1 May 2020
- National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru announce the theatre artists behind the first round of Network New Digital Commissions
- First of Network Play Reading to be streamed this weekend
Following the launch of their Network programme earlier this month, National Theatre Wales (NTW), who have joined forces with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Sherman Theatre have today released further news about the digital season.
Working alongside Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru to produce Network New Digital Commissions, and producing house Sherman Theatre, to develop Network Play Readings, NTW’s new digital programme aims to create opportunities for theatre makers while helping audiences, communities and artists to come together whilst we are all kept apart.
After a hugely encouraging response to the original callout for submissions NTW and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru are pleased to announce the first three Network New Digital Commissions. Theatre makers from across Wales were invited to put forward innovative, exciting and human responses for live digital theatre during the ongoing lockdown. Artists Emily Laurens, Justin Teddy Cliffe and Eddie Ladd, have been chosen to lead Network’s opening season for new commissioned digital performances.
Lorne Campbell, Artistic Director at National Theatre Wales said “After an overwhelming response of quality, originality and ambition we are delighted to be announcing our first round of digital commissions. It is a credit to the diversity and depth of the Welsh theatre community that this was such a difficult decision. In this first round we have gone with three applications that have approached the idea of liveness in a digital space and explored the possibility of form with real innovation. I can’t wait for this work to meet audiences over the coming weeks.”
Alongside Network New Digital Commissions, the first of the Network Play Readings, in collaboration with Sherman Theatre, will be streamed this weekend. Network Play Readings will showcase the talent of companies and creatives across Wales. The first confirmed play, Ripples, by Tracy Harris,directed by Matthew Holmquist and performed by students of Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, will be streamed on Saturday 2 May at 7.00pm.
Lorne Campbell went on to say “We are also very excited to be premiering the first of our digital play readings this Saturday with Tracy Harris’ Ripples, I’ve seen some of the dress rehearsals and it is going to be a real treat.”
Opening the season for New Digital Commissions are:
Emily Laurens – Dream a little Dream for me
Emily is a multidisciplinary artist who will turn people’s dreams during the lockdown period into puppetry performances accompanied by live, improvised music.
Justin Teddy Cliffe – Life Coach
Justin is a theatre maker who works across multiple disciplines and is one half of Tin Shed Theatre Co. Life Coach is a multi-platform exploration and satirisation of self improvement gurus and online wellness trends.
Eddie Ladd – Ynys Las
Eddie has been a physical theatre performer for over 30 years. Eddie will create a deep map of her family farm in rural West Wales where she currently finds herself, isolating with her mother. She’ll explore the history of Maesglas, stories, interviews, fantasy elements, geological notes and everything that shapes this miniature world.
NTW are working with Welsh based streaming platform AM to deliver their work to audiences https://www.amam.cymru/
Network Play Readings to be streamed:
Ripples, by Tracy Harris and directed by Matthew Holmquist was originally commissioned for Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s new writing festival, NEW: 2020, in collaboration with Sherman Theatre and will be the first play presented in partnership with Sherman Theatre as part of Network Play Readings. For a while it looked like the play wouldn’t be seen by audiences as the run at RWCMD was cancelled the day before opening as a result of the closures due to COVID-19 pandemic. Having been revised and adjusted for an online format, this Saturday will see the original cast of final year RWCMD acting students performing a virtual version of the play which follows eight strangers who join an online rehab group to revisit and replay the traumas of their past.
NTW and Sherman Theatre will deliver play readings by Welsh theatre companies – The Other Room, Powder House and Dirty Protest over the coming weeks. Broadcast dates will be announced soon.
Network was born from National Theatre Wales in response to the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown. It was designed to provide vital job opportunities for the performance industry while connecting, engaging and sharing moments with audiences and communities through live, online theatre during this period of social isolation.
Network is delivered in partnership with BBC Arts, BBC Cymru Wales, Sherman Theatre and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.
The call out for the second round of commissions for Network’s New Digital Commissions is underway. Artists are invited to submit their ideas which can work as a piece of live theatre online. The next deadline for submissions is Wednesday 6 May 2020 at 4.00pm.
For further information about Network and the available opportunities, visit www.nationaltheatrewales.org