Cardiff’s award-winning Sherman Theatre a new audio series Heart of Cardiff, inspired by the people and communities of the city as part of its autumn season.
The season also includes an audio version of a popular new comedy drama and two series of podcasts. The Sherman will also continue a programme to support freelance theatre makers and connect and develop young people. All the audio and online experiences will be offered to audiences and artists for free.
Following a search across Cardiff for writers with stories to tell about their community, neighbourhood, and heritage – resulting in 100 submissions – ten pitches were selected to be developed into original audio theatre experiences for the Heart of Cardiff season.
Supported by Arts Council of Wales and The Moondance Foundation, Heart of Cardiff will showcase and celebrate the city’s diverse stories and aims to engage and entertain audiences in Wales and beyond. The audio theatre experiences will shine the spotlight on a spectrum of communities and areas, giving voice to a range of perspectives, histories, and community heroes.
Writers were encouraged to apply to Sherman Theatre through an open call out. Heart of Cardiff writers are: Claire Boot, Emma Cooney, Emily Garside, Tim Green, Kyle Lima, Hannah McPake, Nia Morais, Mali Ann Rees, Owen Thomas and Aled Wyn Thomas.
Sherman Theatre’s Artistic Director, Joe Murphy has said: “When we first conceived the Heart of Cardiff project we thought it would be exciting to try and harness the incredible creativity of this extraordinary city. And we were blown away by the reaction. We received over 100 pitches. They told stories of love. Stories of despair. Stories of great drama. But above all they told stories of hope. Hope seems to be the beating heart of Cardiff.
“Throughout its long and illustrious history, Cardiff has always embodied hope: hope that whoever you are and wherever you come from, you are welcome here. Hope that we are better together than we are apart. And that spirit runs through all the pitches we received.
“We wish we could have commissioned many more of these great ideas, but due to resource we were only able to take 10 forward. I couldn’t be more excited by the writers we are working with on this project and to share with you their brilliant scripts. We are hugely grateful to Arts Council Wales National Lottery Fund and The Moondance Foundation for making this project possible.”
Three of the audio theatre experiences in the Sherman’s Heart of Cardiff season will be in Welsh or bilingual, and have been selected for the way in which they demonstrate the rich diversity of voices within the city’s Welsh-speaking communities, examining Welsh identity from different lenses and lived experiences.
Heart of Cardiff is providing a number of paid opportunities for Welsh or Wales-based freelance theatre makers including writers, directors, actors and sound designers/composers, in order to support and develop freelance artists during a downturn in industry activity as a result of lockdown.
To accompany the audio theatre experiences, Sherman Theatre is launching a series of podcasts entitled Meet the Hearts of Cardiff, which provides further insight into the communities and areas featured in the project. The podcasts will be available through Sherman Theatre’s website.
Heart of Cardiff will also be surrounded by a vibrant programme of Creative Engagement events, an audience development programme, and workshops for freelance theatre makers. Further details will be announced towards the end of September.
The audio theatre experiences will be made available on Sherman Theatre’s website on a weekly basis from 8 October.