in a very physical way.

In Wales, a company well suited to developing this kind of theatre was Theatr Iolo, and as a result the play was co-commissioned by Consol Theatre and Theatr Iolo and it will be fascinating and instructive to witness two different productions from two different countries.”

Having worked with Charles Way on previous productions, Kevin Lewis, Artistic Director for Theatr Iolo said “Theatr Iolo and Theater Consol first came together to read the first draft of ‘Missing’ over a year ago, and became very excited about the possibilities open to its interpretation. Our interpretations may create two very different productions, but at the heart of both is the chilling truth of how people behave and cope with the difficulties of despair”.

As well as touring to schools and colleges in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, Theatr Iolo are pleased to be touring to venues throughout Wales and England, including The Egg Theatre (Theatre Royal Bath), Sherman Cymru Cardiff, Melville Theatre Abergavenny, Torch Theatre Milford Haven and Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea. See for details.

“The quality of Theatr Iolo work is now being recognised far beyond the borders of Cardiff and The Vale of Glamorgan”. (Michael Kelligan)

The company received a Beacon Award from the Arts Council of Wales in recognition of their reputation for excellence in a European context.

Theatr Iolo  
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Monday, September 14, 2009back



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