It’s just been officially announced that at the end of the year I’ll be leaving National Theatre Wales to become Artistic Director of the Manchester International Festival.
My time at NTW has been a truly wonderful experience, and the community of artists and enthusiasts I have had the privilege to be part of here has had a massive impact on me. So while there will be lots to say over the coming months, I wanted to start by saying a huge thank you to everyone in the NTW community…Continue
Posted on May 13, 2015 at 16:36 — 8 Comments
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…Continue
Posted on April 17, 2015 at 8:24
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…Continue
Posted on March 31, 2015 at 13:01
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:…Continue
Posted on March 9, 2015 at 11:35
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…Continue
Posted on March 4, 2015 at 21:30
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