Sherman Theatre has announced casting for the next two audio theatre experiences in the Heart of Cardiff series: Goodbye Memory Lane by Emma Cooney, and Peerless by Owen Thomas.
Goodbye Memory Lane by Emma Cooney will be released on 15 October, and is based on the true story of one woman’s last night in Cardiff before emigrating. The warm and tender audio drama follows Sue as she walks around her neighbourhood one final time, and contemplates the life we leave behind when we leave home. Taking us back to the 1980s, Goodbye Memory Lane can be enjoyed both as a guided walk through Heath and an immersive audio drama.
The cast comprises three actors who will be familiar to Sherman Theatre audiences. Sue will be played by Kezrena James, best known to Sherman Theatre audiences for her performance as Arietty in the Main House Christmas production of The Borrowers. Having trained at the Guildford School of Acting, Kezrena has numerous television credits including Being Human, Doctors, and Crash. Also on stage, Kezrena recently appeared in the National Theatre’s My Brilliant Friend, the West End run and tour of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s production of The Winter’s Tale.
Playing Sue’s mother Violet will be Sara Gregory. Sara’s stage credits include Romeo and Juliet for Sherman Theatre, Home, I’m Darling for the National Theatre & Theatr Clwyd, and Sand for The Other Room. Most recently, TV audiences will have seen Sara in BBC Wales’ comedy The Tourist Trap.
Sue’s father, Don, will be played by Keiron Self. Keiron is much loved by Sherman audiences, having appeared in five consecutive Main House Christmas productions: Arabian Nights; The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; The Borrowers, The Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland. Keiron is most widely known for playing Roger in BBC1’s sitcom My Family.
Goodbye Memory Lane will be directed by Matthew Holmquist, Artistic Director of Red Oak Theatre. Matthew most recently directed the world premiere of Ripples by Tracy Harris, a collaboration between Sherman Theatre and Royal Welsh College as part of National Theatre Wales and Sherman Theatre’s Network Play Readings series. The Assistant Director for both Goodbye Memory Lane and Peerless is Connor Allen who makes his directorial debut with the audio dramas and trained at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Composer and Sound Designer for the piece will be Tic Ashfield, BAFTA Cymru Original Music Award winner for her piece Galsea and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama alumna.
Peerless, by Owen Thomas, takes us south of Heath and into Cathays cemetery. After dark, a chance encounter helps struggling Kirsty to learn how to fight back.
Kirsty will be played by Bethany Wooding, an emerging actor from Cardiff. Bethany has trained with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama’s Young Actor Studio, and with the National Youth Theatres for both Wales and Great Britain.
Portraying the mysterious boxer Kirsty meets will be Alex Harries, who is himself an amateur boxer and actor. Best known for his roles as Lloyd in Hinterland and Arthur in Keeping Faith, Alex Harries has worked with multiple theatre companies across Wales such as Volcano Theatre Company and the Welsh Fargo Stage Company.
Peerless will be directed by Joe Murphy, Sherman Theatre’s Artistic Director, with Assistant Director Connor Allen.
The Composer and Sound Designer for Peerless is Eädyth, whose music features regularly on BBC Wales and Radio Cymru.
Joe Murphy said: “As Heart of Cardiff continues with these two fantastic plays by Emma Cooney and Owen Thomas, we’re delighted to be working with such a great cast of Welsh actors.
“Both of these audio dramas take us to a specific time and place in the city: Goodbye Memory Lane walks us through Heath on the evening before Sue moves far from Wales, contemplating her future and what she’s leaving behind. Peerless takes us into Cathays Cemetery under the cover of darkness, bringing together two kindred spirits who forge an unlikely bond.
“The actors involved in each play have thrown themselves into creating memorable, loveable characters, giving voice to distinctly Welsh stories with universal resonance. We can’t wait to bring our audiences these two wonderful new plays which, in their own ways, both pay tribute to truly special people who make Cardiff a truly special city.”
Listen to Goodbye Memory Lane by Emma Cooney from 15 October, and Peerless from 22 October, on the new Heart of Cardiff mini site free: www.heartofcardiff.co.uk