Mother Courage and Her Children


Mother Courage and Her Children


by Bertolt Brecht

in a translation by John Willett

revised by Ed Thomas

Director: John E McGrath

Composer & Musical Director: Dafydd James

National Theatre Wales returns to its birthplace in the south Wales valleys for the first production in its fifth season - a bold, anarchic  new version of Bertolt Brecht’s 1939 anti-war play performed in and around the Merthyr Labour Club.


Hinterland creator Ed Thomas returns to the stage to adapt, NTW artistic director John McGrath will direct and My Name is Sue composer Dafydd James will write original music, mixing Brecht’s world with the Saturday-night spirit of Merthyr.


Mother Courage has been described as the greatest play of the twentieth century. Performed by a cast of nine great Welsh actresses, in the gutsy English of the South Wales Valleys, and in the context of our own unending wars, this will be a defiantly twenty-first century version.


Tickets are on sale now

Find out more here

Location: Merthyr Tydfil
Members: 48
Latest Activity: May 12, 2016

Discussion Forum

Cerian Richards Community Cast Member from Merthyr College

Cerian shares her thoughts on why you should come and see Mother CourageContinue

Started by Jain Boon May 5, 2015.

Community Ensemble - Mother Courage 2 Replies

Kayleigh Adlam week I met Kayleigh in Merthyr Labour Club, she is a member of the Women's Community Ensemble working on Mother…Continue

Started by Jain Boon. Last reply by Jain Boon May 5, 2015.

Armed Forces in Wales 1 Reply

Mother Courage is set during a period of wartime and National Theatre Wales' production is to be staged in Merthyr Labour Club. With this in mind, I had look for some stats about the armed forces in…Continue

Tags: NTWMother

Started by Megan Roseblade. Last reply by National Theatre Wales Mar 4, 2015.

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Comment by Emma MacNab on May 12, 2016 at 3:02

Hi! Just wanted to let people know that there is a  ticket offer for in Merthyr tomorrow at Redhouse Theatre.

£5 tickets are available Friday 13th May
TEAM members to quote 'BLAVSTOWER' when booking tickets via Redhouse box office on 01685 384111
Blavatsky's Tower was picked by Lyn Gardner as one of her top theatre picks this week! 

 'Just watched @3crate production of #BlavsTower wow! What a fantastic show, massive well done to all the cast!' 
     'Excellent show tonight by @3crate #BlavsTower - congratulations to all involved' 
      'Great performance by @3crate - plot twists here, there and everywhere! Great watch. Thank you! #BlavsTower' 
     'Bloody great it was! Get along and see @3crate #BlavsTower'
'So pleased I got to see @3Crate 's #blavstower the other night. What an impressive show, I am stunned in all the right ways. Wow wow wow.'
Comment by Emily Wilden on May 22, 2015 at 1:41

As its now the last day of Mother Courage I just wanted to say what an absolute pleasure it has been to be a part of this production. Even though I have just been watching from the box office and ushers seat, I’ve been able to see it develop and grow, and every night I have noticed something new that I hadn’t seen before. It's truly a beautiful piece, and I have also not been able to get the songs out of my head!!

Also, the amount of excitement and interest we have had from local residents has been amazing, and from their feedback you can tell how pleased and proud they are to have this production in their home town!

It has been a lovely few weeks and I am sad to see it coming to an end. So good luck, have a brilliant last show and I’ll see you there!

Thank you.

Comment by Lynnett Evans on May 6, 2015 at 20:44
Wow !!!! what an experience being part of the dress rehearsal last night. As a member of the community chorus it was my first chance to see the play in its entirety and what a play it is. The whole thing was amazing !!! I experienced every emotion possible, I feel so lucky to be able to have the opportunity to work with such a talented group of people. I am so looking forward to the next two weeks, thank you National Theatre Wales for coming to Merthyr Tydfil.
Comment by Leah on May 6, 2015 at 20:04

Wishing a world of luck to all of the wonderful community, cast, crew, creatives, organisers, producers - everyone! Thank you for letting me document the process and be a part of the beautiful journey! Thinking of you all and knowing it will be marvellous L*

Comment by Anna Shaw on May 6, 2015 at 5:24
Lovely photos! I'm getting very excited about this show and Dress rehearsal tonight. I've been dashing around trying to sort out kids' tea and find something to wear. As a mdmber of the community chorus I'm hoping to get away with a different outfit every night ...any excuse to get dressed up. ...but I thought it best to try the worst possible combination for the dress rehearsal. So we'll see how I fare trying to swing my leg up on a table in a short skirt and heels. In general I'd say I'm safer on a pair of stilts than a pair of heels so it shoukd be an interesting experiment to see if I can walk, let alone dance in them.
Really enjoyed the technical rehearsal on Monday night. Even though there is lots oc sitting around at these rehearsals it's still fascinating to see all the little details coming together and watch the performers in action. I can't wait!
Comment by Hannah Nelms on May 5, 2015 at 4:18
The photos are great... Thursday will be EPIC!
Comment by Leah on May 5, 2015 at 2:45

Photo imagery of the brilliant Mother Courage experience in Merthyr Tydfil can be found on my blog To Mother Courage With Love - this will be regularly updated throughout the month of May.


Comment by Nicola Reynolds on May 2, 2015 at 1:04
It's Saturday lunch time. I'm sat on the train from Merthyr to Cardiff contemplating the last of our Saturday morning rehearsals, the ensuing tech and opening next week of NTW's all female Mother Courage.

I'm a Mum to a teenager about to start her GCSE's, a partner, a home runner, a teacher, an actress and a pet's an hour and a half commute either way to rehearsals in Merthyr (if I don't get a lift from the utterly incorrigibly delightful Donna Edwards) and a full day of rehearsals in between. I'm knackered. And I'm feeling emotional and elated. This job is a revelation in so many ways. When I told friends I got the job and it was all female, all over 40 and all seriously seasoned, experienced, actresses a common response was "God Help You All....there'll be some ego's, opinions and hormones flying round that rehearsal room!". I must admit, I had my reservations myself, mostly connected to my own inadequacy issues and "when will they find out I'm actually hopeless?" actor syndrome. Any reservations I had have been obliterated. These women are a joy. Supportive, encouraging, intelligent, humble, talented and hilarious! We have laughed and ranted and debated and there's even been the odd tear, through a mutual understanding, unity and common bond. We're women, were over 40 and we're actresses. We're usually up against each other competing for that one lonely part (if there's one at all!).

Trying to find work as an actor is hard at the best of times. When you're female, it's even harder and when your over 40 it's nigh on impossible to survive, let alone support a family too. I could go on and on about this topic ad infinitum.....I digress. To have 9 of us in one company is, pardon my language, fucking brilliant! And also fascinating watching the implications of the casting on the piece.

As with opening any show, I'm hoping and worrying about whether people will like it but with this one it's different. We couldn't have worked any harder and I, for one, will be proud to open on Thursday and be part of such an amazing company of incredible women, not least for the tenacity of spirit shown to have survived in this industry so long and they're own personal battles to stay there. They're all brilliant. What a privilege. Cheers John! Here's to Mother Courage and her women fighting their own 30 year (and longer!) wars.
Comment by Hannah Nelms on April 28, 2015 at 2:46

Rehearsals tonight... whoop, whoop, whoop. I cannot wait for the excuse to brake the monotony and the deadlines. A lot of me wishes that the there were no swearing in the show, as I would be there most days, with my two year old, pretending I did this for a living. But where would the show be without the profanities? Not in Merthyr Tydfil I can tell you... he he he. In fact, It is this aspect of the show that has struck me from the start. It's loyalty to the cause!

As a member of the community cast, I have been given a sense of involvement through the development process. Our ideas have been listened to and granted open arms. I feel that we have given National Theatre Wales an opportunity to delve deep into the Merthyr's heart and staying true to the people and characters within the play, rather than staying true to 'Brechtian' laws. Not that I am a Brecht expert I need to add. 

The adventitious form the show is taking on an exciting role of giving the audience an invitation to relate to the characters in a relaxed and open environment. where better to relax and open up than having a pint with friends at the local Labour Club? I also feel that my role as community cast is to be relaxed, to relax the rules of theatre slightly by encouraging the audience to involve themselves, even if that's inwardly. Personally, I would rather have a script and be directed and I feel this is the most weakest part of my skill set. This does not mean that I am dreading it. I am actually looking forward to breaking my fears and turning my weakness into strength. It is a role I cannot foresee until it happens, but I am sure I will surprise myself. I usually do. 

Comment by Nicola Reynolds on April 23, 2015 at 20:52
For someone who's never blogged before, you're a natural Hannah! What a brilliant blog! Looking forward to your next instalment......

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