Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Formation Continues

National Theatre: Comment

Board, Artistic Director, Produce , National Theatre Wales , December 20, 2008
National Theatre: Comment by Board, Artistic Director, Produce 4th March 2008 Announcement of Board

The Arts Council of Wales announced today the board members for the new English Language National Theatre for Wales.

The proposals for developing a National English Language Theatre for Wales are supported by the Welsh Assembly Government. Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM, Minister for Heritage, said:

"This long cherished development has been one of my early priorities as Heritage Minister and the Arts Council for Wales should be congratulated for the sterling work it has undertaken in driving this project forward".

In December 2007, Phil George, was appointed Chair of the new organisation and the next step of finding and appointing Board Members has now been achieved. The Board Members for the National English Language Theatre for Wales will have an active involvement in the development of the ethos and structure of the new company under the leadership of the Chair. The newly appointed board members are:

Chris Ryde - Vice Chair
Steve Blandford
Jon Gower
Richard Hogger
Gemma McAvoy
Deborah Martell Powell
Judi Richards
Peter Stead

Phil George commented on the high calibre of applicants for the exciting and challenging positions within the new Theatre company:

"I was delighted by the number and the strength of applications for board membership. It shows the tide of goodwill in support of the National Theatre. The new board is full of experience, energy and diverse skills".

Chris Ryde, who has been appointed as Vice Chair, is Equity's National Organiser for Wales. He is Chair of the Wales Association for the Performing Arts, Chair of Audiences Wales, the Arts Council of Wales's audience development agency and is a Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Shrewsbury-born, Professor Steve Blandford is Associate Dean and Professor of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of Glamorgan's new Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries at the Atrium. Steve is also the Co-founder of The Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations and has over 20 years experience in working in Theatre.

Llanelli born Jon Gower is a writer, broadcaster and radio producer associated with Boomerang in Cardiff. Recent credits include documentaries about Hollywood actor Robert Mitchum's secret life as a poet and 'The Summer of Love' in 1967 in San Francisco. A former BBC Wales' arts and media correspondent, Jon has written three books, edited a further four volumes and penned one play for the stage and two for radio.

Richard Hogger is based in Capel Bangor near Aberystwyth. In 2001, he was appointed as the first Director of Creu Cymru - the Development Agency for Theatres and Arts Centres across Wales. Richard's first posts involved developing theatre practice across communities in Norfolk and Darlington, followed by nearly 10 years at Eastern Arts Board, 5 as Director, Performing Arts. He spent 6 years as Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds before moving to Wales.

Cardiff based Gemma McAvoy is currently a Theatrical Agent for Emptage Hallett Talent and Literary Agency. Previously, Gemma worked at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and as the Education Co-ordinator at the Royal Shakespeare Company. A graduate of Theatre, Film and Television Studies from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Gemma has over ten years experience in working as a theatre professional in Wales.

Deborah Martell Powell is based in the Vale of Glamorgan. Deborah has worked in a professional services environment for nearly 20 years in business consulting and internal leadership roles. She is currently a director working with the international audit, tax and advisory firm, KPMG' and has operated in both UK and European environments. Prior to joining KPMG, Deborah lectured in business strategy at the University of Wales, Cardiff.

Judi Richards currently works for Cardiff Council as Arts Manager. Judi has had an extensive career in the theatre, arts and media. Cardiff-born, she is a drama graduate of the Royal Welsh College and Music and Drama. During her career, Judi has worked with the Mid-Western Theatre Company in the US, the Royal Academy of Dancing and the Daily Express in London before returning to Wales where she has worked as Manager of the Sherman Theatre and General Manger of the New Theatre Cardiff.

Professor Peter Stead is a freelance writer and broadcaster who was a member of the History Department at Swansea University from 1966-97 and was subsequently a Visiting Professor at the University of Glamorgan. He is the author of 'Film and the Working Class:The Feature Film in British and American Society' and biographical studies of Richard Burton and Dennis Potter. For the University of Wales Press he published 'Acting Wales', an analysis of the Welsh acting tradition.

The Board will hold its first meeting on March 17 2008. Phil George commented on the next crucial stage in the development of the new theatre:

"We now face the hugely important task of finding the right artistic leader for the company"

* * * *

28th July 2008: Appointment of Artistic Director

John E. McGrath is the new Artistic Director of the English language theatre company, National Theatre Wales (NTW).

Born in Mold, North Wales and raised in Liverpool, John E. McGrath is currently the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the multi-award winning Contact Theatre, Manchester, which has established an international reputation for exciting new work, young diverse audiences, and international collaboration.

John’s previous roles include Artistic Director of Theatre Venture in Newham in London and Associate Director of the renowned Experimental Theatre Company, Mabou Mines in New York.

The proposals for developing the NTW have been supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, which announced in October 2007 that it would make a major investment to establish the new theatre company, as part of an enhanced provision for English Language Theatre in Wales. The Arts Council of Wales was then charged with the responsibility of administering the development of the NTW.

The new company will not be building-based, giving it the freedom to commission and create new productions. NTW will work closely with the existing theatrical infrastructure in Wales to create high profile productions that will sometimes move outside the traditional theatre space.

John E. McGrath will begin his new post in January 2009 and is delighted with this new challenge:

“The invitation to lead the new National Theatre Wales is the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s a chance to dream about what theatre can be; to share a conversation with the theatre-makers, audiences and wider population of Wales; and to collaborate with a huge range of artists on the creation of extraordinary new work. I look forward to the start of a truly dramatic journey!"

Phil George, Chair of NTW, welcomed John to his new role:

“John is an exciting and innovative maker of theatre for the 21st century. He has made a major impact on audiences with his remarkable company in Manchester. He also brings terrific international contacts and experience. He will lead a National Theatre that will surprise, challenge and delight”.

* * * *

9th September 2008: Incorporation of Company.

The objectives are simple albeit in a phrasing of legal contortion:

1. The Company's name is the National Theatre of Wales.

2. The Charity's registered office is to be situated in Wales

3. The Charity's objects are to To Promote and Assist in the advancement of the education of the public so far as this shall be charitable and, in particular to procure the performance of and increase the understanding of the dramatic arts in all their forms.

* * * *

December 18th 2008: Appointment of Producer

The Arts Council of Wales is delighted to announce that Lucy Davies is the new Producer of the English language theatre company, the National Theatre of Wales (NTW).

Raised in Birmingham, Lucy has roots in Maesteg and Carmarthenshire. Lucy is currently the Executive Producer at the renowned Donmar Warehouse Theatre in London, which has established an international reputation of artistic excellence presenting some of London’s most memorable award-winning theatrical experiences.

Lucy’s previous roles include Head of Studio at the National Theatre, London; Head of Development for Robert Fox Ltd, commissioning and developing a slate of feature films; and five years at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre as Literary Manager and producer of an annual new writing season.

During her time at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, Lucy has produced many prestigious productions such as ‘Othello’ starring actors, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ewan McGregor and Kelly Reilly and set up the current year-long season in the West End which includes Kenneth Branagh in ‘Ivanov’, Derek Jacobi in ‘Twelfth Night’, Jude Law in ‘Hamlet’ and Judi Dench and Rosamund Pike in ‘Madame De Sade’.

The proposals for developing the NTW have been supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, which announced in October 2007 that it would make a major investment to establish the new theatre company, as part of an enhanced provision for English Language Theatre in Wales. The Arts Council of Wales was then charged with the responsibility of administering the development of the NTW.

The new company will not be building-based, giving it the freedom to commission and create new productions. NTW will work closely with the existing theatrical infrastructure in Wales to create high profile productions that will sometimes move outside the traditional theatre space.

Lucy Davies will begin her new post in March 2009 and is delighted with her new challenge:

"I'm thrilled to be joining Artistic Director, John E. McGrath, in forging the new National Theatre of Wales, with such visionary ambitions and with such talent, hope and goodwill behind it all. It is a rare and amazing privilege and opportunity, and will be a great adventure for all of us throughout Wales and beyond."

John E. McGrath, the recently appointed Artistic Director of the NTW, welcomed Lucy to her new role:

“The new National Theatre of Wales is already causing great excitement in and beyond Wales. We are delighted to have attracted one of the UK's leading producers to take a core role in ensuring the company's success. Lucy's record in producing some of the most important shows in the UK in recent years, and her long history of supporting emerging writers, actors and other theatre artists speaks for itself. I am greatly looking forward to working with her as NTW sets out on its bold, creative journey.”

Reviewed by: Adam Somerset

back to the list of reviews

This review has been read 170 times

There are 60 other reviews of productions with this title in our database:

 

Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © keith morris / red snapper web designs / keith@artx.co.uk