From Blackwood to Brecon to Port Talbot’s Passion
This year’s annual Richard Burton lecture entitled ‘From Blackwood to Brecon to Port Talbot’s Passion: The National Theatre Wales journey’ will be given by John McGrath, Artistic Director for the National Theatre Wales.
The lecture will look at the Theatre’s first year of innovative productions, beginning with ‘A Good Night Out in the Valleys’ at Blackwood’s Workingmen’s Institute and ending with Michael Sheen’s remarkable ‘Passion’ in Port Talbot.
The event, in association with Neath Port Talbot Borough Council and West Glamorgan Youth Theatre, will be at 6pm on Tuesday 4 October 2011 at The Princess Royal Theatre in Richard Burtons’s home town of Port Talbot.
The annual Richard Burton Lecture was inspired by the launch in 2010 of the Richard Burton Archives, the new home of Swansea University’s Archive collection. Professor Chris Williams, Director of the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH), gave the inaugural lecture which focussed on material from the Richard Burton diaries, which he is editing.
Director of the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales, which brings together expertise and resources in Welsh studies located across Swansea University, encouraging interdisciplinary research of international quality, Dr Daniel Williams said,
“I am delighted that John McGrath has agreed to deliver this year’s lecture. The dream of an English language national theatre for Wales has finally been realised and the lecture offers an opportunity to look back at what’s been achieved and to look forward towards future ambitions and challenges. Richard Burton was nurtured within the Welsh theatrical tradition, in both languages, and we’re grateful to his widow Sally for endowing this lecture series and for ensuring that the most valuable elements of Richard Burton’s legacy are kept alive.”
John McGrath has worked as a theatre director in New York, London and Manchester. From 1999-2008 he was Artistic Director of Contact Theatre, Manchester where he had a lot of success developing new artists and vibrant young audiences. Previous to that he trained and worked in New York for several years, including a stint as Associate Director of leading experimental company ‘Mabou Mines’.
As director of National Theatre Wales, he has strong links with Swansea University, and will be working with David Britton in contributing to the English Department’s MA in Creative Writing in the coming year.
He is also the author of a book about art in the surveillance age, Loving Big Brother: Performance, Privacy and Surveillance Space (Routledge 2004), was the Co-Founder and Chair of PANDA, the Performing Arts Network and Development Agency, and in 2005 was awarded the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Cultural Leadership Award which allowed him to spend time with theatre and arts companies in Europe and South America.
Dr Hywel Francis MP, who is the Chair of the Richard Burton Advisory Board and joint organiser of the event said:
“I am delighted that this prestigious Annual Lecture is to be held in Port Talbot, the home town of the late Richard Burton, for the first time.
“I am delighted too that his widow Sally, who has generously endowed the Lecture, will be present. This year we are fortunate to have John McGrath, Director of National Theatre Wales, to give the Lecture on ‘From Blackwood to Brecon to Port Talbot’s Passion: The National Theatre Wales journey’. No doubt John McGrath will pay tribute to the great success of Michael Sheen’s play ‘The Passion’ performed in Port Talbot last Easter.”
This year’s event, will start promptly at 6pm. All are welcome and admission is free. For more information please contact Daniel Williams - email@example.com
This news item was posted by Delyth Purchase at Swansea University Public Relations Office, Tel: 01792 295050 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org