Killology, a co-production between Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre and London’s Royal Court Theatre has been nominated for an Olivier Award in the Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre category. The nomination for the world premiere production of Gary Owen’s play follows on from recent recognition for Sherman Theatre’s success under Rachel O’Riordan’s artistic directorship and the Sherman’s increasingly important role in UK Theatre. In January, Sherman Theatre won Best Regional Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards 2018 recognising the Sherman as the best theatre in the UK outside of London and Rachel O’Riordan appeared in the Stage 100, the definitive list of the most influential people in British Theatre.
Rachel O’Riordan has said: ‘I am over the moon. I am hugely grateful to Vicky Featherstone for her generosity and support- the Royal Court is an incredible place to work. . I am proud to be the Artistic Director of the Sherman, and I hope our Cardiff audience are proud to see this major recognition for work made by welsh and wales based artists. Onwards and upwards.’
Co-productions are hugely important to Sherman Theatre, enabling the organisation to produce the best possible work for its audiences whilst giving exceptional Welsh and Wales based talent a UK-wide platform. Sherman Theatre’s strong relationship with the Royal Court is also a highly productive one. With Killology, Sherman Theatre became the first producing house in Wales to co-produce with this iconic powerhouse of new writing. The production, directed by Rachel O’Riordan, premiered at Sherman Theatre in the heart of the Welsh capital. The three-strong cast included Welsh actors Richard Mylan and Sion Daniel Young alongside Sean Gleeson. Killology’s run in Cardiff was a total sell out with the production then transferring to the Royal Court.
Killology, a powerful play about fatherhood, masculinity and violence, was the second collaboration between Welsh playwright Gary Owen and Rachel O’Riordan. It followed the huge success of Iphigenia in Splott which won best new play at the UK Theatre Awards in 2015 and the James Tait Black Prize for Drama for Gary Owen. Iphigenia in Splott played to sell out houses in Cardiff, at the Edinburgh Festival and on tour across Wales and the rest of the UK. A run of performances at the National Theatre in London saw Sherman Theatre become the first Welsh producing house to have work transferred there. Killology was followed by a major re-imagining of The Cherry Orchard set in 1980s Pembrokeshire which, when it was performed in October 2017, had its run extended due to popular demand. Rachel O’Riordan and Gary Owen’s partnership has developed an increasing audience for new Welsh writing and provided it with an international platform through performances in Berlin and New York. The importance of this relationship has been acknowledged by critics and commentators across Wales, the rest of the UK and internationally.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 8 April.