Theatre in Wales

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DAFYDD JAMES & BEN LEWIS BRING A TOUCH OF THE OCCULT TO WALES’ VILLAGE HALLS For the second production in their second year – and its very first musical – National Theatre Wales will tour village halls across the country, with a surreal and immersive music theatre piece – The Village Social. This show is co-created by the award-winning Dafydd James and Ben Lewis, the duo behind the Edinburgh Fringe cult hit My Name Is Sue, winner of the Total Theatre Award for Music and Theatre 2009.

Loosely inspired by Euripides’ The Bacchae, and described by its creators as ‘The Vicar of Dibley meets The Wicker Man’, the The Village Social tells the story of an apparently innocent and genteel community fundraising evening that soon descends into hysteria and debauchery. This warped and wickedly funny piece will be performed in village halls across Wales, bringing with it a village social like no other.

The evening’s delights include entry into the raffle, a refreshment of your choice and a depraved orgy of blood.

John McGrath, National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director, said: “Dafydd James is one of the most exciting Welsh theatre artists of his generation – he combines a unique sense of humour with extraordinary musical talent. Director and co-writer Ben Lewis has already proved himself an extraordinary talent too, especially in his work with Inspector Sands. I am thrilled that they will be creating National Theatre Wales’ first musical for us.”

Dafydd James trained at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) and is a composer, writer and performer. My Name is Sue, which he performed and co-created with Ben Lewis, won the Total Theatre Award for Music and Theatre 2009. Recently he has translated Spring Awakening for Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. His critically acclaimed play Llwyth will be co-produced by Sherman Cymru and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru as part of this year’s British Council Showcase, at the Edinburgh Festival. He is also developing the screenplay. The Hunting of the Snark, one of his first theatrical scores, won the Cameron Mackintosh Award.

Ben Lewis is a writer, director and performer, and trained at LAMDA. He co-created and directed My Name Is Sue (Soho Theatre/touring, Total Theatre Award 2009) with Dafydd James. He is co-Artistic Director of Inspector Sands, and co-created its shows, If That’s All There Is (EIF Award 2009) and Hysteria (Total Theatre Award 2006), which have toured extensively, most recently to Brits Off Broadway 2010. If That’s All There Is will also be performed at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. The company is currently developing its third show, Mass Observation (working title) with support from the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre Studio and the Almeida. Ben has also written two plays for BBC Radio 4; Blue Sky Thinking and Tiny.

Carys Eleri’s theatre credits include: Romeo a Juliet, Plas Drycin, Hen Rebel, and T_ Bernarda Alba (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru). Television credits include: Pobol y Cwm (BBC Wales). Film credits include: Merlin and the War of the Dragons.

Rebecca Harries’ television credits include: Belonging and The Bench (BBC Wales);
Con Passionate (Apollo); Teulu (Boomerang); Darllen 'Da Fi, Pentre Bach and Caffi Sali Malie (Sianco); Labordy 04321 (Cwmni Da); and Outside The Rules (BBC).

Darren Lawrence’s theatre credits include: The Passion (National Theatre Wales/Wildworks); Romeo & Juliet (Mokitagrit); Elegies For Angels Punks, Raging Queens With Black Box, and The Beach (Cockpit Theatre); Dick Whittington (Leeds City Varieties); Erogenous Zones, Saturday Night Forever, and All’s Fair (Sherman Theatre); Butterflies Are Free (The Mermaid); Nothing To Pay (Thin Language Theatre Company); and The Marriage (Three Legged Company). Television credits include: Days That Shook The World, Broken Glass, Lipstick On Your Collar (BBC); and Nuts & Bolts (HTV Wales). Radio credits include: On The Throne (BBC Radio 4).

Gwydion Rhys’ theatre credits include: Fresh Apples/Fale Surion (Cwmni’r Fran Wen); Cwrw, Chips A Darlith Deg (Arad Goch); Iesu (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru); Farewell Fair Cruelty, A Simple Twist Of Fate, and Woyzeck (whilst training at Trinity College).
Musical Credits include: Clymau and Heb Ei Fai (whilst training at Trinity College).
Television credits include: Zanzibar and Marcaroni A’r Lwli Lw (S4C).

Sue Roderick’s theatre credits include: Servant of Two Masters (Wales Theatre Company); 3 Minute Hamlet (Looking Glass Theatre); Granny Annie (Grass Roots); How the Other Half Loves, SAP, and Under Milk Wood (Welsh Drama Company); and the pantomimes Cinderella and The Wizard of Oz (New Theatre, Cardiff). Television credits include: Ista’nbwl, Caerdydd, Pobol Y Cwm, Licyris Olsorts and Dinas (S4C); Streets of Gold, Trip Trap, Oliver’s Travel, The Life of Eliza, Casualty, The Lifeboat, Selected Exits and Penny For Your Dreams (BBC); Mortimer’s Law, Satellite City, and The Max Boyce Show (BBC Wales); A Mind To Kill, The Committee and To Each His Own (HTV); The Bill, Coronation Street, End of Season and Shelley (ITV); The Angry Earth (Channel 4). Film credits include: Patagonia, Twin Town, Morphine & Dolly Mixtures, Rebecca’s Daughter and Hedd Wyn. Radio credits include: Tree of Liberty (BBC Wales), Burnt (BBC Radio 4) and Born in Rhymney (BBC Radio Wales).

Oliver Wood’s theatre credits include: A Good Night Out In The Valleys (National Theatre Wales); Sunflowered, Desire Lines, Shadow Of A Boy, Waves In The Chatroom and Speakeasy (Sherman Cymru); Cinderella (Torch Theatre); Fiddler On The Roof (Aberystwyth Arts Centre); Sleeping Beauty (New Wolsey Theatre); Electricity (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Merchant Of Venice, Twelfth Night, Cymbeline (New Theatre, Cardiff); The Owl Service (Theatre Royal, Plymouth) and Romeo and Juliet (English Touring Theatre). Television credits include: Crash, Belonging and High Hopes (BBC Wales); and Green Green Grass (BBC). Film credits include London Boulevard (G K Films) to be released in 2010. Radio credits include Pavement Stars, Truth Or Dare, Running Away With The Hairdresser and Steel Stitches (Radio 4).

The Village Social is produced with the support of the Arts Council of Wales’ Night Out scheme, and with Pontio at Mynydd Llandegai Village Hall.
National Theatre Wales  
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Sunday, August 21, 2011back



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