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John McGrath's Blog

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

Wales Drama Award Finalists Announced

Huge congratulations to the four finalists (whittled down from a long-list of 12 then a shortlist of 6) for the Wales Drama Award - Jeremy Davies, Alyn Farrow, Alan Harris and Kelly Jones.  Here's the official press release: 
BBC Cymru Wales, National Theatre Wales and the BBC Writersroom today announce the four finalists of the 2014 Wales…
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Posted on November 21, 2014 at 17:47 — 1 Comment

Interview with Jeton Neziraj: Kosovar Politics and Balkan Theatre

Some of you may remember a visit to NTW a couple of years ago by Kosovan Playwright Jeton Neziraj.  He's been a busy man since then and I thought people would be interested to read a very informative interview with him that was conducted by Margarita Russolello as part of New York's Between the Seas Festival, where his play 'One Flew Over the Kosovo Theatre' is receiving its North American…

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Posted on August 14, 2014 at 13:32

Wales Drama Award 2014 Launches

NTW, BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Writersroom are all thrilled to be launching the 2014 Wales Drama Award.

With a first prize of £10,000, and two runners up prizes of £1,000, the award is unique in accepting entries in any full-length drama format - including, TV, theatre, film, radio, digital - underlining the versatility of today's writers across many media, and the wealth of platforms available to them.

The competition is open to any writer residing in Wales. Writers must…

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Posted on July 22, 2014 at 11:00

First NTW Dramaturgs Group Announced

Following an exciting discussion about dramaturgy in Wales inspired by last year's Dirty, Gifted and Welsh event and continued in our online Writers' Group, NTW has now appointed a group of six dramaturgs to work with the company over the next year supporting writers and exploring the characteristics of theatre writing in Wales.  We had an…

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Posted on July 21, 2014 at 16:47

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

Justin Walters 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
6 hours ago
Laura Fay Thomas commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Hi TEAM Just so you can put them in your sparkly new 2015 diaries, there are lots TEAM events to look forward to after Christmas including . . . Children's Storytelling Workshops - Llandudno, with Kelly & Elgan Workout &…"
Friday
Simon Coates commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"- CBBC NEW VOICES INITIATIVE -  CBBC is setting up a skills-based programme designed to give writers insight into writing for an ongoing children's TV series, covering all stages of the scripting process with input from experienced…"
Friday
Simon Coates commented on John McGrath's group Writers
"- CBBC NEW VOICES INITIATIVE -  CBBC is setting up a skills-based programme designed to give writers insight into writing for an ongoing children's TV series, covering all stages of the scripting process with input from experienced…"
Friday
Lisa Wells-Turner commented on John McGrath's group Actors
"Newport and Cardiff TEAM Workout dates for the New Year are finalised!  Hurray!  17th January in Newport and 21st February in Cardiff.  Blog with links to Events is here - hopefully see you soon!"
Friday
Lisa Wells-Turner commented on John McGrath's group Creatives
"Newport and Cardiff TEAM Workout dates for the New Year are finalised! Hurray! 17th January in Newport and 21st February in Cardiff. Blog with links to Events is here - hopefully see you soon!"
Friday
Lisa Wells-Turner commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Newport and Cardiff TEAM Workout dates for the New Year are finalised!  Hurray!  17th January in Newport and 21st February in Cardiff.  Blog with links to Events is here - hopefully see you soon!"
Friday
Lisa Wells-Turner commented on John McGrath's group Writers
"Newport and Cardiff Workout dates for the New Year are finalised!  Hurray!  17th January in Newport and 21st February in Cardiff.  Blog with links to Events is here - hopefully see you soon!"
Friday
James Sellers 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 hereSee More
Friday
James Sellers 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
Kevin Johnson commented on John McGrath's blog post Congratulations to Kelly Jones - Winner of the Wales Drama Award 2014
"Congratulations Kelly, you deserve it! Come on you Irons!!!"
Thursday
Sophie Hughes 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 hereSee More
Thursday
Kelly Jones commented on John McGrath's blog post Congratulations to Kelly Jones - Winner of the Wales Drama Award 2014
"Thank you all and Thanks John. I am absolutely ecstatic to have won , my cheeks are killing me from all the smiling.  I believe I owe great thanks for the support of emerging artists that is shown by NTW through TEAM Waleslab and…"
Wednesday
carmen medway-stephens commented on John McGrath's blog post Congratulations to Kelly Jones - Winner of the Wales Drama Award 2014
"can't wait to hear it !! "
Wednesday
Ben Tinniswood commented on John McGrath's blog post Congratulations to Kelly Jones - Winner of the Wales Drama Award 2014
"Here here! True words John & Well done Jones. Well deserved & well worth investing in the new Cardigan."
Wednesday
Anna Poole commented on John McGrath's blog post Congratulations to Kelly Jones - Winner of the Wales Drama Award 2014
"It's such brilliant and inspiring news!  I am over the moon for Kelly and it shows how hard work, perseverance and enthusiasm really does pay off. She is a total diamond, Dagenham woman! Well done Miss Jones. x"
Wednesday

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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