We’re a week and four days into rehearsals and yesterday was the first day we did a full run through of the play and I have to admit it went extremely well, the actors are brilliant, the trolley dancing blew my mind, I laughed  & cried.

Our first week has been incredible, beautiful, funny, insightful and thoughtful.  We’ve been working through the script one scene at a time, analyzing the text, talking about its relevance today and how that relates to our world here in the Labour Club, in Merthyr.


As emerging director it’s been fascinating to see how John McGrath and Jo Fong have created a space that is incredibly focused, alive and safe as well as being a space that is open to discussion, debate and play. From day one I’ve felt completely supported and encouraged and have watched how the actors have developed, grown and transformed into the characters they’re going to play. Which for them is one massive journey, as most will be playing men


Things we’ve been exploring are what it means to survive in todays world the celebration of women, strength, bravery, what it means to not give a fuck, what happens when we give up and give in to the natural order of things. We’ve been playing with trolleys, feather boas, karaoke, Shirley Bassey, becoming men and baseball bats.

Before the show I went out into Merthyr and spoke to the community about getting involved, my mission was to recruit a chorus of local women over the age of 30.  Merthyr is amazing, in fact I love Merthyr! It’s one of those places where everyone is curious about what’s going on and up for getting involved and this is what it’s all about because this show belongs to them.  


Working with the local community has really helped to inform our work, it’s been so useful hearing their thoughts on characters, the play, the themes and how we portray it all. I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks with them when we get them disco dancing and singing karaoke. I love my job!


What’s becoming more and more evident is how relevant this show is today not just to Merthyr but to everyone. I see Mother Courage’s everywhere in women who are surviving against all odds, working three jobs to provide for families and making tough decisions to keep on top of what life throws at them. That’s not to say Mother Courage’s decision are always right, but what  I’ve found this week is an understanding and an empathy in her struggle to survive in a man’s world.









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Comment by Gavin Porter on April 16, 2015 at 15:53

Nah, only joking. Loved reading your blog, hope there are more. I wish I would have been in the room so see the process of starting with a script and ideas to a 1st run. 

Comment by Rhiannon White on April 16, 2015 at 15:53

Thanks Gav x

Comment by Gavin Porter on April 16, 2015 at 15:50

Rhiannon there is a typo in your blog you wrote 'y' instead of 'my'

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