A hub for all of Wales Arts Reviews’ Sherman Theatre content, including news, reviews, and interviews.
Sherman Theatre at the heart of Cathays Cardiff is a leading theatre production house, creating and curating local stories with global resonance. As an engine room of Welsh Theatre focusing on the production of new writing, Sherman Theatre has been recognised as a place for everyone and has won multiple national awards. The Sherman Theatre production Iphigenia in Splott by Gary Owen’s won the “Best New Play 2015” at the UK Theatre Award. A hedonistic story that became a force of empathy. It was the first Welsh play to transfer straight to the National Theatre shedding the light on societies’ shortcomings through a one-woman show. Sherman Theatre is known for regularly working with a diverse range of Welsh and Wales-based artists to tell inclusive stories that represent a broad audience.
Our coverage includes news updates on all the big changes that have taken past over the past 10 years, yearly roundups, exclusive interviews with playwrights, directors and actors, and reviews of over 40 productions.
Swansea’s Grand Theatre Launch Creative Collective
Grand Ambition, a new in-house company, plans to showcase the under-represented artists of Wales by using Swansea’s Grand Theatre as their venue.
Welsh Theatre – Our Best of 2021
Despite some difficulty, we at Wales Arts Review have selected our top ten Welsh theatre productions of 2021; here is the full list.
Gareth Smith offers a bilingual review of Rhiannon Boyle’s monologue production, Anfamol, a story following one single woman’s decision to have a baby without a partner.
Jacob Hodgkinson In Conversation
Jacob Hodgkinson took an unconventional route to becoming a playwright, but nevertheless has recently celebrated the publication of his play Lung Water as part of Methuen Drama’s ‘Lost Plays’ series. Candy Bedworth caught up with Hodgkinson to discover more about the playwright, the pandemic and the lost performance.
Terroir | Sherman Theatre & RWCMD
Gareth Smith reviews Jennifer Lunn’s play, Terroir, a dystopian drama set in West Wales and the sixth successive collaboration between Sherman Theatre and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
The Merthyr Stigmatist | Digital World Premiere
Phil Morris reviews Lisa Parry’s Theatre Uncut shortlisted play, The Merthyr Stigmatist, a two-woman show tracing the fault lines of class, religion, and community.
The Sherman Announces New Literary Department
Sherman Theatre have announced the creation of a literary department as part of a pilot programme supported by Arts Council Wales driving the development of writers across Wales.
#WeMissYou #HiraethuAmdanat Campaign
A year since closing their doors to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, theatres and arts centres across Wales are supporting a national #WeMissYou #HiraethuAmdanat campaign, launched by development agency Creu Cymru.
Young Playwrights’ Audio Plays | Theatr Iolo
Theatr Iolo has transformed original scripts by the winners of their Young Playwrights competition into online audio plays.
Dirty Protest | All the News, Reviews and Interviews
Dirty Protest launched in 2007 and have since become an award-winning theatre company, selling out in theatres and small venues across the country. In 2013, they won the Wales Critics Choice and the Theatre Critics of Wales awards for their production of Katherine Chandler’s Parallel Lines. They place well-established and up-and-coming writers on the same platform in order to provide an equal platform for all. Below you’ll find all of Wales Arts Reviews’ coverage on Dirty Protest, including news, reviews, and exclusive interviews with some of their writers and directors.
Interview | Music Theatre Wales’ Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy, co-founder and artistic director of Music Theatre Wales, discusses the future of contemporary opera with Linda Christmas.
Welsh Theatre – Our Best of 2020
Here’s our top ten list of Welsh Theatre productions from this year, put together by our Wales Arts Review contributors.
Best Interviews of 2020: Every year Wales Arts Review talks to some of the leading lights in the country’s art and culture, and here is just a small selection of some of those illuminating conversations of 2020.
At Wales Arts Review we believe critical writing should be worth reading for its own sake. With that in mind, here is a small selection of the hundreds of reviews we published in 2020, and a small display of the quality critical writing our writers produce.
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.
Hannah McPake, Gagglebabble, Mabinogion: Untold Stories | Podcast
An interview with Hannah McPake, co-director of Gagglebabble, and The Mab editors on their retelling of the stories from the Mabinogion.
Welsh Music Scene: Environment & Experimentation | Podcast
We talk to Oli Richards, founder of Goodparley, about the Welsh music scene, and we discuss Sarah Nicolls and Rufus Mufasa.
Podcast | Sherman Theatre, Hitchcock on Stage, and Romance in Wales
We talk to the Artistic Director of the Sherman Theatre, Joe Murphy, about his career and the future of theatre in Wales.
With the pandemic and the resulting lockdown, Spotlight… looks at Theatr Iolo on the impact the pandemic had on the performing arts.
Spotlight On… Run Amok: Who are They?
Spotlight… seeks to highlight organisations and creatives working and producing throughout the pandemic. This edition: Run Amok
Sherman Theatre to reopen in Spring 2021
Sherman Theatre is announced to reopen in Spring 2021 but the planned programme of digital and audio productions will go on in the meantime.
Theatre in Wales: What does the future hold?
Halfway through one of the most difficult years for theatre in Wales, Nick Davies looks at the situation and ponders an uncertain future.
Welsh Theatres Lead the Way in Community Support
Theatres across Wales are finding innovative solutions to help local communities, reports Creu Cymru, the body responsible for the development of theatres and arts venues in Wales.
Gary Owen in Conversation | Mum & Dad
Ben Woolhead talks to playwright Gary Owen about adapting his work in the light of Covid-19 and bringing his own parents to the stage through his two new short plays Mum & Dad brought out digitally via the Sherman Theatre.
Mum & Dad | Online Theatre by Gary Owen
Caragh Medlicott reviews an online double-header from the pen of Gary Owen and produced by Sherman Theatre, Mum & Dad.
With organisations forced to rethink how they deliver creative content, Wales Arts Review brings a roundup of what’s going on in Wales.
Welsh Arts Organisations Must Hold Their Nerve
Michelle Wright examines the lie of the land for arts organisations in the UK during the Covid-19 lockdown and why they must hold their nerve
Tylwyth | Live at the Sherman Theatre
Gareth Smith reviews the latest play from Daf James, Tylwyth; a co-production between Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and the Sherman Theatre.
Sherman Theatre| “Empower” for Female Writers of Wales
Sherman Theatre in Cardiff has launched a new initiative designed to ensure that unheard voices in Welsh theatre become heard.
#IWD2020 | 100 Women Of Wales On Twitter
For #IWD2020, Wales Arts Review has nominated 100 women of Wales who we think you should be following on Twitter (if you’re not already).
Winners | A Performance by the Nova Theatre
Georgia Winstone-Cooper reviews the debut production from Nova Theatre, Winners, which forms part of Sherman Theatre’s Get It While It’s Hot season of new plays.
Llyfr Glas Nebo – Fran Wen | Theatre
When the world as we know it comes to an end, what remains? Karin Koehler reviews the stage adaptation of Manon Stefan Ros’s award-winning YA novel Llyfr Glas Nebo.
Wales Arts Review writers and associates take a personal look at what there is to look forward to in the arts in Wales for 2020.
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.
Sherman Theatre Becomes Wales’ First Theatre of Sanctuary
Sherman Theatre in Cardiff has announced that it has become Wales’ first Theatre of Sanctuary, awarded by City of Sanctuary.
Hedda Gabler | An Ibsen Classic Live at the Sherman
Caragh Medlicott attends the Sherman in Cardiff to review the new adaptation of the Norwegian Ibsen classic, Hedda Gabler.
Rhiannon Boyle named Wales Writer in Residence
Rhiannon Boyle wins script commission in BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Writersroom Wales and National Theatre Wales award becoming Wales Writer in Residence.
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.
A Night in the Clink (Papertrail) | Theatre
Josie Cray reviews a new production from Papertrail that fuses food, theatre, and incarceration, in A Night in the Clink.
Say When (Living Pictures) | Theatre
Georgia Winstone-Cooper reviews the new one-man show from Robbie Bowman and Living Pictures, a deeply personal exploration of the psychology, science, and politics of the male body image, in Say When.
Cotton Fingers (NTW) by Rachel Trezise
Caragh Medlicott reviews the latest monologue from National Theatre Wales, Cotton Fingers by Rachel Trezise.
Shooting Rabbits (Powder House) | Theatre
Thomas Tyrrell reviews Shooting Rabbits, the debut production of the Sherman Theatre’s new company in residence, in association with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. Shooting Rabbits depicts the oft-forgotten Spanish Civil War.
Lose Yourself | new play from Katherine Chandler
Caragh Medlicott reviews the new play from Katherine Chandler, Lose Yourself, at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff.
The Taming of the Shrew | Theatre
Gary Raymond casts his eye on the Sherman Theatre and Tron Theatre (Glasgow) collaborative new take on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
#IWD2019 | 100 Women Of Wales On Twitter
For #IWD2019, the writers of Wales Arts Review have nominated 100 women of Wales who we think you should be following on Twitter.
Welsh Theatre – The Best of 2018
Another fascinating year for Welsh theatre; here is Wales Arts Review’s highlight of 10 best productions by Welsh companies in 2018.
Here is a small selection of the 2018 reviews archive, and a small display of the quality critical writing our writers produce.
Chippy Lane’s Podcast | Adele Thomas
Wales Arts Review introduces a new series of arts and culture audio delights with the Chippy Lane Podcast, series one.
Lord of the Flies | Theatr Clwyd & Sherman Theatre
Theatre Clwyd and the Sherman Theatre team up to create an all-female version of the Lord of the Flies which was adapted by Nigel Williams.
Fel Anifail (Sherman) | Theatre
Jafar Iqbal reviews a new production of Fel Anifail from the Sherman Theatre, which benefits from the extraordinary performances from its actors.
Mags by Cwmni Pluen explores the story of a woman in her forties still haunted by experiences and decisions she made as a teenager.
In Conversation with Elgan Rhys and Gethin Evans
We caught up with Elgan Rhys and Gethin Evans, Co-Artistic Directors of Cwmni Pluen to find what the company have been producing lately.
The Performing Arts in a Devolved Wales: Innovation
As IETM prepare to bring their conference to Llandudno on September 13th, Gary Raymond looks at the current state of the performing arts in Wales.
Wales at the Fringe | Reviews Roundup Part Two
Jafar Iqbal delivers a reviews roundup at the Edinburgh Fringe watching all things Welsh at the world’s greatest performing arts festival.
Blog | Theatre and the Censor: Where Are We Now?
Theodore E. Hung takes a look at the history of censorship in theatre and asks if the modern trend for self-censorship is healthy.
Gagglebabble on Double Vision | Festival of Voice
Here we speak to Lucy Rivers and Hannah McPake – co-founders of gig-theatre company Gagglebabble, who premiere Double Vision at FoV.
Tremor (Sherman Theatre) | Theatre
Jafar Iqbal reviews Brad Birch’s Tremor, depicting two ex-lovers in a gladiatorial argument, which creates an emotionally charged performance.
The Motherf**ker with the Hat | Theatre
Jemma Beggs reviews The Sherman Theatre’s production of Guirgis’ 2011 play, The Motherfucker with the Hat, in Cardiff.
#IWD2018 | 100 Women Of Wales On Twitter
For #IWD2018, the writers of Wales Arts Review have nominated 100 women of Wales who we think you should be following on Twitter.
Theatre | Dublin Carol (Sherman Theatre)
Jemma Beggs reviews the latest production of Dublin Carol by Conor McPherson, inspired by Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and set in a worn and tired office on Christmas Eve.
Welsh Theatre | The Best of 2017
Here is Wales Arts Review’s highlights, the ten best plays to be put on in Wales i in 2017, as chosen by our critics.
In Conversation | Alun Saunders
Emily Garside chatted to Alun Saunders ahead of his retelling of the Brothers Grimm classic, The Magic Porridge Pot, at The Sherman Theatre.
Theatre | How to Win Against History
Jemma Beggs reviews How to Win Against History by Seiriol Davies, a musical about Henry Cyril Paget, the 5th Marquis of Anglesey in order to unmask the illusion created by his family.
Matthew Bulgo (Dirty Protest) | In Conversation
Emily Garside marks ten years of fringe theatre company Dirty Protest by catching up with Matthew Bulgo about what’s changed.
Theatre | The Cherry Orchard (Sherman)
Jemma Beggs reviews Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, following the success of their two previous shows, Iphigenia in Splott and Killology.
Has the Sherman Blown the Lid off Welsh Theatre’s Biggest Problem?
Gary Raymond explores deeper problems within Welsh theatre, following David Mercatali becoming a new Associate Director at the Sherman Theatre
BHM | 25 Inspirational Black Artists of Wales
Wales Arts Review takes the opportunity to celebrate the Black artists of Wales today, these are people whose work and ambitions we admire.
Opera | The Golden Dragon: Music Theatre Wales
Cath Barton reviews An opera by Peter Eötvös based on the play of the same name by Roland Schimmelpfennig.
Podcast | OffScript with Rebecca Gould
Gary Raymond talks to Rebecca Gould, head of arts in Wales for the British Council in 2015, as the British Council has been playing a much more prominent role.
Chippy and Scratch Does the ‘Diff: New Welsh Playwrighting
Rosemary Waugh reviews the point of Chippy Lane’s yearly scratch competitions as a way to discover and nurture Welsh playwriting.
Theatre | Love, Cardiff: City Road Stories (Sherman Cymru)
Lewis Davies reviews the latest verbatim project Love, Cardiff: City Road Stories by Andrew Sterry about actual people in society.
Theatre | Killology (Sherman Cymru)
Jemma Beggs reviews Killology by Gary Owen and Rachel O’Riordan exploring the effect of a “new gaming experience”.
#IWD | 100 Women of Wales on Twitter
For #IWD2017, the writers of Wales Arts Review have nominated 100 women of Wales who we think you should be following on Twitter.
Theatre | The Moot Virginity of Catherine of Aragon (The Belfast Ensemble)
Jemma Beggs reviewed The Moot Virginity of Catherine of Aragon at Sherman Theatre by The Belfast Ensemble.
Welsh Theatre | The Best of 2016
Another fascinating year on the Welsh theatrical landscape, here is Wales Arts Review’s top ten best plays to be put on in Wales in 2016.
Jemma Beggs reviews this year, Sherman Theatre’s highly anticipated Christmas show is Mary Norton’s classic tale, The Borrowers.
Emily Garside reviews The Weir by Connor McPherson, A Sherman Cymru and Tobacco Factory Theatres co-production.
Before I Leave (NTW, Patrick Jones) | Theatre
Elin Williams reviews Patrick Jones’ Before I Leave with National Theatre Wales, play that reminds us of the importance of communities and projects which can offer help to those who need it most.
Jemma Beggs critically reviews Katherine Chandler’s Bird, the first co-production between Sherman Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre.
Katherine Chandler on Writing ‘Bird’
Award-winning playwright Katherine Chandler writes about the process of her new play, Bird, from idea to the stage at Sherman Cymru.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Sherman) | Theatre
Jemma Beggs was at the Sherman Theatre to review this year’s Christmas performance, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
In Part Two of our cultural highlights of 2015, we praise creative achievements in jazz, myth, classic American literature, Ibsen and more…
Highlights 2015 | Directors & Critics: Classical Music
Wales Arts Review critics asked some of the most influential voices in Welsh classical music to sing the praises of their personal highlights of 2015.
Catherine Paskell and Katherine Chandler | Dirty Protest Interview
Wales Arts Review caught up with the director, Catherine Paskell, and writer Katherine Chandler, from fringe theatre company Dirty Protest.
Everything Must Go by Patrick Jones | Theatre
Phil Morris reviews Everything Must Go directed by Rhiannon White, a play written by Patrick Jones in 1999 as a corrective to the political promise that things would only get better.
Robert Bowman provided insight for the production and journey of Diary of a Madman directed by Sinead Rushe.
Dracula by Liz Lochhead | Theatre
Jemma Beggs casts a critical eye on Liz Lochhead’s adaptation of Dracula, recommending this theatre for its overall high standard.
Wot? No Fish!! (Theatre Iolo) | Theatre
Jemma Beggs is at the small studio of the Sherman Theatre for an incredibly personal Theatre Iolo performance of Wot? No Fish!!
Pan oedd y byd yn Fach | Theatre
Elin Williams is at Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru to review Sian Summers’ Pan Oedd Y Byd Yn Fach, a play depicting the 1984 Miners’ Strike.
Jemma Beggs reviews Iphigenia in Splott directed by Sherman Cymru’s Rachel O’Riordan, interlacing exceptional writing and phenomenal acting.
Jemma Beggs reviews Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ with the recent flurry of live-action Disney remakes attempted to transfer to the theatre.
Wales Arts Reviews’ writers choose their cultural highlight of the year. We see impassioned writing on a diverse range of subjects in 2014.
Theatre | Romeo and Juliet (Sherman)
Gary Raymond casts a critical eye on Romeo and Juliet directed by Rachel O’Riordan at Sherman Cymru reflected on the statement of intent rather the failure of its execution.
Music Theatre Wales: The Trial by Philip Glass
Based on the classic novel by Franz Kafka, Philip Glass re-imagines a dystopian reality in his opera The Trial. Linda Christmas was on hand to review it.
‘The Trial’: Michael McCarthy Discusses Philip Glass’s New Opera for Music Theatre Wales
Steph Power interviews Michael McCarthy in order to discuss Philip Glass’s New Opera for Music Theatre Wales, The Trail.
Q&A with Rachel O’Riordan (Sherman)
Wales Arts Review grabbed a few minutes for a quick interview with Rachel O’Riordan’s tenure as Artistic Director of Sherman Cymru.
In Conversation with Alexander Ferris
Here, in conversation with Gary Raymond, Alexander Ferris talks about his experiences in Welsh Theatre, including his years at Sherman
Theatre | Llais/ Voice by Elgan Rhys
Elin Williams reviews Llais/ Voice by Elgan Rhys inspired by Amanda Todd’s series of flashcards via YouTube before her suicide in 2012.
Wales Dance Platform 2014: In Review
Jemma Beggs positively reflects Wales Dance Platform 2014 and performances as one ofthe most fearless performances she has witnessed.
Phil Morris caught up with James Tyson to talk about his programme, which schedules leading advanced theatre practitioners in Cardiff venues.
Cutbacks Special: The Value of Our Culture: a Personal View
Michael Salmon comments on Cardiff Council’s recent announcement of withdrawing funding from the capital’s iconic venues in April 2014.
Blue/Orange (Sherman) | Theatre
Written by Joe Penhall 15 years ago, Blue/Orange at Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre surprises Julie Bainbridge as a fresh statement on mental health care.
Theatre Critics of Wales Awards 2014
Held at the Sherman Cymru this year, Theatre Critics of Wales Awards 2014 was successfully executed. Elin Williams reflects improvement in the development of bilingualism during the ceremony for next year.
The Sleeping Beauties | Theatre
Gary Raymond critically reviews The Sleeping Beauties by Roisin McBrinn, describing it as inventive and derivative.
An Interview with Charlie Barber
Maja Palser interviews Charlie Barber, a Cardiff-based composer, who has worked extensively in a wide variety of musical genres about his work and influences.
Phil Morris interviews Rob Newman, a novelist and stand-up as his tour The New Theory of Evolution reached the Sherman Theatre Cymru.
It’s a Family Affair… (We’ll Settle it Ourselves)
Julia Bainbridge attended the Sherman Theatre to witness an updated version of Alexander Ostrovsky’s It’s a Family Affair… (We’ll Settle it Ourselves).
Rhwng Dau Fyd (Sherman Cymru) | Theatre
Elin Williams reviews Rhwng Dau Fyd, a collaborative theatre project between Living Pictures, Theatr Genedlaethol and Sherman Cymru.
Peter Gaskell critically reviews the experimental theatre piece Schrödinger about finding meaning in an unpredictable and arbitrary universe.
Wales Arts Review profiles local Newport artists who are dedicated to remaining in the city where their art can draw inspiration from the local community.
Dirty Protest at the Royal Court: Plays in a Bag (BTS)
Phil Morris is at the Royal Court talking to those behind the scenes of Dirty Protest’s series Plays in a Bag, written by Kath Chandler.
Julia Bainbridge reviews, Say it with Flowers, a production looking at the story of one of Wales’ most enigmatic stars, Dorothy Squires.
Sherman Cymru’s Family Festival
James Vilares reviews Sherman Cymru‘s Family Festival with a range of performances, including a Baby Rave and a multi-lingual performance Spraoi from Galway-based Branar.
Salt, Root and Roe explores the concepts of assisted suicide and of being reconciled to death – Julia Bainbridge reviews Tim Price’s latest play.
Theatre | To Live, To Love, To Be (Company 5)
Julia Bainbridge casts a critical eye over Sherman Cymru’s Company 5’s latest production, D.J. Britton’s To Live, To Love, To Be.
Michelangelo Drawing Blood – Sound Affairs
Peter Reynolds reviews Michelangelo Drawing Blood as an impressive performance admiring it for its clear notes and the rich idea of composition.
Sexual Perversity in Chicago (Dir. Robert Bowman) | Theatre
Julie Bainbridge is in the Sherman Studio to review Sexual Perversity in Chicago, written by David Mamet, directed by Robert Bowman.
Comment | Theatre Critics of Wales Awards
Dylan Moore takes a look at the inaugural Theatre Critics of Wales Awards and asks who the hell would we give them to?
Peter Pan at the Sherman Theatre | Theatre
Jemma Beggs visits Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre to review Peter Pan, a modern take on a classic by writer Rob Evans and directed by Róisín McBrinn.
Jon Gower saw Llwyth by Dafydd James at Sherman Theatre and considered it the best Welsh-language play written in his lifetime.
From the Olympics to the Leveson Inquiry, 2012 has been a year of highs and lows. Here is Wales Arts Review’s End of Year Review.
Blue Sky by Clare Bayley | Theatre
Gary Raymond critically reviews Blue Sky by Clare Bayley playing at the Sherman Theatre about a story of two old friends and the unravelling of their interconnected back-story.
Medea directed by Mike Bartlett | Theatre
Gary Raymond visited the Sherman Theatre to review Medea, a retelling of Euripides’ classic, adapted and directed by Headlong and Mike Bartlett.
Before it Rains | Sherman Cymru Performance
Elin Williams travelled to the Bristol Old Vic to witness a collaboration with Sherman Cymru, called Before It Rains by Katherine Chandler.
Clytemnestra by Gwyneth Lewis | Theatre
Penny Simpson reviews Gwyneth Lewis’s first stage play, Clytemnestra, at the Sherman Cymru, inspired by a story from Aeschylus’s Oresteia.
After the End (Dirty Protest) | Theatre
Dylan Moore reviews After the End – the latest production from Welsh theatre company, the Dirty Protest collective, at Sherman Cymru.
Alexander Ferris: Director of Epidemic | Interview
Ahead of the Old Vic‘s latest production, Epidemic, director Alexander Ferris chats to Gary Raymond about the unique challenges of creating a play about public health concerns.