On December 31st 2015, John McGrath, artistic director and co-founder of National Theatre Wales, steps down from the post after seven years at the forefront of what many regard as the first age of a new theatrical tradition in the country. In this exclusive interview for the FMIC podcast, McGrath talks openly about the early days of NTW, about the vision for the type of national theatre the company would be, the obstacles and triumphs along the way, and the qualified hope he has for a vibrant future for Wales’ creative figures.
During his time as Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, John McGrath oversaw countless critically acclaimed productions which aimed to give a voice to creatives within Wales and display the breadth and quality of artistic talent that our country has to offer. Under John McGrath, NTW was assertively contemporary, a fleet-of-foot behemoth that pledged to make all of Wales its stage. 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.
FMIC is hosted by Gary Raymond and Gray Taylor, edited by Dani Thomas, and produced by Cerith Mathias.
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Original artwork by Dean Lewis.
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Award-winning playwright and NTW collaborator Tim Price offers some thoughts on the announcement that National Theatre Wales’ founding Artistic Director John E. McGrath is to step down at the end of the year to take the top job at the Manchester International Festival.
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.
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