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The Violennce Series is a trio of dystopian dramas – written by Matthew Bulgo, Tess Berry-Hart and Mari Izzard – set in a world that is familiar but on fire. Commissioned and produced by The Other Room for their Autumn 2019 season, each play explores the themes that divide us and asks profound questions of the darker side of humanity. When does an act become violent? Should we really fight fire with fire? And how far would you go to avoid it?

AMERICAN NIGHTMARE by/gan Matthew Bulgo

“It’s chaos out there. Not that I’m complaining. Lotta profit in chaos.”

High above New York City, the super-rich wine and dine in sky-line restaurants dreaming of bigger and better cities. In a military bunker deep in the heart of an American wasteland, the poor compete for food and preferment in a programme with more than sinister ends. What happens when the rift between haves and the have-nots becomes unassailable?

Matthew Bulgo returns to The Other Room once again with this intellectual thriller. Directed by one of Wales’ most established directors, Sara Lloyd, American Nightmare dissects the battle lines that exist within the eponymous ‘American Dream’.

THE STORY & HELA Double Bill

THE STORY by/gan Tess Berry-Hart

"It’s all about the narrative. Are you in fact, a normal person? Or is your normality actually a sinister thing, a cloak draped over evil, a terrorist underneath a flesh-mask?" 

A volunteer arrives back from working in a refugee camp to discover she is now an "enemy of the people." Arrested and imprisoned for her actions, the only way to maintain her sanity in a world turned upside down is to discover the identity of the mysterious interrogator from her past. 

Inspired by Tess’s work with refugees from Assad’s jails and Libyan prisons, The Story is a psychological thriller set in a Kafkaesque world that interrogates the language of ‘othering’ and the stories we tell ourselves to justify violence. Is mental torture worse than physical? And how long can we last before our loyalty – and sanity - splinters and snaps?  The Story is a disquieting exploration of moral condemnation and personal responsibility that keeps the audience guessing to the very end. 

Directed by Fringe First winner David Mercatali [Dark Vanilla Jungle, Blue Heart, Cargo and other works].

HELA by/gan Mari Izzard

“Do’s dim hawl ’da ti adael,

You don’t get to leave,

Do’s dim hawl ’da ti anghofio pwy wyt ti

You don’t get to forget who you really are”

 

Mae Erin yn fam ifanc sydd wedi colli ei mab, ond does neb yn gwrando. A hithau wedi cyrraedd pen ei thennyn, ond yn benderfynol, mae’n rhaid iddi ddod o hyd iddo rhywsut neu’i gilydd. Gan aros yn amyneddgar am y foment iawn, nawr yw’r amser i weithredu, a’r amser am atebion a chyfiawnder. Mewn dyfodol dychmygol sy’n lawn gwybodaeth a gwrthryfel, mae cyfiawnder yn cael ei bennu – fel popeth arall – gan algorithm. Yn y Gymru doredig hon, mae’r trais mwyaf erchyll yn cael ei glodfori, ac mae llwybrau cyfiawnder yn annelwig. Mae Hela yn gofyn, a allwn ni roi ein ffydd yn ein hobsesiwn gyda data? A oesmodd lleddfu’r poen mwyaf dwfn? A pha mor bell rydyn ni’n fodlon mynd er mwyn sicrhau cyfiawnder?  

Y stori dywyll, gythryblus hon yw drama gyntaf Mari Izzard, enillydd Gwobr Violet Burns, sef gwobr The Other Room i ddramodwyr. Mae hi’n stori llawn cyfrinachau teuluol tywyll am ymdrech ddiflino am gyfiawnder. Dan Jones, Cyfarwyddwr Artistig The Other Room, yw cyfarwyddwr y cynhyrchiad dwyieithog hwn, sy’n cynnwys dulliau dyfeisgar ar gyfer rhoi mynediad iaith, a’r rheiny wedi’u gwau i mewn i’r naratif. P’un ai a ydych chi’n siarad Cymraeg yn rhugl ai peidio, bydd pawb yn gallu deall, mwynhau a chael ei herio gan y cynhyrchiad herfeiddiol hwn.

Erin, a young mother, has lost her son but no one will listen. Driven and desperate, she must find him by any means necessary. Waiting patiently for the right moment, now is the time for action, answers and justice. In a futuristic world of information and revolt, justice is determined – like everything else – by an algorithm. In this dystopian Wales, the most odious form of violence is protected, and the lines of justice become blurred. Hela asks whether our obsession with data can truly be trusted? Can deep seated pain ever be defused? And how far we are willing to go to see justice happen? 

Winner of The Other Room’s Violet Burns Playwright Award, Mari Izzard makes her playwriting debut with this dark and unsettling tale. Hela leaves no rock unturned in this tale of dirty family secrets and vigilant justice. Artistic Director Dan Jones directs this unsettling bilingual production with innovative accessibility woven into the narrative. Whether you speak Welsh or not, everyone will be able to understand, enjoy and be challenged by this provocative production.

Mae Hela yn gynhyrchiad gan The Other Room mewn cydweithrediad â Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru/ Hela is produced by The Other Room in association with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.


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More information on dates, performance times and tickets availale via the following links:

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Theatre503, Battersea
15/01 - 18/01
American Nightmare: 15/01 & 17/01 at 19:30, 16/01 & 18/01 at 15:00
The Story & Hela Double Billl: 15/01 & 17/01 at 15:00, 16/01 & 18/01 at 19:30

Box Office - Theatre503


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Ffwrnes, Llanelli
23/01 - 25/01
American Nightmare: 23/01 & 25/01 at 19:30
The Story & Hela Double Bill: 24/01 at 19:30, 25/01 at 15:00

Box Office - Ffwrnes


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Arad Goch, Aberystwyth
29/01 - 31/01
American Nightmare: 29/01 & 31/01 at 19:30
The Story & Hela Double Bill: 30/01 at 19:30, 31/01 at 15:00

Box Office - Arad Goch

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Mold
06/02 - 08/02
American Nightmare: 06/02 & 08/02 at 19:30
The Story & Hela Double Bill: 07/02 at 19:30, 08/02 at 15:00

Box Office - Theatr Clwyd


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Bangor 
12/02 - 14/02
American Nightmare: 12/02 & 14/02 at 19:30
The Story & Hela Double Bill: 13/02 at 19:30, 14/02 at 15:00

Box Office - Pontio