National Theatre Wales

National Theatre Wales | News, Reviews and Interviews

A hub for all of Wales Arts Reviews’ National Theatre Wales content, including news, reviews, and interviews.

National Theatre Wales has been making English-language productions in locations all over Wales, the UK, internationally and online since March 2010. NTW are known for their site-specific productions and their work with grassroots communities across Wales. NTW created, and still does, relationships and connections that would simply never happen otherwise. It was the final production in that launch year that cemented the company’s place as a genuine maker of change. The Passion, starring Michael Sheen, and played out across the streets of Port Talbot over an Easter weekend, was a remarkable national moment, proving to an unsuspecting, even doubtful, public that theatre can truly reflect and empower communities. Lyn Gardner described it as “like watching a town discover its voice through a shared act of creation,” making Port Talbot “one of the happiest places on Earth.”

Our coverage includes news updates on all the big changes that have taken past over the past 11 years, yearly roundups, exclusive interviews with playwrights, directors and actors, and reviews of over 40 productions.


Festival UK 2022 Announces Welsh Creatives

Led by NTW and made up of twelve collaborators from Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) in Wales, Collective Cymru have been chosen to direct one of the ten pioneering projects for Festival UK 2022.


Writer in Residence 2020 (BBC/NTW) Revealed

Faebian Averies has been named as the BBC Wales & NTW Writer in Residence. Averies was announced and then interviewed about her new position in a special episode of the BBC Radio Wales Arts Show with Nicola Heywood Thomas on Friday.

Wales Writer in Residence 2020: Shortlist Announced

Six up-and-coming writers have been shortlisted for Wales Writer in Residence 2020 with the winner set to be announced on Sunday 6 December, an award in collaboration with BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Writersroom Wales and National Theatre Wales.

Heart of Cardiff | Innovative Audio Theatre Series

Marine Furet visits the Sherman Theatre to experience their first instalments of their ‘Innovative Audio Theatre Series’, Heart of Cardiff.

Theatre in Wales: What does the future hold?

Half way through one the most difficult years for theatre in Wales, Nick Davies looks at the situation and ponders an uncertain future.

Constellation Street | Theatre (Online)

Marine Furet reviews National Theatre Wales’s Constellation Street, part of their Network programme of digital work that was launched in response to the COVID-19 lockdown, and finds a play that is successful in mixing gritty social realism and tragedy through four dramatic monologues.

Ripples | National Theatre Wales

Marine Furet reviews NTW’s Ripples, part of their Network programme of digital work that was launched in response to the Covid lockdown, and finds a play that sits uncomfortably in the current climate.

Dream a Little Dream for Me | NTW

Georgia Winstone-Cooper reviews Emily Laurens’ new live performance animation series Dream a Little Dream for Me commissioned by NTW, which offers dramatic reproductions of dreams submitted by the public during the lockdown.


Welsh Theatre: A look Back at the Past Decade

Nick Davies looks back on an extraordinary ten years in Welsh theatre, explaining why it might be the most exciting and divisive decade yet.

Mission Control (NTW and Hijinx) | Theatre

Caragh Medlicott attends the latest production from Hijinx and National Theatre Wales, Mission Control.

Lorne Campbell Appointed National Theatre Wales Artistic Director

Lorne Campbell has been announced as the new Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales to succeed Kully Thiarai

Rhiannon Boyle named Wales Writer in Residence

Rhiannon Boyle wins script commission in BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Writersroom Wales and NTW award becoming Wales Writer in Residence.

On Bear Ridge: A New Dawn for Welsh Theatre?

Gary Raymond found little time to write home about NTW’s On Bear Ridge. It cannot be denied the buzz around it in some quarters is telling of a wider political movement.

On Bear Ridge by Ed Thomas | Theatre

Caragh Medlicott reviews the hotly anticipated return to the stage for writer Ed Thomas, whose On Bear Ridge marks the centre piece for National Theatre Wales’s 2019 programme.

Kully Thiarai Departure from NTW | Failure of Wales?

With news of the departure of Kully Thiarai from her position as Artistic Director at NTW, Gary Raymond asks why was it allowed to come to this?

Kully Thiarai Resigns as Artistic Director of NTW

Kully Thiarai, artistic director of NTW, has resigned. She leaves the company she joined in 2016 to become the new creative director of Leeds 2023.


Arts Council on the National Theatre Wales Debate

Arts Council of Wales Chief Executive, Nick Capaldi, offers a personal reflection on recent criticisms of NTW.

National Theatre Wales: The Debate | International and Experimental

Tom Payne summarises the ongoing debates surrounding National Theatre Wales’ recent productions following John McGrath’s resignation as artistic director.

Tide Whisperer | Bold Theatre by NTW

The Tide Whisperer is a bold new theatre production by National Theatre Wales which was announced simultaneously with the new Corporate Strategy for Arts Council Wales.

An Open Letter to National Theatre Wales

Wales Arts Review publishes an open letter to National Theatre Wales signed by the leading Welsh playwrights of the day.

As Long as the Heart Beats (NTW) | Theatre

Jafar Iqbal reviews As Long as the Heart Beats, part of NTW’s NHS70 programme, celebrating the NHS.

Come Back Tomorrow (NTW) NHS70 | Theatre

Jafar Iqbal reviews Come Back Tomorrow, the final instalment of NTW’s NHS70 series, celebrating the NHS.

For All I Care (NTW) | Theatre

Jafar Iqbal reviews National Theatre of Wales’ For All I Care, in honour of the seventy-year anniversary of the NHS.

The Stick Maker Tales (NTW) | Theatre

Margot Morgan reviews the latest monologue from NTW, The Stick Maker Tales, at the Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea, during its national tour.

Cotton Fingers (NTW) by Rachel Trezise

Caragh Medlicott reviews the latest monologue from NTW, Cotton Fingers by Rachel Trezise.

National Theatre Wales’ English | Festival of Voice

Taylor Edmonds enjoys National Theatre Wales’ provocative production of English as part of Cardiff’s Festival of Voice.

English by Malú Ansaldo | Festival of Voice

Here, we speak to Malú Ansaldo ahead of her production for National Theatre Wales, English.

Sisters (NTW) Behind the Scenes | Podcast

Sisters is a collaboration between NTW and British-South Asian and Indian artists, exploring what it means to be a South Asian woman today.

Storm 2: Things Come Apart (NTW) | Theatre

Jafar Iqbal reviews the second instalment in NTW’s Storm Cycle, Storm 2: Things Fall Apart, a collaboration with Mike Brookes and Mike Pearson.

Storm 1: Nothing Remains the Same (NTW) | Theatre

Gary Raymond reviews Mike Pearson and Mike Brookes‘ new piece for NTW, Storm 1: Nothing Remains the Same.


Wonderman (Gabblebabble & NTW) | Theatre

On the night of Roald Dahl’s centenary celebrations, Gary Raymond reviews Wonderman, National Theatre Wales’ and Gagglebabble’s stage celebration of the author’s stories for adults.

Before I Leave (NTW, Patrick Jones) | Theatre

Elin Williams reviews Patrick Jones’ Before I Leave with NTW, play which reminds us of the importance of communities and projects which can offer help to those who need it most.


John McGrath (NTW) | The Big Interview

Gary Raymond interviews NTW’s artistic director and co-founder John McGrath about the company’s early days and his vision for its future.

Iliad (National Theatre Wales) | Theatre

Brian Roper is in Llanelli reviewing National Theatre Wales’ marathon production of the Iliad, directed by Mike Pearson and Mike Brookes.

Mother Courage and Her Children (NTW, Brecht adaptation) | Theatre

Julie Bainbridge reviews John McGrath’s NTW radical adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children.

Transition (NTW, Theatre Iolo, Run Ragged) | Dance

Tom Wentworth reviews Transition – a National Theatre Wales production in association with Theatr Iolo and Run Ragged.


Mametz by Owen Sheers & Matthew Dunster

Mametz is a National Theatre Wales play written by Owen Sheers and directed by Matthew Dunster that explores the 1916 battle of Mametz Wood.

In Conversation with Owen Sheers | Mametz

Phil Morris sits down with the iconic Owen Sheers to discuss his play Mametz that explores a war assault during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Bordergame (National Theatre Wales) | Theatre

Phil Morris is impressed by National Theatre Wales’ latest interactive production Bordergame, which tackles assumptions of asylum-seekers in the UK.

Yr Helfa (The Gathering) NTW | Theatre

Molly Jones casts a critical eye over NTW’s Yr Helfa (The Gathering), set against the dramatic backdrop of Mt. Snowdon.

Raw Material: Llareggub Revisited (NTW) | Theatre

Dylan Moore reviews Raw Material: Llareggub Revisited, Marc Rees’ next theatre installation with NTW in Laugharne.


Tonypandemonium by Rachel Trezise (NTW) | Theatre

Phil Morris offers a disappointed review of Rachel Trezise’s first stage play Tonypandemonium with National Theatre Wales.

Praxis Makes Perfect (NTW, Gruff Rhys) | Theatre

Gary Raymond reviews NTW and Gruff Rhys’ solution to the future of ‘the album’, with Praxis Makes Perfect.

John E McGrath in Conversation | Theatre

John E McGrath is the Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales and the director of The Opportunity of Efficiency, NTW’s first international collaboration, with New National Theatre Tokyo. Gary Raymond caught up with him the morning after the opening night.

The Opportunity of Efficiency | Theatre

Senior Editor Gary Raymond was in Tokyo last week to cover NTW’s collaboration with the New National Theatre Tokyo, for their show The Opportunity of Efficiency.

Mariko Tasake in Conversation | National Theatre Wales

Mariko Tasake is a producer at New National Theatre Tokyo, and was a driving force in the approach to National Theatre Wales with the idea of collaboration. Gary Raymond spoke to her backstage at NNTT, just after a matinee performance of The Opportunity of Efficiency, with the aid of a translator.

Alan Harris in Conversation | National Theatre Wales

Alan Harris was the playwright behind National Theatre Wales’ first ever production, A Good Night Out in the Valleys, and now he’s back having written the company’s first ever international collaboration. Gary Raymond spoke with him in Tokyo about the experience and challenges of creating The Opportunity of Efficiency.

NTW in Tokyo | International Assembly

Gary Raymond discusses National Theatre Wales’ first International Assembly in Tokyo, commenting on Wales’ role in the global arts scene.

De Gabay (NTW, Jonathan Holmes) | Theatre

Phil Morris expresses his disappointment over National Theatre Wales’ production of De Gabay, directed by Jonathan Holmes. 

De Gabay (NTW) | Young Critic’s Review

Elin Williams casts a critical eye on NTW’s site-specific project, De Gabay, which aimed to represent Somali culture in Butetown.

Jonathan Holmes | Director | De Gabay

Director Jonathan Holmes spoke to Wales Arts Review’s Dylan Moore ahead of NTW’s latest mega-production, De Gabay.

Ahmed Yusuf and Hassan Panero | De Gabay

Ahmed Yusuf and Hassan Panero spoke to Wales Arts Review’s Dylan Moore ahead of NTW’s latest mega-production, De Gabay.

For Mountain, Sand and Sea (NTW) | Theatre

Dylan Moore visits Barmouth to witness NTW’s latest site-specific production, Marc Rees’ For Mountain, Sand and Sea.


In Water I’m Weightless | National Theatre Wales

Joao Morais reviews the explorative, In Water I’m Weightless, a National Theatre Wales performance directed by John E. McGrath.

Little Dogs (Frantic Assembly & NTW) | Theatre

Dylan Moore attended Patti Pavilion, Swansea to witness a collaboration between National Theatre Wales and Frantic Assembly Little Dogs.

The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning | Theatre

Sara Rees witnessed a new production from NTW, a fictionalised account based on the real events, of The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning.

Mundo Paralelo (National Theatre Wales) | Theatre

Phil Morris casts a critical eye over the latest collaboration between NoFit State, NTW and Theatre Tattoo, Mundo Paralelo.

Theatre | Coriolan/us (National Theatre Wales)

Coriolan/us: Dylan Moore casts a critical eye over NTW’s latest site-specific theatrical experience in his review of Coriolan/us.