Mark Ludmon takes a look at Wales theatre highlights in 2020.
Sherman Theatre in Cardiff is looking ahead to the first full year of its new artistic director Joe Murphy who took over from Rachel O’Riordan in 2019.
However, O’Riordan will be back directing the world premiere of Romeo and Julie, Gary Owen’s new version of Shakespeare’s story set in Cardiff, co-commissioned and co-produced with the National Theatre, at the Sherman from 16 September to 3 October and on tour. Full tour schedule here.
Sherman Theatre will stage the world premiere of The Merthyr Stigmatist by Lisa Parry in a co-production with Theatre Uncut whose joint artistic director Emma Callander will direct. Running from 2 to 17 October, this new play focuses on a Merthyr Tydfil school pupil who claims to have the stigmata, the wounds of Christ.
The theatre will also build on the success of the award-winning Llwyth (Tribe) by Daf James, picking up on the characters – a group of gay friends living in Cardiff – 10 years later in its sequel, Tylwyth (Family), from 10 to 13 March, directed by Arwel Gruffydd, artistic director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. It will also play Theatr Clwyd in Mold from 3 to 4 April.
Up in the creative hothouse of Mold in north Wales, Theatr Clwyd continues to champion new work with a “fierce” new musical, Milky Peaks, from Seiriol Davies, Matthew Blake and Dylan Townley, about “three lost souls and a drag queen” fighting to save a Welsh community from the far right. After running in Mold from 20 March to 11 April, it will go on a tour of venues in Wales.
From 27 April to 9 May, Theatr Clwyd will present For the Grace of You Go I, a new comedy by Alan Harris who wrote Love, Lies & Taxidermy. Described as “darkly funny, quick-witted, fast-moving”, it follows a man who decides to tackle his dead-end life by putting a hit out on himself.
National Theatre of Wales will be celebrating “cremation pioneer” Dr William Price, described as “one of Wales’ most visionary radicals”, in Hail Cremation!, a show combining live music, dance and video. Written by Jon Tregenna and directed by Adele Thomas, it can be seen at Newbridge Memo in Newbridge in Caerphilly from 23 March to 4 April.
Other shows from National Theatre of Wales in 2020 include Balloon Girl, a spectacular, large-scale, outdoor production inspired by a young woman who took to the skies in a hot-air balloon during Cardiff’s Great Exhibition of 1896. Created by Hannah McPake, it will take place in an “iconic” central Cardiff location from 24 to 26 July.
Check for more shows in your area in our preview of touring shows in 2020