Heart of Cardiff has now launched, and we’re so excited to bring this audio theatre series to you via our brand-new mini site. Sign up FREE to heartofcardiff.co.uk and you can listen to all audio theatre experiences in the series as soon as they’re released. We will also send you a notification each time a new audio theatre experience goes live, so you don’t miss out.
Our city is full of surprises.
You can live in and love a city, but it can still surprise you. Whilst our doors are temporarily closed we are going to celebrate our amazing city with ten short audio theatre experiences. Each experience will capture your imagination and take you on an adventure across Cardiff. You’ll hear incredible but true stories from the past that you never knew took place. You’ll discover the secret lives of places you might pass by without a second thought. You’ll meet a world of extraordinary people and explore Cardiff as if it is an unfamiliar land. So this autumn, pop in your earphones, close your eyes, and truly experience the Heart of Cardiff.
The ten stories will be told by writers from across the city including familiar names, emerging talent and first time writers: Claire Boot, Emma Cooney, Emily Garside, Tim Green, Kyle Lima, Hannah McPake, Nia Morais, Mali Ann Rees, Owen Thomas and Aled Wyn Thomas. Heart of Cardiff was made possible through funding from the Arts Council of Wales’s National Lottery Fund and The Moondance Foundation.
Find out more about our Heart of Cardiff writers and their audio theatre experiences:
Mr Carlos De Pass Kyle Lima
Release date: 8 October.
Butetown. “Never let anyone make you a prisoner of your skin.”
Kyle Lima imagines an uplifting encounter with a trailblazing figure of the Black community and an unsung Cardiff hero in his drama Mr Carlos De Pass. With his great grandson facing racism, Carlos De Pass shares the incredible but true story of his ordeal as a WWII prisoner and what he learnt. What Carlos has to say, we all need to hear right now.
Kyle Lima is an Actor, Writer and Director from Cardiff, and a graduate of Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Kyle has had a career working in theatre, TV and film and is an associate artist at Sherman Theatre and Theatr Iolo. Kyle is a BBC Writersroom 2019 alumni and has written for Sky on their SkyArts ART50 initiative.
Kyle’s stage acting credits include: Muscle(Chapter); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bristol Old Vic, Barbican Centre & Kennedy Centre USA); World Cup Final 1966 (Bristol Old Vic); The Last Mermaid (Festival of Voice - Wales Millennium Centre); The Little Match Girl(Shakespeare’s Globe); Tristan & Yseult(Shakespeare’s Globe, Bristol Old Vic & Theatre Clwyd); The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Sherman Theatre & Tron Theatre); Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). TV credits include: Merlin, Doctors, Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special 2019. Film credits include: Burn Burn Burn, Pink Wall.
Goodbye Memory Lane by Emma Cooney
Release date: 15 October.
A new life awaits Sue. There’s just time for one more walk through Heath.
In Heath, we follow Sue as she walks around her neighbourhood one final time. Emma Cooney’s warm and tender story Goodbye Memory Lane contemplates the life we leave behind when we leave home and anticipates the new future that awaits us.
Goodbye Memory Lane can be enjoyed anywhere but can also be used an audio guide to follow Sue’s footsteps through Heath.
Emma is a writer and actor currently in her third year at LAMDA. Emma wrote Belly Buttons as part of Sherman Theatre’s TEN/DEG series. She was a writer in the Young Artists Festival at The Other Room in 2018. Emma has been a member of Sherman Youth Theatre and Sherman Players, and appeared in Sherman Theatre’s 2017 Christmas production The Wind in the Willows as an Apprentice Actor.
Peerless by Owen Thomas
Release date: 22 October.
Cathays cemetery. The witching hour. Kirsty’s life is on the ropes, but a chance encounter gives her the drive to fight back.
Kirsty needs some space and a place to think and finds herself in Cathays Cemetery. She meets a Boxer on a night time stroll who teaches her to fight back. Owen Thomas’s feel good play is inspired by Cardiff’s legendary boxer Peerless Jim Driscoll. Owen has worked closely with Llanrumney Boxing Club to research his play. Emerging playwright Callum Lloyd is being mentored by Owen throughout the project.
Owen is an award-winning Playwright whose plays include The Wood and Grav for Torch Theatre where he’s an Associate Artist. Grav has toured extensively, enjoying successful runs in London, Washington, New York, and a special one-off performance for the Welsh National Rugby team prior to their Six Nations victory against England in 2019.
His breakthrough play Richard Parker won Best International Show at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Los Angeles in 2012. In 2019, West, his first American commission, premiered in Milwaukee, to a standing ovation. West toured Wales in Spring this year with performances in London and New York.
Owen is one half of ‘Bale and Thomas’ with Gareth John Bale. They have spent lockdown writing and directing monthly radio plays for RCT Theatres and Isolationship, an online play. Owen also wrote Who Runs Towards a Fire? as part of Sherman Theatre TEN/DEG series.
Crafangau by Nia Morais
Release date: 29 October.
Fairwater. A panther stalks through the woods.
In Nia Morais’ beautiful magical realist drama Crafangau, Mason’s Grandma has an image of how she wants her granddaughter to look and who she wants her to be. Mason lacks the courage to confront her, that is until she meets a most unexpected creature in the woods who helps her to get in touch with and set free who she really is. Crafangau is performed in the Welsh language.
Nia is a Welsh and Cape Verdean writer from Cardiff who also speaks about diversity and education. She graduated in 2020 with a Master's in Creative Writing from Cardiff University. In her writing she is currently focusing on fantasy, horror, and LGBTQIA+ identity. She has been previously published in The Ghastling.
Bratiaith by Mali Ann Rees
Release date: 12 November.
“Ti ddim yn ddu ti’n gymraes.” “Actually Mam fi’n y ddau peth.”
“You're not black you're Welsh" "Actually Mam, I'm both things"
In Mali Ann Rees’ powerful bilingual story Bratiaith, Gwawr a young mixed heritage Cardiffian woman feels caught between her two identities. Feeling she is an outsider in the predominantly white Welsh speaking world and being deprived knowledge of her own black history, can she reconcile the two particularly in a time of turmoil?
Mali is a bilingual Cardiff born actress, trained at East 15 Acting School. Since graduating in summer 2017 Mali has worked on numerous television and theatre productions. Mali debuted her acting career as Ffion in Severn Screens BBC/S4C Bilingual Crime Drama Hidden/Craith. She has since toured Penblwydd Poenus Pete with Theatr Iolo, Worlds Apart in War with Theatr Clwyd and Y Cylch Sialc with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. Mali’s most recent TV Credits include Merched Parchus on S4C playing the character of Siriol and as BBC One comedy Tourist Trap. Despite writing for many years this is Mali’s debut piece, and hopefully not her last!
See For Yourself by Claire Boot
Release date: 19 November.
Sometimes to properly see the sights you have to discover their history.
Claire Boot’s witty drama transports us back to 1998 to playfully explore the historic relationship between Cardiff and the Valleys. It asks at the dawn of devolution what it meant to be Welsh, to be from the capital and to be from the Valleys.
Claire Boot was born in Cardiff and studied at the University of Birmingham, gaining a Masters in English Literature. Her scripts have featured in SEEN at The Other Room and the Significant Other Festival at the Oldham Coliseum, as well as in theatre-in-education and community productions in Birmingham, London and Somerset. Claire’s prose fiction has been published in National Flash Fiction Day and Bath Flash Fiction Award anthologies, and she has written and recorded poetry for Big Start Assemblies and Dawns i Bawb. Claire also delivers workshops in primary schools for the Penrhys Pilgrimage Way, a historic 21-mile walking route between Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff and Penrhys in the Rhondda. During lockdown, she was commissioned by Literature Wales to create Write At Home, a series of fifteen short videos using household items as prompts for creative writing.
See You Later, Meunier by Aled Wyn Thomas
Cardiff, July 2016. A city united on one incredible night.
Football is nothing without its fans and the beautiful game has the power to bring people together. Aled Wyn Thomas will bring fans' stories of the road to Wales’ quarter final win over Belgium at UEFA Euro 2016 to the fore in an entertaining bilingual documentary – See You Later Meunier.
Aled has been a part of the creative community in Cardiff for over 10 years. In this time, he has collaborated with National Theatre Wales, Leeway Productions and Tin Shed Theatre Co. His writing is inspired by human experiences, emotional connections and his other main passion in life - football.
As a performer, he has appeared at The Other Room, Wales Millennium Centre and Sherman Theatre. His television credits include Y Pris, Caerdydd, Rownd a Rownd and Pobol y Cwm.
Centre Stage: Stories of Cardiff's LGBTQIA+ Community by Emily Garside
Release date: 27 November.
What is community, really?
In this insightful and wide-ranging documentary, Emily Garside tells the story of her own search for a community where she feels she belongs. As she revisits formative moments in her life so far, Emily meets other people from across Cardiff's LGBTQIA+ community who share their own individual experiences. Centre Stage celebrates our connections with others and the people who together make a community.
Emily is a writer of many kinds, including but not limited to playwright, journalist and academic. After training in Montreal and at RADA, Emily then undertook a PhD which researched theatrical responses to the AIDS crisis, and the evolution of LGBTQIA+ theatre. Her book on Angels in America is being published by McFarland, and she is also working on a second book on Jonathan Larson’s musical Rent. As a playwright, Emily has produced work with Clock Tower Theatre Company, Dirty Protest Theatre, The Other Room and The Arena Theatre Wolverhampton and is a writer for the 14/48 theatre festival there.
Rodney and the Shrieking Sisterhood by Hannah McPake
Release date: 3 December.
It’s been a hard day’s night, pounding the pavements of Victorian Cardiff. I’ve been working like a dog. Because I am one.
Venture into the city centre to meet Rodney – Cardiff’s first and foremost police dog. He’s a hard-boiled, fast- talking sleuth – with four legs! Rodney will lead us on a thrilling caper across Victorian Cardiff written by Hannah McPake.
Hannah is a performer and theatre maker, based in Cardiff but originally from Edinburgh. She is Co-Director of Gagglebabble and Associate Artist of Theatr Iolo. Writing credits include: Genesis part of 12 Plays of Christmas Research & Development at The Other Room and co-writer (with Lucy Rivers) on The Forsythe Sisters and Double Vision both for Gagglebabble.
Previous work for Sherman Theatre (as a performer) includes: Alice in Wonderland; The Wind in the Willows; Cinders; Plum (…and me, Will!); Maudie’s Rooms.
Housemates by Tim Green
Release date: 10 December.
In Summer 1974 a revolution began in Cardiff.
When Ely hospital patient Alan Duncan crashed into the life of student Jim Mansell it set in train a series of events which led to a revolution in care. Jim and fellow students went on to live together with hospital patients in a shared house close to the Sherman.
Together they did what was thought impossible and proved that supported living in the community wasn’t just an idea in academic papers, it could actually work and change lives. Tim Green tells this remarkable Cardiff story of friendship, and Rock’n’Roll in Housemates.
Housemates is a partnership between Sherman Theatre and Hijinx.
Tim studied at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama but wrote his first play for Radio 4 after leaving school. His second play was shortlisted for The Writers’ Guild Best Play Award. He now writes, directs and makes documentary films and series. Projects have included Revolutions (Netflix); Stephen Fry’s Last Chance To See (BBC2); Scott’s Hut In The Antarctic (90 mins BBC2); Call Centre (BBC3 / BBC1). Recently Tim made a series about Lady Jane for BBC4, a film about the anti-apartheid protests with Sir Gareth Edwards and a film about Pembrokeshire wheelchair athlete Lily Rice for BBC1.
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