John McGrath
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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

A Year End Gift! Raw Material Interactive and Online

In NTW's Year of Surprises - here's one more to round off 2015: 

Thanks to online digital arts platform The Space, we've been able to create a wonderful interactive web-world build from the elements of Raw Material - the site specific performance created as the opening of our Year 4 programme back in May by Marc Rees and Jon…

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Posted on December 26, 2014 at 14:00

Congratulations to Kelly Jones - Winner of the Wales Drama Award 2014

Out of a truly excellent field of candidates, it was a great pleasure to award the Wales Drama Award 2014 to up and coming writer Kelly Jones this year.  

The finalists were an even mix of theatre and TV writers, but Kelly in particular stood out as someone who has vibrant ideas for every form of drama.  Her script, Tammy, demonstrated a unique voice and a willingness to take risks that impressed all of the judges.

While it wasn't part of the judging process in any…

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Posted on December 17, 2014 at 17:31 — 6 Comments

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

Kit Lambert commented on John McGrath's group Writers
"Story Writing Competition – Machynlleth Comedy Festival Would you like to have your story performed at Wales’ finest comedy festival?  This year we are pleased to announce the very first Mach-a-nory Story night at the Machynlleth…"
2 hours ago
Emma MacNab commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"£5 TICKET OFFER FOR TEAM MEMBERS! Want to see 3 Crate Production's next show 'Blavatsky's Tower' for a fiver? We're excited to be offering TEAM members discounted tickets at only £5 for Moira Buffini's…"
2 hours ago
Natasha Borton 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
Bethan Langford 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
Friday
Natasha Borton joined John McGrath's group
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Writers

An Official National Theatre Wales GroupWriters who want to be part of National Theatre Wales, share ideas, get feedback from each other, and hear about opportunitiesSee More
Thursday
Laura Fay Thomas commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"We have a very exciting announcement to make!TEAM are getting together with Triforce to bring you Monologue Slam UK - The industry showcase for actors! 18th May- Cardiff Want to perform?- Auditions are 11th April: You can book your audition slot…"
Thursday
Carrie Rhys-Davies and Joshua Kroon 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
Wednesday
Ciaran Fitzgerald and claire hathway 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
Wednesday
Lowri Palfrey 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
Wednesday
Gethin Evans commented on John McGrath's group Writers
"New writing opportunities at The Sherman, take a look! http://www.shermancymru.co.uk/writing/"
Wednesday
Gethin Evans commented on John McGrath's group Creatives
"New writing opportunities at The Sherman, take a look! http://www.shermancymru.co.uk/writing/ ;"
Wednesday
Laura Fay Thomas commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Would you like to work for National Theatre Wales? We're looking for an Education TEAM Assistant to join us. More details including application information HERE "
Mar 24
Gemma Fraser-Jones, Carla Carter and Fiona Curtis 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
Mar 24
John McGrath commented on Rhian Lewis's group Mother Courage and Her Children
"Hi Mother Couragers - thanks for joining our group.  I thought I'd pop in to say hi and give you a quick update on how things are going. Today, fingers crossed, I think we finally finished auditions!  We have to talk to actors and…"
Mar 23
John McGrath commented on rachel rosen's blog post Trialog: Y Fenyw Ddaeth O'r Mor + Critical Chinwag + Sibrwd ap
"Great to hear that you had such a good experience Rachel.  I saw the same production at the Sherman, also helped by Sibrwd, and found it a very stimulating night of theatre."
Mar 23
Lewis Gwyther commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Hello Team team. Just a quick offer for Team people. Earthfall are looking for rehearsal guests to come along and be a test audience for their latest piece Stories from a Crowded Room.  There are two dates, this Thursday 3:00-5:00 and Thursday…"
Mar 23

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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