News Story

We gathered recently in person and virtually to share what’s coming up in 2023. We laughed, we danced, we shared, and we had a bloody good catch-up.

It was really exciting to share what's coming up over the next year.

There were also speeches! You can read Lorne's below:

In her remarkable book Donut Economics, Kate Raworth offers a simple and powerful new visualisation of what a circular model can look like. Very simply, what she suggests is that the way we visualise our economy, or our society, is critical to the way we act within it. That we must stop thinking of it as a race from a to b. We must begin to think about every aspect of what we do as an effort to exist in a utopian and profoundly possible place. A place where no individual or company or community consumes an unsustainable amount. And no individual or community is denied access to enough.

The challenge of how we do that in every aspect of our lives is sometimes overwhelmingly complex. It requires new thinking, new dreaming, new images, new pictures, and new stories told in new ways. In short, it is a challenge for the artist in every one of us. This is a time for artists, for dreamers and doers. Not the artist as a circus that rolls through town from time to time, or an individual of impossibly refined skills. The artist as a fundamental part of every human of every experience of every community of every context.

Working with the remarkable team at National Theatre Wales, the incredible freelancers of Wales, with our funders, our partner organisations and critically: communities across Wales, we have built a new plan and a new programme of work to begin to address this challenge as best we can. In deep, complex and sustained partnership with all of those people, and many more.

At the heart of the plan is the idea that the focus of NTW’s work is shifting from the place-making ethos of our first decade to change-making.

An individual is standing on a stage in front of a microphone. Their arms are open and to their left is someone interpreting their speech through BSL.
Credit: Tegan Foley 2023

So what does that mean?

In a lot of ways, our Season Launch [was] one of our first steps to finding out. To publicly, and with great excitement, say ‘we don’t know’, but within our plan and within our programme of work, this is how we intend to find out:

By learning, listening and dreaming with the people the communities and the theatre-makers in every part of Wales. By making work of real impact. By telling the stories that help us to better understand ourselves. By creating spaces of empathy, perception, shock, anger and kindness. By doing this, we play our part in the great collective endeavour of growing a better fairer sustainable society.

Here’s a snapshot of four projects we'll be making over the next year…

  1. The Cost of Living: an ambitious three-part production made in partnership with the team and Grand Ambition at the Swansea Grand, with the ever-inspirational EYST and Grangetown Pavillion Youth Forum and with a humbling array of Welsh talent, it is a conversation, it is a play, it is a gig. It is unashamedly about the moment we live in and about our rights and the many attacks upon them and about how we might resist together.

  2. Kidstown: An epic exercise in listening to and amplifying the imaginations of the children of Wales, an installational space that will visit three very different communities across wales and engage in serious play with young people on the way to broadcast the things they think and dream across the world in 2024.

  3. Circle of Fifths: A poetic musical documentary human exploration of grief, of healing of the magical relationship between humans and music. This created by Gavin Porter and a team of artists from Butetown will travel across Wales and the UK making space for a huge range of audiences to connect with the production and each other in all of their shared and private grief.

  4. Feral Monsters: A pyrotechnic joyful chaotic musical new play from Bethan Marlow about all of the mess, confusion, danger and possibility of being a young queer teenager in an overlooked place in an overlooked generation. This is a pilot of a new model of touring we are developing with venues across Wales and across the UK to spread the work of Welsh artists far and wide to share the labour of love that building new audiences and new relationships in deep and sustained partnership with theatre makers and venues.

As always for a producing theatre company, the productions are just the tip of the iceberg. Just the sprinkle on the doughnut. For now, we'll just give you a taste of everything else in the oven...

..Play On, the open play reading and feedback service we've piloted with Theatr Clwyd and Theatr Gen.

..massive plans for a festival of change led by our evolving TEAM programme.

..ways of carefully and slowly embedding ourselves in community-led collaborations and listening and learning what is wanted and what is needed. steps for Springboard providing powerful entry points and platforms for emerging artists from marginalized communities.

..collaborating with National Theatre Scotland and the National Theatre UK to drive, forward the critical next steps of the Theatre Green Book and zero-carbon producing models. with Unlimited to support a step change in scale and ambition for Welsh disabled artists.

..developing international partnerships with the Gorki in Berlin, with the Abbey in Dublin, and with the Harbourfront in Toronto.

..electrifying new work from Connor Allen, Menna Elfyn, Kath Chandler, Ed Thomas, Steven Kavuma, Hannah McPake, Seiriol Davis, Rahim El Habachi and a host of others.

So, old friends and new: welcome to the time and the challenge for us. The artists of Wales, the people of Wales. Join us as we try and figure out how to live in a doughnut. On a doughnut? Either way, there will be doughnuts.