Welsh language theatre company progress

07 May 2002, United Kingdom

The Arts Council of Wales (ACW) has moved closer towards its goal of establishing a national Welsh language theatre company with its 1 May announcement of the outline vision for the project.

The council has allocated GB£50,000 towards the establishment of the new company, and the setting up of its steering committee has now commenced. Membership of the committee will include experienced theatre professionals, writers and theatre managers with the committee’s core goals being to start the new theatre company and recruit members of the board.

An additional £200,000 in grants has been made available by the ACW for the creation of two mainstage Welsh language productions for touring during 2003. Applications are currently being accepted for these grants.

Whilst outlining the project’s vision, Arts Council of Wales’ Chief Executive, Peter Tyndall stated, ‘ Our challenge is to help create a company that will produce programs of work spanning a variety of genres with an appeal to mainstream audiences in large and medium scale venues across Wales. The provision of opportunities for training and career development will ensure that the company provides work in Wales for talented people, including those Welsh speaking actors who are not currently working on Welsh stages.’

The project will increase access through the use of surtitles to assist Welsh language learners to appreciate the work being presented. Tyndall also said this project aimed to establish the reputation of the company and Wales-produced drama on the international drama scene, and would also help nurture new work written in Welsh.

The establishment of a Welsh language theatre company is a priority in the ACW’s Draft Arts Development Strategy 2002-2007, which is being discussed at a series of consultations throughout Wales this month.