National Theatre Wales brings Wonderman, Yuri and A Good Clean Heart to Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016
National Theatre Wales will team up with multi-award-winning theatre company Gagglebabble to createWonderman, a brand new gig-theatre production that celebrates some of the darker, adult stories written by Roald Dahl, who was born in Cardiff in September 1916.
Wonderman tells the story of a WWII RAF pilot Dahl, who finds himself in a hospital bed, badly injured. He slips in and out of a world of dreams, hallucinations and nightmares, down the strange and unexpected corridors and rabbit holes of Dahl’s mind. It will combine original music performed by a cracking live band, grisly plots, soaring imaginings and thrilling twists and turns, all injected with a wicked sense of humour.
Fresh from winning the Wales Theatre Award 2016 for Best Playwright in the English Language, Alun Saunders’ funny and moving play, A Good Clean Heart, marks an Edinburgh Fringe debut for his newly-formed theatre company, Neontopia, alongside Director, Mared Swain.
A Good Clean Heart is a moving coming-of-age story about two brothers raised by different families, and who speak different languages, and is performed with animated subtitles in both English and Welsh. It’s a co-production between Wales Millennium Centre and Neontopia in association with The Other Room and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, with National Theatre Wales and British Council Wales, and was originally produced by and premiered at Cardiff’s pub theatre The Other Room.
And one of Wales’ leading theatre companies, August 012, will be making its Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut (with Chapter Arts Centre) with Yuri; a high-pitched, absurd yet sobering farce by French playwright Fabrice Melquiot that examines the conflict between an infertile couple desperately struggling to make sense of the world around them.
Melquiot published the original play, Youri, in 2011. In 2015, it was adapted into Welsh and English by award-winning Welsh writer Daf James. It will be performed at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff as part of its Edinburgh Preview Festival, 26th-30th July, and will be performed in Edinburgh in English (with flashes of Welsh) by the same cast.
This will be National Theatre Wales’ third visit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, following sell-out runs of The Dark Philosophers (with Told by an Idiot) in 2011, and The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price in 2013, which won the inaugural James Tait Black Award for Drama.
Kully Thiarai, Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, said: “National Theatre Wales is delighted to be returning to Edinburgh to showcase and celebrate some of the wonderful and diverse work that makes up Wales’ rich theatre landscape. It will enable a UK-wide and international audience to experience fantastic Welsh talent, and will highlight our ongoing commitment to original and exciting new work through collaboration and partnership.”
Wales Millennium Centre’s has also presented two other productions at the Edinburgh Fringe – I’m With The Band by Tim Price, a co–production with Traverse Theatre, and Man to Man, which received four 5-star reviews in 2015.
Louise Miles-Crust, Head of Programming at Wales Millennium Centre said: “We are really excited to be teaming up with National Theatre Wales & British Council Wales on the Made in Wales strand this year, presenting three diverse and high quality pieces that truly represent some of the best that Wales has to offer. As Wales’ national cultural centre is very important for us to be able to take the best of Wales to the world and the Fringe certainly goes a long way to achieve that.”