How to stay a Pirate - Six years ago on November 5th we launched our very first season of work.


When I meet people working in theatre or the creative industry they often ask me what it's like working for National Theatre Wales and I tell them that NTW gives you the opportunity to be a Pirate.

What I mean by this is that the organisation allows you to take risks, to challenge the status quo, to hijack and steal ideas, to be light, adaptable and to change the course of the ship.

Today marks six years that a bunch of pirates launched the vision for a season of work for a new type of institution that was to be innovative, engaged and international.

Six years on and the organisation remains true to it's original values the pirates have changed but the ship still sails the high seas of Wales and we remain fearless in our mission. This online community has been at the heart of that mission a place to listen and debate as much as promote. 

With my work in developing communications I have always aimed to mirror the production work and reflect the values of the organisation throughout our communications. We work with emerging Welsh filmmakers, photographers, designers, digital creators to create our campaigns. 

Our ambition is to create campaigns and communications that support the future of all of the above and for NTW to become a stepping stone for the creative industry cultivating new talent. We want to create campaigns that will be judged on a worldwide playing field. Over the past 6 years I have learned that there is no formula and that every campaign or new idea needs the same passion, energy, enthusiasm of a start up. If you think you have discovered a magic formula that can be repeated then the idea is dead or irrelevant. 

One thing is for sure, we are not a company that is scared to take a risk on ambition. Sometimes our ideas and ambition have felt scary with huge goals for such a small team, but dreaming the big dream allows you to do the seemingly impossible you just have to believe as a group you can do it.

Sometimes we have failed, but I'm glad to be part of a company that is willing to try and is supportive and robust enough to get behind every idea.... if Nike hadn't already stolen the catch phrase I am sure "just do it" would be ours because you never know what will happen or what you might learn when you just make a start.

I think the most encouraging thing about our existence is that we are facilitators of creativity and ideas. We are an open organisation built of many, many people and I think a more democratic creative institution of the future because of it. 

The reason for doing things differently and in the face of convention is because we won't find the answers to our problems in the past they will be within new structures, new ideas and new narratives. 

I want to give everyone who is part of this online community a digital pat on the back and a "like" this is the place where it all began with a post and a question.  "What kind of National Theatre Wales would you want to be part of and what kind of organisation could we build together?"

I think the company has met some of those original ambitions and has had a positive impact on culture in Wales as a whole. Many of the examples are difficult to quantify we are unable to put them into stats and figures as they are stories that come from the very idea of a self supporting creative community, like ripples in a pond. 

As we remember our launch 6 years ago today and everything that has been achieved we still ask ourselves and the people that make up the company, artists, audiences, creatives and people of this online community and institution the same important question about our existence.  

"What kind of National Theatre Wales would you want to be part of and what kind of organisation could we build together?"

and as long as we continue to search to answer that question we'll be heading in the right direction. 

Video: First show from the live online launch November 5th 2009 featuring a younger John McGrath & Lucy Davies. 

one of the best visual campaigns NTWY2: 

and from this year.... this was a great campaign work - needed some more work on the optics (text) though.. 

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