Overview

Presenting Your Room, 4 weeks of glorious activity celebrating the ambition and artistry within Cardiff and beyond. We begin with Blue Sky Scratch, three weeks of carefully chosen scratch performances from brilliant Welsh companies and artists. Some you might recognise, some will be brand new to you because they really are brand brand new. We are delighted to welcome them all through our doors. This is your opportunity to join us at the beginning. To offer valuable feedback and help to shape the development of a show that could end up anywhere in the future; as well as watching some brilliant artists perform amazing, stripped back work. Each scratch performance costs £5, and there will be one performance in each slot before audience are invited to go out and grab another drink before coming back for a discussion about the piece chaired by a member of the TOR team. We're incredibly excited to open up the development process and invite you in; come join us!

Also included in this programme is the Blue Sky Manifesto, your chance to join us in wide ranging discussion about the future of our theatre and the theatre in general.

Alongside this, we are delighted to announce a Blue Sky Secret. A top secret performance. Trust us, buy a ticket. You won't know what you're watching until its happening, but we're sure you will like it.

To cap the whole thing off, we've also invited Empty Deck, a company that we love, to join us for a week of research and development. They will be presenting a showing of Christian Lollike's Cosmic Fear or The Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia on October 30th with tickets onsale soon.

FULL PROGRAMME

5/10 - CATRIONA JAMES presents... ‘Worse Things Happen’

Catriona James is an actor and physical performer. She is particularly interested in devising, movement and true storytelling. Past work includes Stand-up Tragedy at the Edinburgh Fringe, dance projects with National Theatre Wales and Constanza Macras|DorkyPark, moving image work with artist Hannah Rickards, and live art and film with artist/filmmaker Lucy Pawlak. Please visit www.catrionajames.com for more information, or follow @catjames on twitter.

I am currently exploring failure - as I relate to it personally, through my experience of depression - and through the broader spectrum of the messages about failure we receive from society. I am interested the many ways we try to force square pegs into round holes, and why we keep insisting that round holes are so damn important anyway. There will likely be dancing, autobiography, dressing up and confusion.

8/10 - DIATOMICO present... 'Bucket of Flies'

Diatomico are a company of actors, writer and director forged together off the back of The Other Room’s Young Artists Festival earlier in 2015. The week working on the festival was such a positive, creative experience that they decided to continue working together. 'Bucket of Flies' is Diatomico's first collaborative project, a completely new piece of theatre from writer Bruno León Chávez, It is a partially devised piece of original, non-gender specific theatre with a focus on the ensemble and storytelling.

"You see a fly and you swat it, right? Because flies are filthy. Who wants flies spreading their germs all over your skin? Swat them. Break their legs. Crush their wings. Swat every last one. There should be a machine for swatting them all together. That would sort them."

But what if the flies can talk back?

9/10 - NEONTOPIA present… ‘NEONSPARX!’

Neontopia Theatre present new and exciting short plays in Welsh and English, ‘NEONSPARX!’, a night presenting short, satisfying and/or tantalising snippets; the spark of an idea to be developed into a longer play. Sparking ideas, energy and enthusiasm in new writers.

Some of the most exciting, fresh new voices of Wales are taking the stage in this frantic and energetic night of new work.

Neontopia Theatre is a bi-lingual new writing company, brought to you by director Mared Swain and writer Alun Saunders after they collaborated on the recent ‘The Other Room’ production of ‘A Good Clean Heart’. Their passion to develop new, bi-lingual plays in Cardiff has sparked this new company to create a new kind of opportunity for brand spanking new writers to explore ideas, and to experience their plays being read by a talented bunch of actors, a priceless opportunity for any budding writer.

Mae cwmni theatr Neontopia yn cyflwyno eu noson gyntaf o ddramau byrion cyffroes newydd yn Gymraeg a Saesneg yn eu noson NEONSPARX! Noson yn cyflwyno dramau byr newydd dwy-ieithog. Gwreichionen o syniad mewn drama fer, dechreubwynt i ddrama hirach. Dyma rhai o leisiau mwyaf newydd a chyffroes Cymru, yn cael llwyfan i gyflwyno eu dramau i’r gynulleidfa. Bydd NEONSPARX yn pefrio gydag egni, brwdfrydedd a chefnogaeth i’r genhedlaeth nesa o sgwennwyr Cymru.

Mae Neontopia yn gwmni sgwennu newydd ddwy-ieithog, yn dod gan y gyfarwyddwraig Mared Swain a'r sgwennwr Alun Saunders, wedi iddyn nhw gyd-weithio ar y cynhyrchiad diweddar yn The Other Room o ‘ A Good Clean Heart’. Mae’r frwdfrydedd i ddatblygu dramau newydd yn ddwy-ieithog yn y Brifddinas wedi tanio’r cwmni newydd yma i greu cyfle arbennig i ddramodwyr newydd sbon danlli i archwilio syniadau, datblygu eu lleisiau fel artistiaid y dyfodol. Wrth glywed eu dramau yn cael eu darllen gan actorion profiadol, y gobaith yw y bydd yn tanio tan ym moliau pawb!

12/10 - CRITICAL AMBITION present... ‘A Double Bill of New Writing’

Critical Ambition are a fledgling theatre company based in the Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot area. With a thriving sporting scene, an expanding university, investment from the film and TV sector and many commercial developments, Swansea is finally fulfilling its role as Wales' second city. Its theatrical scene however still has a long way to go if it is to match these successes. Swansea's theatre scene is isolated. The extraordinary talent that is born and nurtured in the area is forced to move away in order to earn a living, and the city sees very little high quality work tour to its venues. This is down to one crucial issue; there isn't a self-sustaining audience in Swansea - especially amongst the younger generation. Critical Ambition's long term commitment is to develop and sustain a vibrant theatre scene in Swansea and it's surrounding areas. Our company is defined by our core values; open-mindedness, sophistication, accessibility, ambition and critical thought. It's these core values that we are driven by and not a specific style or genre. No matter where in the country we as professionals are working, we are dedicated to coming home to Swansea with at least a production a year which we will then share further afield - making sure Swansea's voice is heard.

‘The Fall’ and ‘The King Is Dead, Long Live The King’ were originally written for and staged by Dirty Protest Theatre. They both appeared as part of their ‘TAXI’ performance in September, 2015. ‘The Fall’ is by first time writer Rob Surman. Rob is a trilingual Swansea based writer who worked as a translator for many years before turning his hand to performing and writing. His first short film, ‘Complimentary Biscuit’, is currently being produced in association with Critical Ambition. The play is a work-in-progress that explores themes such as accountability and people’s responsibility to others. In a world where almost no bad deed goes unnoticed we are still bewildered by the exceptionalism in place for the ruling classes and corporate enterprises. ‘The King Is Dead, Long Live The King’ is written by experienced writer Matthew Bulgo. Matthew was the author of the award winning ‘Last Christmas’ that was co-produced by Clwyd Theatre Cymru and Dirty Protest - a company dedicated to Welsh new writing that Matthew is a core member of. ‘The King Is Dead, Long Live The King’ is a snapshot of two brothers at a father’s funeral. This punchy duologue is loaded with tension, wit and, like most family gatherings, fury. Both plays, although in their early stages, are not to be missed.

13/10 - GERAINT JONES presents... ‘A Crowd’

I’m a chubby homosexual writer from Swansea. I’ve had my work performed at The Royal Court and am a graduate of their Young Writers Programme. I have taken part in development schemes with ‘Hollyoaks’, BBC Writersroom and ‘Waterloo Road’. ‘Waterloo Road’ was cancelled shortly after, I am still unsure if this was as a direct result of my contribution.

Most recently I have been lucky enough to have two plays performed at The Sherman Theatre; ‘Pick N Mixx’, a one woman comedy cabaret which I took to the Edinburgh Fringe in August, and ‘Date Night’, a black comedy that followed three different couples on three very different dates.

‘A Crowd’ is a dark comedy about a couple, Ian and Steve, who, in a bid to spice things up, have decided to have a threesome. While all Steve can think about is cock, Ian is far more concerned with coasters, or the lack thereof. Chris, half their age, is both muscular and practically mute. All three men harbour secrets and feelings that they are unable to express.

I was keen to use this opportunity to try out this idea that I have had for sometime. I have been very lucky to have worked with Rich Tunley in the past and I am even luckier to have him directing this time around.

14/10 - THE OTHER ROOM presents... Blue Sky Manifesto

Join the TOR team for a free and wide-ranging discussion about our theatre and the scene beyond it as we evaluate the necessity of 'Blue Sky' thinking within the cultural sector.

What sort of theatre should we be presenting?

How should we be presenting it?

What does Cardiff need?

Can a theatre always take risks in a time of severe cuts to the arts?

Join us for a pint, a chat and some proper Blue Sky thinking. Why don't we have a go at sorting out the future?

Free to attend.

15/10 - PAUL JENKINS presents... ‘Theatr14’

Paul is a writer and actor. Plays for the stage include Natural Selection (Theatre503), First Person Shooter (Birmingham Rep) and These Trees Are Made Of Blood (Southwark Playhouse). Paul lived in Sofia, Bulgaria for 2 years where he trained and performed with a laboratory theatre. He’s become interested in authenticity and interaction – as we seem to struggle with these in performance and our daily lives.

In ‘Theatr14’ the work of an experimental theatre company comes to the attention of the Arts Council. Performances are rumoured to be pornographic, cultish, necromantic. Invited to defend these accusations and the company’s funding their messianic director arrives in Cardiff to be interviewed. Confounding his arts officers with his bizarre philosophy of performance they agree to observe the next performance and make a final assessment. ‘Theatr14’ is an exploration of what theatre is, what theatre could be and why we fund the arts.

16/10 - NEIL BEBBER presents... ‘Rabbit’

Neil started writing 5 years ago, after winning ‘Script Slam' at Sherman Cymru for his first play SEVEN PEOPLE. He has since received Guardian reviews for his plays CUL DE SAC and STRAIGHT and has had work performed at Sherman Cymru, The Other Room Theatre (Young Artists Festival) and by Dirty Protest as well as Riverside Studios, the Old Vic Tunnels and Almeida Theatre in London. He’s also won ‘Script Slam’ on two more occasions with his short plays MEAT and TOGETHER. He is currently developing two speculative TV pilots, CUL DE SAC and HELLO SUNSHINE, as well as ideas for radio drama, having recently completed a seed commission, ARK for National Theatre Wales. He’s also developing two new plays, PERFECTLY PRESERVED and RABBIT (as featured in the scratch performance), and is working on a number of other speculative projects for stage and screen. He lives in Cardiff and is represented by Nick Quinn at The Agency in London.

RABBIT (Working title)

ACT 1: Explores the lives of a seemingly happy couple in their mid 30s, and how their sex lives are affected and distorted by boredom, the internet, societal expectations and an increasing realisation of the insignificance of the act in the absence of an urge to reproduce.

ACT 2: Following the tragic early death of the couple in ACT 1, their respective mothers are tasked with clearing the house, exploring their mutual grief whilst sorting through things left behind, including a recently discovered "sex cupboard".

19/10 - ITCH present... 'The F Word'

We're a bi-lingual three piece company that have become good friends because of our love of theatre. Naomi and Carys met at The Other Room's Young Artist Festival, and Huw Blainey is a London' Rose Bruford graduate. We are desperate to create grotesque humour theatre while discussing daily issues that get under our skin!

We like to think of it as ‘The F word (that we don't like to use) on crack.’. The F word being Feminism. A non-naggy production including real life experiences from real people. This production is full of grotesque humour, putting a mirror up in front of the audience to show them how messed up the world is that we live in.

20/10 - HIDDEN WINDOW present... 'Alice'

We are a two woman theatre company, Cat Griffin and Kerrie Sellick, who joined forces to create new work dealing with topics that we were both interested in. We are particularly interested in creating plays that focus around mental health problems and the way they are perceived in society. We are primarily actors and this is our first adventure into writing and producing together. Kerrie has co-produced a play dealing with mental health for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was involved in a pub soap opera performance for Made in Roath Festival. Cat has recently been involved in the Young Artists Festival with The Other Room and has also collaborated with Clock Tower Theatre Company on a devised production based on the Greek myth, Orpheus.

Alice returns to her family home. In the attic, she is forced to deal with not only old trinkets but buried secrets and ghosts of her childhood. With the help of her sister, Anna, she is forced to come to terms with her past in order to ensure her future. But is Anna who she appears to be? Will their sisterly bond be severed by deep betrayals? Will Alice ever escape this rabbit hole?

21/10 - HIJINX present… ‘Meet Fred’

Based at Wales Millennium Centre, Hijinx produce, pioneer and promote stunning inclusive performance. To do this we have a network of training academies in Cardiff, Carmarthen and Rhyl for performers with learning disabilities. These performers then work alongside non-disabled performers in a devising process to create our professional productions. The company also run the annual Unity Festival, an international showcase of the best of inclusive performance. We believe that the inclusion of performers with learning disability in the creation and performance of our work makes it unique, enthralling and often refreshing.

The seed for ‘Meet Fred’ was sown during a week-long residency led by puppetry company Blind Summit in September 2013. After the residency Blind Summit made us a set of puppets which we have used to explore the themes for ‘Meet Fred’ during our Academy sessions in Cardiff with our students with learning disability. We then had two days of R&D in April 2015 when a basic concept took the form of a character called Fred. In the week of 12th October we will have another week of R&D. The project will go into rehearsals in January 2016 with a short tour from the end of February.

22/10 - SCRIPTOGRAPHY present... ‘Crash Test’

Scriptography Productions was created in 2012 and looks to support and develop new writers, finding platforms for text based work to be produced and encouraging cross-disciplinary collaborations. The company seeks to engage new audiences through choice of subject matter and by producing cross-disciplinary, multi-platform work and are an associate company at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. For this evening in Cardiff, Scriptography Productions is back supporting writing and writers in Ceredigion presenting its unique form of scratch night.

In 2012 the company launched a pilot of a new play 'To Kill a Machine', by Aberystwyth University law lecturer Catrin Fflur Huws. This pilot culminated in 2015 with a Welsh tour and a run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The 2015 tour and the appearance at the Fringe was supported by Arts Council Wales and a Kickstarter campaign. The project was produced in partnership with Cwmni Arad Goch and the play will be touring again in 2016.

Crash Test is a regular scratch night in Aberystwyth which offers writers and performers the chance to share work in development with a supportive audience. It has taken place in cafes and bars and is currently hosted by Aberystwyth Arts Centre.  It includes work from Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Writing for Performance Group along with several other writing groups and individuals from Aberystwyth. Crash Test is unique in that it does not define the forms of writing that can participate and is open to any form of performance which includes text.

23/10 - NICOLA REYNOLDS presents... 'A Sunny Disposition'

A Sunny Disposition is a one man show I am developing about Charlie, a young, working/middle class father, who struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. To the outside world Charlie looks 'normal'. Car, job, house and mortgage but the piece explores the torture inside his head, struggling to come to terms with his illness. After a catalogue of drinking and drugging disasters, funny, humiliating and tragic, one final catalyst leads to the question, "to drink or not to drink...?"

28/10 - BLUE SKY SECRET

We’ve got a secret. Do you want to know what it is?

In the spirit of adventure and experimentation, and as part of our five week ‘Your Room’ programme of work we are pleased to present a couple of one-off ‘Blue Sky Secrets’.

What is it? We aren’t telling you.

Who is in it? Nice try.

Who else is involved? We couldn’t possibly tell you that.

Just know that we’re working with some of Wales’ finest to bring you something that will knock your socks off. If you want to know the secret you’ll just have to buy a ticket. You won’t know what it is until it starts; but trust us, you’ll like it.

30/10 - EMPTY DECK - 'Cosmic Fear'

We love Empty Deck. They are a bold new company making exciting work with an international focus, something that we feel lots of us could be doing more of. They tell stories that cross artistic forms and geographical borders. Collaborating with contemporary playwrights and artists from all over the world, they strive to make invigorating theatre that is physically bold, emotionally stirring, and relevant. They want to make work that is both local and global in its reach.

Sounds bloody good, doesn’t it?

We like Empty Deck so much that we’ve invited them to take over The Other Room for one week in order to research and develop a production, Danish playwright Christian Lollike’s ‘Cosmic Fear or The Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia’.

Christian Lollike works with stage and installation art in theaters, public areas and virtual platforms. He has produced numerous theatre texts and his texts are played in and outside of Europe. During the last couple of years, Lollike’s work has been dealing more and more with inter-aesthetics and he has made a ballet, an opera installation and a political party. His artistic drive derives from wanting to understand events, social trends and changes in politics and society. He is known as one of the most progressive playwrights and artists in Denmark.

‘Cosmic Fear or The Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia’ charts our growing concerns and paralysis over the impact of climate change on the planet. LA is filled with traffic jams under heavy smog, trees are drifting under floods in Bangladesh and in China incinerators are burning holes in the ozone layer. Brad Pitt fears the future. Brad is a man of action and he’s not here to entertain, but to make a difference. Brad embarks on the great universal love project: to Save Planet Earth.

After working on the play for a week, Empty Deck will be presenting a scratch performance of ‘Cosmic Fear or The Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia’ in The Other Room.

Tickets available soon.

Cast & Creatives

Featuring work by and from Catriona James, DiatomiCo., Neontopia, Critical Ambition, Geraint Jones, Paul Jenkins, Neil Bebber, ITCH, Hidden Window, Hijinx, Scriptography, Nicola Reynolds and Empty Deck amongst many, many others.

Tickets

Tickets