Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre will present Wales’s best emerging talent to a London audience in its New Welsh Voices showcase at Theatre503 on 13 and 14 December. The programme, which brings together the members of both its writer and director development schemes established by the Sherman’s Artistic Director Rachel O’Riordan, will also provide a platform for Welsh and Wales-based performers. Sherman Theatre hopes to share the work of the best up and coming creatives it has nurtured over the past three years with a wider audience and promote the country’s exciting new work.
Six participants of Sherman Theatre’s New Welsh Playwrights Programme will present plays spanning 17th century Vienna to the modern day, featuring reconciliations, fraught relationships and unexpected guests. Now in its second year, the theatre’s New Welsh Playwrights Programme gives participants the opportunity to develop their craft under the leadership of award-winning playwright Brad Birch, and is generously supported by The Carne Trust.
Directing their pieces are members of the Sherman / JMK Directors Group, which is supported by the JMK Trust and The Carne Trust. The Directors Group develops the young and emerging theatre makers through workshops, discussions and paid development opportunities which have included engagements as Assistant Director on Sherman Theatre productions.
Based in the heart of Cardiff, Sherman Theatre is a leading producing house with a particular focus on the development and production of new work. In January 2018 Sherman Theatre became the first in Wales to win the Regional Theatre of the Year title at The Stage Awards, recognising Sherman as one of the most exciting theatres in the UK. In April 2018, Rachel O’Riordan’s production of Killology by Gary Owen, a co-production with London's Royal Court Theatre, won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre.
Rachel O’Riordan said, “One of the things of which I am most proud as Sherman’s outgoing Artistic Director is the work we have done to galvanise and structure meaningful support for emerging Welsh artists. We have developed programmes for both directors – JMK/Sherman Directors’ Group – and writers, with the New Welsh Playwrights’ Programme. I am so excited to see the work of these two groups brought together with our friends at Theatre503. It was Lisa Spirling who first introduced me to Philip Carne, without whom these initiatives would not be possible. So it is fitting we perform these bold new readings at her theatre. Developing new Welsh artists has been at the forefront of my vision here at the Sherman; over nearly five years, we have helped talented people evolve, develop and refine their craft under the guidance of excellent industry practitioners, including Brad Birch. Lack of progressive opportunities for early career writers and directors is an issue in theatre; I am delighted to be able to introduce twelve new Welsh Voices, who Sherman is honoured to have developed. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Theatre503, 503 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 3BW
To reserve seats, please RSVP to email@example.com, specifying which performance(s) you would like to attend.
Thursday 13 December
A mother’s son returns home. How do they reconcile the years between them? And where has he been?
Written by Jon Berry
Directed by Jac Ifan Moore*
Long Live the Knife (2pm)
The castration of a boy in 17th century Vienna. An experimental web game for personal surgeries. Four Players between them without a role to hide.
Written by Chris Harris
Directed by Paul Jenkins
Observations of a Sparrow (4pm)
A house overflowing with treasured belongings. A mother and daughter on the edge. An unannounced guest…
Written by Isla Ure
Directed by Luke Hereford
Friday 14 December
Two childhood friends reunited after 30 years. But what happened between them? And what happens now?
Written by Tracy Harris
Directed by Hannah Noone
Street artist Fizzla wants to get the old crew back together for one last bombing session - but why does her paint keep disappearing? And what does a teenage girl 2Coats have to do with anything?
Written by Jacob Hodgkinson
Directed by Matthew Holmquist
Ari and Glenda are trapped in their own minds. They only have each other, but for how long? Is there ever a right time to let go?
Written by Carys Jones
Directed by Siobhan Lynn Brennan
Performed in English and Welsh
*Jac Ifan Moore is a former participant of the Sherman / JMK Directors Group