What is the relationship of theatre in the capital to the rest of Wales?

Proposed by = Sian Summers

Participants = Simon Harris. Joined by Angharad Lee and Nathan Keates

A feeling of lack of possibility in certain parts of Wales – Aled Jones Williams (playwright) on widespread sense of “ennui” – and loss of cultural identity.

Why does eg. SE Wales and Wrexham struggle to access funding or assert its sense of identity?

The Pontio, Bangor – seems to be struggling to find the right people/approach in its mission to marry science and the arts. Ambitious mission but, where there is no expertise or previous tradition, who is going to pick this up and run with it?

Is development at the grassroots a better way to engage? Have the big initiatives sucked momentum away from certain communities to their detriment?

With Sherman Cymru acknowledging how difficult it is to maintain a level of production with the funding that it currently has and Clwyd Theatr Cymru well-supported but geographically remote from Cardiff, isn’t it time to think about strategically linking the two companies? Why not merge the two companies? Isn’t it strange that Cardiff doesn’t have a producing house with the same consequence as Mold?

Writers/directors seem to reach a glass ceiling in Wales. We need to move beyond catering exclusively for the emerging/developmental. What are artists emerging into? Lack of productions and lack of opportunity for career development is wasteful and harming the nurture of Wales-based talent. Artists are sick of feeling that they are second-rate and treated as such because they are Wales-based.

Attitudes are important – need to relate to people on their own terms. Top down approaches are not helpful.

Need to challenge ourselves too – seek out different experiences, types of theatre, theatre-making.

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