News to whet your appetites for all things Theatr Iolo in 2019.

2019 will see Theatr Iolo, under the new team of Artistic Director Lee Lyford and General Manager Michelle Perez, embark on an exciting year of co-productions, new commissions, international collaborations and the continued development and touring of original work for young audiences in Wales and beyond.

From Lee Lyford, Theatr Iolo’s Artistic Director:

“I’m incredibly excited that Theatr Iolo is starting the year with two great shows that reflect the range and quality of what the company has to offer young audiences. I can’t wait to start work with some of the brightest talents in young people’s theatre who share our goal of making 2019 a bumper year of live theatre from Theatr Iolo.”

The start of the year sees the return of Pen-blwydd Poenus Pete by Olivier Award-winning playwright Gary Owen, on a Wales-wide tour.  Siôn Pritchard directs this comedy for ages 6 plus about Pete, a father who doesn’t react well to his family taking him at his word when he says he doesn’t want a fuss on his birthday. We’re welcoming back Richard Nichols who comes fresh from entertaining audiences in the Riverfront’s pantomime Sleeping Beauty as he reprises his role as the driven-to-distraction, phone obsessed Pete! Pen-blwydd Poenus Pete is perfect for Welsh speaking or Welsh learner families and school groups alike, and there will be a wealth of free learner resources and activities to help Welsh speakers of all levels enjoy the show.  This tour will take in Chapter, Cardiff, the Lyric Carmarthen, Pontio, Bangor, he Park and Dare in Treorchy, The Welfare, Ystraddgynlais, Theatr Brycheiniog and Theatr Clwyd. For dates please click here

Following on from the successes of the our pioneering #IndiaWales collaboration with Think Arts in Kolkata, Creating Theatre for Babies project led by Sarah Argent in 2017/18, we’re thrilled that this programme has led to Transporter by Catherine Dyson being part of Wales in Kolkata; a season of Welsh arts activity and collaboration this January. Catherine will perform at the Kolkata Junior Literary Meet and in collaboration with Think Arts will work with a group of teenagers from Kolkata to develop their own scripts. The project is once again supported by the British Council and Wales Arts International.

Transporter is a solo performance written for ages 11 to adult and performed by Catherine Dyson, directed by Andy Smith, with an original soundtrack by Lewis Gibson. This is the story of a girl called Maya, a girl who is always thirteen, always on the move. It is a story of a never-ending search for the last safe place on earth, exploring themes of identity, difference, conflict, and what it means to come or not come from somewhere. We’re also putting the final touches to a Spring/Summer tour of Wales of this remarkable piece that was developed with young people in Newport.

Theatr Iolo is delighted to announce these new projects following a busy year bringing our schools project Playhouse to The Riverfront Newport, touring Wales with our Writers’ Workshops, wowing audiences in the Eisteddfod with Meiddio Meddwl (our Ysgol Glan Morfa/Creative Collaboration production) and our Pontio co-production Chwarae, as well as creating three new pieces for babies in Cardiff and India during our #IndiaWales collaboration.  We have also seen our Platfform artist development residencies in The Welfare Ystradgynlais, The Riverfront and Pontio culminate in an explosion of new work for young audiences from artists Catherine Dyson, Tin Shed Theatre Co, the Jones Collective, Elgan Rhys and Gavin Porter.


Aled Rees