Today is the final day of work for our legendary Executive Producer Lucy Davies before she heads off to her new role at London's Royal Court. Streams of people have been coming through our offices to say goodbye, and there will be a lot more well-wishing and happy reminiscing tonight. Lucy produced 24 shows in the first three years of NTW, as well as providing inspiring leadership and support to a huge range of people. Her ability to help artists reach their very best work, to…Continue
Posted on April 19, 2013 at 16:00 — 1 Comment
Here’s a picture of the theatre space yesterday – as the designers and crew worked to construct our ‘in the round’ set, with 360˚ video projection. It’s the first time the space has been used this way at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, so everyone is very excited to see the set go in. The design…Continue
Posted on April 3, 2013 at 9:00 — 3 Comments
I’m writing this on the Toyoko Line train to Motomachi-Chukagai, where I’m heading to see an interesting-sounding performance by Chiten company at the Kanagawa Arts Theatre. It’s my day off and I’ve decided to do a theatre splurge – I spend four and a half hours this afternoon at the National Noh…Continue
Posted on March 24, 2013 at 15:54 — 3 Comments
At the centre of The Opportunity of Efficiency is the character Ken Lomax – a business consultant who measures the effectiveness and efficiency of companies’ processes and makes recommendations for re-structuring (usually involving a lot of people getting sacked). The method Ken uses to assess a business’s…Continue
Posted on March 18, 2013 at 2:54 — 9 Comments
Posted on March 14, 2013 at 15:30
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