Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news

SHERMAN CYMRU BECOMES WALES’ FIRST PRODUCING HOUSE TO TRANSFER TO LONDON’S NATIONAL THEATRE     

SHERMAN CYMRU BECOMES WALES’ FIRST PRODUCING HOUSE TO TRANSFER TO LONDON’S NATIONAL THEATRE
GARY OWEN’S IPHIGENIA IN SPLOTT PROGRAMMED AS PART OF NATIONAL THEATRE’S SPRING SEASON

NEWS COMES DAY AFTER ANNOUNCEMENT OF NOMINATION FOR BEST NEW PLAY AT UK THEATRE AWARDS

SUCCESS OF RACHEL O’RIORDAN’S PRODUCTION FURTHER CEMENTS SHERMAN CYMRU’S COMMITMENT TO PROFILING NEW WELSH WRITING

Sherman Cymru has broken new ground for Welsh theatre this week with the announcement that its acclaimed production of Iphigenia In Splott will feature as part of the National Theatre’s Spring ‘16 programme, announced yesterday by Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre. This is the first time a Welsh producing house will transfer work to the National Theatre; and marks a significant triumph for Sherman Cymru under the reinvigorated artistic leadership of Rachel O’Riordan. The news comes the day after the announcement of Iphigenia In Splott’s nomination for Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards.

Rachel O’Riordan, Artistic Director said: “We’re delighted to be part of the National Theatre’s new season. The vision that Rufus Norris has outlined is vibrant and inclusive; Sherman Cymru is proud to be part of it and to be the first Welsh theatre to transfer their work to this wonderful venue”

O’Riordan’s acclaimed production of Welsh playwright Gary Owen’s powerful one-woman show and searing indictment on life under austerity has captured the imagination of UK audiences. Since premiering in Cardiff at the Sherman in May 2015 - a day after the general election result - the production has gone on to achieve huge success at Edinburgh as part of the British Council Showcase, claimed by many to be a stand-out production of the festival. The performance secured Welsh actor and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama graduate Sophie Melville ‘The Stage Award for Acting Excellence’, before returning home to Wales for a repeat run in Cardiff due to overwhelming public demand.

Fusing coarse poetry with references and language dedicated to Splott, Gary Owen’s Iphigenia In Splott is an ode to one of Cardiff’s most infamous and longstanding deprived communities, while sharing a universal message and relevance that has secured its transfer from Cardiff to one of Europe’s most revered theatrical programmes.

The National Theatre’s Director, Rufus Norris said: “We’re delighted to be bringing Sherman Cymru's production of Iphigenia In Splott to the National's Temporary Theatre following its success in Cardiff and Edinburgh. London audiences need the chance to see this vivid, intense and devastating piece. It's exactly the type of programming the Temporary Theatre was created for and a powerful reminder of the essential new writing being produced by theatres across the country.”

The production will run in the National Theatre’s 225 seat Temporary Theatre from 27 January – 20 February 2016, as part of a programme of work that the National Theatre presents as original, ambitious and unexpected.

This unprecedented achievement by a Welsh producing house is an important milestone for Sherman Cymru under Rachel O’Riordan’s Artistic Directorship and further cements its drive and combined commitment to the development of new writing in Wales, alongside a programme of classic text.

Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Wales said, “This is an extraordinary piece of theatre which received truly remarkable praise at the recent Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It’s a leading example of so much innovative work being created in Wales at the moment and creative people and organisations from across the UK are looking at Wales with interest.”

O’Riordan’s next main house production for Sherman Cymru is a bold new production of Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece, A Doll’s House, playing at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff from 9 – 24 October 2015.
 
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