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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

Dramaturgs Wanted!

As a result of last years’ Dirty, Gifted and Welsh event, and a very interesting follow up discussion in the Writers Group on this network, I’m pleased to announce today that NTW is setting up a new Dramaturgy Project, to explore the role of the dramaturg in theatre in general and NTW in particular.

The group will involve six ‘dramaturgs’ – four of them playwrights and two not.  The group will meet…

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Posted on May 18, 2014 at 18:30 — 3 Comments

New Show Announced Today: Mametz by Owen Sheers

We’re delighted today to let everyone know about the next show in our ‘Year of Surprises’ – Mametz, by Owen Sheers.

A brand new commission from the writer of NTW’s acclaimed The Passion, Mametz is inspired by Owen’s widely-admired poem Mametz Wood, and takes place in Usk, Monmouthshire.  The production runs from 24 June to 5 July, and tickets will go on sale on April 4. 

Mametz will give audiences a vivid glimpse into life – and death – in the…

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Posted on March 27, 2014 at 10:00

Want to be 2014 Resident Artist* with NTW? (*Artists = tap-dancers, novelists, bakers, designers, mountain-climbers, computer geeks, snow-boarders, flower-arrangers, wrestlers, bass-players, you...)

As we head toward the first show in our ‘Year of Surprises’ – Raw Material, we’re calling out again to people who might like to come and spend the year with us as our Resident Artist. Some of you may remember this initiative from last year, when, out of an amazing range of applications we chose visual artist Kyle Legal to join us for the year. 

Once again this opportunity is open to artists from all sorts of backgrounds and art forms.  From ballet dancers to…

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Posted on March 6, 2014 at 22:00

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

John McGrath joined Rhian Lewis's group
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The Gathering/Yr Helfa

National Theatre Wales with Migrations & Louise Ann Wilson Company Created by Louise Ann Wilson  Written by Gillian ClarkeDogs and sheep in the dance of the slopes, the mountain deep in animal mind, hefting the weight, treading the shape of it, the knowledge, cynefin in their bones, nerves, blood A powerful exploration of the annual cycle of sheep-farming, The Gathering/Yr Helfa is the culmination of three years' observation of life at Hafod Y Llan, a working hill farm on Snowdon.  Join…See More
2 hours ago
Devinda De Silva commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Be part of NTW's Green Man//Red Woman show at the Greenman Festival in Brecon. We are looking for female volunteers to join us. You'll get a full festival pass, a per diem and we'll cover your travel costs. Deadline is…"
6 hours ago
John McGrath commented on Adam Dawson's blog post Thank you
"Thanks for this lovely blog Adam. Great to know that NTW and TEAM have been a good support for you guys. J"
23 hours ago
George Goding commented on John McGrath's group Actors
"'After a failed mutiny, three men find themselves cast adrift on a piece of wood. An arrogant Englishmen, an angry Welshman and an infuriatingly simple man from the West Country. Together, they must overcome their differences in the face of…"
Saturday
George Goding commented on John McGrath's group Writers
"'After a failed mutiny, three men find themselves cast adrift on a piece of wood. An arrogant Englishmen, an angry Welshman and an infuriatingly simple man from the West Country. Together, they must overcome their differences in the face of…"
Saturday
Andrew Sterry 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
Saturday
Devinda De Silva commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Hi TEAM. We have two creative visits coming up from Matt Peacock MBE, Chief Executive of Streetwise Opera and Dominic Shaw, Artistic Director at Urban Angel. If you'd like to attend you can find more information here."
Friday
Gavin Porter commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Hi All. We have recently launched The Big Democracy Project and similar to Assembly we are looking for groups, organisations or individuals to submit proposals. We will be working in four communities across Wales over the next year, starting in…"
Thursday
Rogue'z Theatre Company commented on John McGrath's group Actors
"Final performance of Rogue'z Theatre Company's production of Pinter's brilliantly caustic comedy, The Homecoming.  Chapter Arts Centre, tomorrow (Thursday 24th) at 8pm. Tickets available on the door, or…"
Wednesday
Lisa Wells-Turner commented on John McGrath's group Actors
"Hey everyone.  Just a reminder that the next NTW TEAM Workout session is coming up on the 9th August.  NTW Event is here; Facebook Event is here; and there's a blog about the last session here.  Anyone got any queries do drop me…"
Wednesday
Lisa Wells-Turner commented on John McGrath's group Creatives
"Hey everyone.  Just a reminder that the next NTW TEAM Workout session is coming up on the 9th August.  NTW Event is here; Facebook Event is here; and there's a blog about the last session here.  Anyone got any queries do drop me…"
Wednesday
Lisa Wells-Turner commented on John McGrath's group National Theatre Wales TEAM
"Hey everyone.  Just a reminder that the next NTW TEAM Workout session is coming up on the 9th August.  NTW Event is here; Facebook Event is here; and there's a blog about the last session here.  Anyone got any queries do drop me…"
Wednesday
Lisa Wells-Turner commented on John McGrath's group Writers
"Hey everyone.  Just a reminder that the next NTW TEAM Workout session is coming up on the 9th August.  NTW Event is here; Facebook Event is here; and there's a blog about the last session here.  Anyone got any queries do drop me…"
Wednesday
John McGrath joined Rhian Lewis's group
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Edinburgh 2014

A few of us from the National Theatre Wales office are off to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 6-8 of August, and would love to hear from you if you're there too.Comment on this group to let us know if you, your company, or a play you recommend is there the same time as us, and we will try and come along!If you're thinking of going up to Edinburgh, take a look at their website to find out what's on: https://www.edfringe.com/Thanks!See More
Wednesday
Holly Carpenter commented on John McGrath's group Actors
"13 showing at Chapter Arts Centre tonight! Directed by Catherine Paskell. £5/£10 for tickets - how can you say no to that? 7.30 pm start with a post-show talk for any questions. Tickets available on the following…"
Wednesday
Ace McCarron commented on John McGrath's group Writers
"Picking up on Alan's point number 7, remember that Glasgow is only 43minutes away. It can provide a welcome respite from the deafening blizzard of advertising that is the Fringe. Alan's point number 1 is the most important though. In the…"
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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