'City Road' - A Pub Soap Opera


'City Road' - A Pub Soap Opera

This project largely grew from an idea for a pub soap opera I took to the NTWTeam Workouts during summer 2014. It is based on just such a soap opera I was involved in as a professional actor back in 1999 in Battersea, London under the auspices of the Battersea Arts Centre. With 'City Road' the intention is not merely to replicate what has gone before but to produce a piece of theatre that is not only relevant to its environment and that particular community but is utterly accessible. We shall also use social media to broaden the scope of the drama and its characters beyond the time spent in actual performance.

'City Road' is a largely improvised, live, real-time soap opera which will take place in a pub over a number of nights. There is no stage. The action happens right before and amongst the audience - that pub's clientele.

The characters, their lives and their issues, will, as much as possible, be drawn from those of the local community with the story lines evolving from actors' improvisations. As such, this is very much an ensemble piece.

Thanks to Emma MacNab and Peter a. Scott bringing the 'Made in Roath' festival to my attention, we have, at very short notice, managed to secure a fifteen minute slot over four nights (plus one with 3Crate) between 18-22 October.

Alas, on this occasion this is not a paid opportunity but it is my hope that in its next generation I will be able to use the MiR experience to obtain funding.

Website: http://breathcollective.co.uk
Location: Cardiff
Members: 24
Latest Activity: Aug 2, 2016

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Comment by Shane Anderson on August 2, 2016 at 21:48

Hello All,

Ok, enough of life interrupting my theatre pursuits...!  Apart from writing which was easier to squeeze in between the other things.

I am now garnering scripts from Cardiff & Pontardawe writers to produce a new show aimed towards its initial performance at 'Made in Roath'. It is called 'Shakespiration'. Details here... will be looking for actors/performers ... Aleks fancy doing a dance/movement slot... http://breathcollective.co.uk/shakespiration/

I am also changing the company name from the Breath Collective to the Breath Inventive. All news of forthcoming projects will be updated there.

Do I intend doing a new pub soap opera? Yes. Definitely.  and soon. and I'll need a Welsh speaker to help me with ACW grant proposals....

Comment by Elaine Paton on December 15, 2015 at 14:08

Hi Shane,  I couldn't get to the last Workout session as I was away working.   Please do keep me in the loop for any further developments for City Road.  The spirit of Eileen is still burning!   Best wishes, Elaine

Comment by Shane Anderson on November 24, 2015 at 22:32

Had a very productive and energising time at the Workout/Skill Swop on Sun (22/11/15). Met lots of new people - actors, writers, photographers - interested in being part of City Road in the future.

Earlier this year I met up with Rachel Miller at The Crown pub in Merthyr which could turn out to be a new and very exciting venue for our next venture.

I shall be revisiting the Crown soon and perhaps meeting other interested parties at the same time. 

Funding though is important this time. The amazing Rachel has already created a detailed spreadsheet based on previous plans, so using this as a template, I intend to push things forward in the new year.

Anyway, it was fantastic to make new friends and re-connect with old ones on Sunday.

Best to all,


Comment by Emma MacNab on February 6, 2015 at 2:54
As its where we all met, thought I'd let you know about the next workout and SkillSwap.
The next session of Workout/ Skill Swap is on February 21st in Cardiff. It is an incredible event for anyone who has a project or idea that they would like to continue to develop or an idea/script/dream, which you’re not sure how to get off the ground. It's also an opportunity to get involved in new projects and find new collaborators, or meet other theatre-makers and play for a day.

For more information and to book a place for the next one check out


Or look in the upcoming events on the community main page.
Comment by Martha Shephard on December 30, 2014 at 5:57

Hi, if you need any actors or extras for the scenes you can post the roles for free on www.tobeseen.co.uk

Comment by Shane Anderson on December 16, 2014 at 23:36

Update - apology...

I'm afraid I haven't been able to move this project forward at all recently for the simple reason that I have just been flooded out with day job demands to a degree that I haven't had for years. And in the midst of it I decide to poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick - what a stupid %&^$er!

Anyway, this is likely to continue through most of January as well. 

But there is an upside...this dosh will help to sustain me when I do get the time and headspace to once again really focus upon it. And I will.

In the meantime, why not head over to Chapter this week and see Anamnesis 25.12 to which I have contributed a Spanish-speaking vagrant ... see more here http://community.nationaltheatrewales.org/events/anamnesis-25-12-me... I shall be seeing it for the first time myself on Thursday.

Merry Christmas to one and all


Comment by Lisa Wells-Turner on November 15, 2014 at 0:48
Ouch!!! Sounds painful. Hope you're mending well. Heard about Thursday - very exciting times. If I can help just let me know.
Comment by Emma MacNab on November 15, 2014 at 0:39
Well done both! Keep going and avoid any wood chopping...
Comment by Shane Anderson on November 14, 2014 at 23:59
Resting up today after spending hours yesterday in A & E thanks being struck in the eye by a stick I was chopping for firewood - daft bugger (me not the stick). Great doctors removed splinters, stopped bleeding and all seems be ok. Needed this like a poke in....

But it's giving me a chance to catch up on some radio programmes. Don't miss this one about one of my heroes Joan Littlewood

Very helpful day on Thursday with ACW. More soon on this but we are going for a grant ...lots of work to do.
Comment by Elaine Paton on November 12, 2014 at 12:22
Thanks so much for the hard work Rhian and all the best for tomorrow xx

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