John McGrath
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Have Courage Karen!

Am on the train to Merthyr Tydfil, trying to keep up with my life coaching!  Our project with the brilliant Blast Theory - Karen - launched yesterday in the iTunes App Store (Android follows soon), while I'm rehearsing Mother Courage in Merthyr Tydfil.  Even for NTW with all our digital work, it's unusual to have a…

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Posted on April 17, 2015 at 8:24

The Last Days of Laura K: A New Immersive Digital Mystery

Our friends at BBC Writersroom have just released an incredibly exciting and ambitious new piece of work online.  Working with leading UK writers and a top production team, The Last Hours of Laura K is a ground-breaking digital experience placing the audience at the heart of the story. Using 24 hours of footage from the fictional surveillance programme, SaturnEye, this is a disconcertingly intimate, unfiltered and impartial look into Laura’s last hours before her death. As Kate…

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Posted on March 31, 2015 at 13:01

Why stop at 5 when you can have 10!

Thanks for all the fantastic responses to our Year 5 announcements last week.  We've really enjoyed launching our new programme in such a unique way, and we're glad you all seem to have enjoyed our week of video gifts!

But why stop there?  As well as the five large-scale productions we told you about last week, there are lots of other things going on at NTW, including five more projects which will be central to our work for the year. 

Here are the details:…

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Posted on March 9, 2015 at 11:35

Half way through - or are we?

Great to get such wonderful feedback to the first three of our Year 5 shows over the past few days.  I have to say, even though I've known what is in each of the video gifts, I've still been delighted, and sometimes a bit surprised (I'm not very good at waking up so anything at 8am surprises me) to get the gifts on my phone each morning.

Thursday is a little different in style - I hope you enjoy it, it's one of my favourites.

And yes - at three of five we're now more than half…

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Posted on March 4, 2015 at 21:30

Year 5 - Here We Go!

We've been having great fun this morning with the first day of our Year 5 Launch.  We've announced one show today - with more to come throughout the week.  If you weren't one of the clever folk who signed up for a morning wake up message with a digital gift and full details, don't worry, the info will be released at nationaltheatrewlaes.org at 12 noon.

And you can add yourself to the morning VIP list by texting NTWY5 ENG…

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Posted on March 2, 2015 at 10:45

John McGrath, Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales

My job at National Theatre Wales is to build a community of theatre makers and theatre goers who together can create performances that change the way we look at the world. That's what great theatre does, sometimes for a moment and sometimes for a lifetime. And that's what we want to do here in Wales.

I've been a theatre director since my early twenties. The first ever show I directed (excluding embarrassing bossing around of family members and friends) was Trevor Griffith's extraordinary play 'Comedians' when I was a student. I felt that it was a play that talked about a world I understood. I loved it's punky energy as well as its real life relevance. During the interval we ran bingo games for the audience and I also realised that theatre feels best when great writing and performance combine with an audience who are alive and kicking!

I went on to work back in my hometown of Liverpool during the 80s, and I feel that there were many reflections of Wales (where I was born but only lived for a few years) in that time of desolating poverty and creative anger on Merseyside. Then I escaped to New York for a year, to train properly as a theatre director, and ended up staying for almost a decade in a city that stole my heart! I worked with some extraordinary performers and companies there and New York is the place that shaped me as a theatre director.

But it was when I arrived at Contact Theatre in Manchester in 1999 that all the bits of my life came together into an epic adventure - recreating a theatre for a young urban audience, working with artists from all over the world and, it sometimes felt, reinventing theatre on a daily basis.

In Wales, I want to apply the lessons I've learned in Liverpool, New York and Manchester in a whole new environment. I hope that the people I meet here online and throughout Wales will share ideas with me, argue with me, inspire me and challenge me, and that together we will create a new national theatre that is like nothing anyone has seen before!

I'm on twitter @john_ntw

Latest Activity

steven elliott joined John McGrath's group
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National Theatre Wales TEAM

An Official National Theatre Wales GroupTEAM is for anyone who is interested in being part of National Theatre Wales, getting involved in theatre or meeting new people. Join the group now to hear about any forthcoming meetings and opportunities.You can find our Facebook page hereLet us know about your experience with TEAM and help us to continue improving by filling in our short survey …See More
Friday
Mawgaine Tarrant-Cornish commented on John McGrath's group Actors
"Hi everyone,  We are now casting for ILIAD, NTW's epic production at Ffwrnes in Llanelli, to be directed by Mike Pearson and Mike Brookes. Read the breakdown here and find out about the show and see the teaser here. We're…"
Friday
Ray Thomas joined John McGrath's group
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Creatives

An Official National Theatre Wales GroupDirectors, designers, choreographers, composers, production people... A group for everyone who is interested in Creative Production at National Theatre Wales.See More
Thursday
Steve Bennett commented on John McGrath's group Actors
"Sunday Night Project presents The Game by Louisa Bryant. Performed at The Little Man Coffee Company on Sunday 3rd May. This one act play starts at 6:30 allowing you to enjoy your culture, coffee and cake then go home at a reasonable hour on a…"
Thursday
Life Venture Arts commented on John McGrath's group Creatives
"Actors Experience is back tonight!! Learn all you need to know about auditions and finding the right monologue to showcase your talent! Wales Millennium Centre 18:00 - 21:00  "
Thursday
Life Venture Arts commented on John McGrath's group Actors
"Actors Experience is back tonight!! Learn all you need to know about auditions and finding the right monologue to showcase your talent! Wales Millennium Centre 18:00 - 21:00 "
Thursday
Peter Cox MBE commented on John McGrath's group Writers
"Dear friends and colleagues old and new... much as I would love to come round and knock on everyone's door and tell them about my latest show...  to be honest I'm a little bit busy with it...   ...hope some of you can come...…"
Thursday
Laura Fay Thomas commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"We're looking for a Box Office Manager for upcoming NTW Show Mother Courage and Her Children- could this be you? Read more HERE"
Wednesday
Laura Fay Thomas commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"TEAM Placements TEAM are offering Placements on,(150), National Theatre Wales & Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s upcoming production in association with S4C, in June/July in Aberdare in these three areas . . .   Stage…"
Wednesday
John McGrath joined Rhian Lewis's group
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Karen

Karen is now live and ready for you to download. To take part, just search 'Karen by Blast Theory' and download the free Karen App from the App store NOW.Karen is a life coach and she’s happy to help you work through a few things in your life. When you begin, she asks you some questions about your outlook on the world to get an understanding of you.As the story unfolds and she gets to know you, she gets more and more curious. She seems to know things about you that she shouldn’t. Where is this…See More
Apr 17
Louise Osborn joined John McGrath's group
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Actors

An Official National Theatre Wales GroupActors who want to hear about news and opportunities at National Theatre Wales, and keep in touch with each other.Curated by Mawgaine.View the National Theatre Wales Casting Policy…See More
Apr 17
James Robert Auheb commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"'Someone Who'll Watch Over Me' is on tonight at St. David's Hall. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be glad you came! It's an amazing play with three very talented performers, second night tonight, only…"
Apr 17
Mike Salmon commented on John McGrath's group Actors
"Hello actorsA call-out for a new research and development in the discussion forum. Please share. http://goo.gl/0BBoZd"
Apr 17
Sophie McKeand commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Helloooo again! Another blog about a visit to see the brilliant Tocyn i Ble by Cwmni Cofis Bach :) http://community.nationaltheatrewales.org/profiles/blogs/tocyn-i-ble-gan-cwmni-cofis-bach"
Apr 17
Sophie McKeand commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Hiya! A blog about recently representing TEAM panel at Casgliad2015 :) http://community.nationaltheatrewales.org/profiles/blogs/casgliad-2015-youth-arts-network-cymru"
Apr 17
John McGrath posted a blog post

Have Courage Karen!

Am on the train to Merthyr Tydfil, trying to keep up with my life coaching!  Our project with the brilliant Blast Theory - Karen - launched yesterday in the iTunes App Store (Android follows soon), while I'm rehearsing Mother Courage in Merthyr Tydfil.  Even for NTW with all our digital work, it's unusual to have a project out and about across…See More
Apr 17

Profile Information

What I do:
Artistic Director, National Theatre Wales
A little more about me:
Theatre Director, trained in New York, currently working with artists across Wales and beyond to create a new National Theatre in Wales.
Location:
Wales
Projects I’m working on:
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning NTW18
In Water I'm Weightless NTW20
Personal Website/CV:
http://nationaltheatrewales.org
Twitter @username:
john_ntw

Comment Wall (43 comments)

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At 12:07 on March 14, 2014, Sam Harding said…
Hey John. I remember chatting to you about NTW casting not long ago, and following up from that I've seen the breakdown Sarah Leigh put out yesterday. Again its a case of ticking boxes, army training, Cardiff base, musical/dance ability, etc. Really hope I get a chance to audition for ou guys this time!

All the best.
At 11:40 on March 5, 2014, Phil Croskin said…

Got a lot out of the workshop last Sunday, John.

I hope you did too!

Many thanks.

Phil Croskin

At 11:38 on February 27, 2014, Nerea Martinez de Lecea said…

Hi John, Here's the link to yesterdays BBC show I was on. If you scroll to about 130mins, you'll find the BHC feature (and eventually, me) X http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03wg07c

At 13:19 on January 15, 2014, Ailsa Richardson said…

I didn't say where I am based - in Mountain Ash, between Pontypridd and Aberdare.

At 13:17 on January 15, 2014, Ailsa Richardson said…

Have been meaning to make contact since NTW began and a conversation with Carl Lavery has pushed me into action - he said 'I must talk to you'. I do find the approaches you have been finding in NTW inspiring and imaginative so its about time I got in touch! I grew up in West Wales and have been active making work as director and performer in the South West and Wales since 1996. For various reasons in the last 6 years I have been more engaged with teaching and research. I think it is time now to make work, be a practitioner again, I have a number of ideas which are perhaps 'at the edges of theatre' that I would like to develop, and am wondering how I might weave something into the NTW net(work). Could we have a chat sometime as I am not sure how my experience and skills best fit into the different channels of development you have at NTW? You can see some information on my profile page and my website is www.ailsarichardson.com Best, Ailsa 

At 7:41 on July 28, 2013, Leslie Herman Jones said…

Would like to know more about In Water I'm Weightless NTW20. Can you direct me to this please?

Thanks

At 20:25 on February 3, 2013, Jan Miller said…

Hi John - didn't get a chance to say hello or even goodbye yesterday... we'd had a punishing journey down on the rugby train and were under pressure to shove back on to get home again - 2 carriages! can you believe it???   we survived standing for 2 hours and got seats around Ludlow... despite that, Film Team had an amazing time - thanks again to you all for a fantastic party! 

At 12:43 on December 12, 2012, Ray Thomas said…

Hello John,

Really interested in getting more involved with NTW, despite my age! Any advice about Group/s to join please? Acting and Directing work to date mainly with schools, Colleges, and some Adult groups, but keen to do more and to network! Have offered to work on a voluntary basis at NTW if appropriate and required.

At 10:35 on September 8, 2012, Wendy Hubbard said…

Many thanks John

Wendy

At 18:07 on August 14, 2012, Kelly Jones said…
Hey John
Hope you are well. Have noticed people commenting about the BBC writers award, I havent received anything in the post- when should I hear by?
Kelly x
 
 
 

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