National Theatre of Wales Launch
The new National Theatre of Wales has finally released its inaugural programme of events, in an on-line broadcast which somehow managed to be both slick and shambolic. Kicking off in the spring of 2010, it’s pretty impressive in terms of geographical, thematic and stylistic scope. Thirteen productions dotted all over Wales (Butetown, Barmouth, Bridgend, Brecon…); trendy young(ish) writers (Alan Harris, Gary Owen, Kate O’Reilly); trendy old writers (Gwyn Thomas, Aeschylus, and in a shock move, John Osborne); renowned exponents of physical theatre (Marc Rees, Mike Pearson); an international dimension (Rimini Protokoll); and the occasional world-famous megastar (Michael Sheen, apparently taking over the whole of Port Talbot) – its ambition is admirable. My impression is of a bias towards the visually spectacular and/or media-friendly, but I guess their first job is alerting the populace as to their existence and immediate relevance. Still, it looks as though we’ll have to postpone the whingeing for a while.