The Sherman Theatre has announced the full details of the stories in the Heart of Cardiff audio series, which pay tribute to the meetings, encounters, and transformative impact of community connection in an extraordinary city.
The audio theatre experiences in Heart of Cardiff will celebrate the lesser-known histories, personal experiences, and poignant legacies of the capital city, with writers working closely with communities and individuals who inspired the pieces. The audio series will be released through Sherman Theatre’s website, from 8 October to 10 December.
Joe Murphy, Artistic Director of Sherman Theatre, said: “It is a privilege to be sharing with our audiences such a diverse range of stories. From panthers in Fairwater, to the true story of a Merchant navy seaman from Tiger Bay, to the struggles of integrating Black and Welsh identities, there is an amazing breadth of Cardiff communities and individuals represented in this season.
“At the heart of each story is a life changing encounter. That moment when we connect with someone, or something, that in a tiny or massive way has a profound effect on the course of our lives. That’s what each of these stories is about: the connections that change our lives forever.
“And of course, the backdrop for all these plays is our extraordinary home city: Cardiff. And the extraordinary people who make it what it is. It has been a humbling and moving experience to meet, work and collaborate with, the communities our stories talk about, learning first-hand about the local heroes and change-makers who sit right at the heart of Cardiff. We hope you enjoy experiencing these pieces as much as we enjoyed making them.”
Mr Carlos de Pass
The audio dramas in Heart of Cardiff highlight the richly diverse perspectives and stories of the city, and include:
Mr Carlos de Pass, by Kyle Lima, to be released on 8 October. This timely audio drama celebrates a key figure in Black Welsh history, whose story of life in and after a WWII prisoner-of-war camp holds a mirror up to contemporary questions about race and belonging. Kyle Lima is an Actor, Writer and Director, and Associate Artist at Sherman Theatre and Theatr Iolo.
Goodbye Memory Lane
The second audio drama in Heart of Cardiff will be Goodbye Memory Lane by Emma Cooney to be released 15 October. Goodbye Memory Lane can be experienced anywhere, but is also designed as a guided walk through the Heath. A touching play exploring home, hiraeth, and forging new paths, Goodbye Memory Lane is the second play Emma has written for Sherman Theatre during lockdown after her monologue Belly Buttons was performed in the TEN series. Emma has been a member of Sherman Youth Theatre and Sherman Players, and is now in her final year at LAMDA.
Rodney and the Shrieking Sisterhood
Rodney and the Shrieking Sisterhood by Hannah McPake will be released on 22 October. Tinged with dark humour and haunting mystery in a tale following Victorian Cardiff’s first police dog, Rodney and the Shrieking Sisterhood will be released in time for a Halloween walk through the city. Hannah McPake is a Cardiff-based performer and theatre maker and Co-Director of Gagglebabble.
Crafangau by Nia Morais will be released on 29 October, the debut play from the Welsh and Cape Verdean writer. This Welsh-language audio drama explores identity, transformation, and family ties.
Nia said: “I’m really happy that the Sherman wanted to work with me on this piece! It’s a story that’s been knocking around in my head ever since I left Fairwater, where I grew up. It was inspired by my experiences growing up there, plus the weird and wonderful stories my Dad is always full of.”
The bilingual audio drama Bratiaith by Mali Ann Rees, is to be released on 5 November. Combining Welsh and English language performances, Bratiaith will be Mali Rees’s debut as a playwright, and is the story of a young, mixed heritage Cardiffian woman caught between her two identities. Mali is a bilingual Cardiff-born actress and writer, trained at East 15 Acting School, who recently performed in Alexandria Riley’s (Single) Motherhood for Sherman Theatre’s TEN monologue series during lockdown.
Peerless by Owen Thomas, to be released on 12 November. Fighting talk comes to Cathays cemetery in this empowering, feel-good audio drama by the award-winning playwright, inspired by the Welsh featherweight boxer Peerless Jim Driscoll. To research Peerless, Owen Thomas worked closely with the Llanrumney Boxing Club. The playwright and Torch Theatre Associate Artist has also mentored emerging writer Callum Lloyd throughout the process.
See For Yourself
Moving further into November, the next instalment will be See For Yourself, by Claire Boot, to be released on 19 November. Set at the dawn of devolution, See For Yourself examines the historical relationship between Cardiff and the Valleys, asking what it meant to be from South Wales at a time of rising national consciousness. Claire Boot was born in Cardiff, and through lockdown was commissioned by Literature Wales to create Write At Home, a series of fifteen short videos using household items as creative writing prompts.
The final audio drama in the Heart of Cardiff series will be Housemates, by Tim Green, released on 10 December. Highlighting friendship and the historical changemakers of Cardiff’s pioneering work in community care, Housemates is partnership with Hijinx Theatre. Housemates is the latest play from the writer, director and documentary maker who studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Tim said: “I love the Sherman and am delight to be working with such a brilliant and inspiring team on this. Cardiff is city of contrasts with such a rich history, as writers celebrating our city we are spoiled for choice. I am telling a true story from the past, a story I have always found to be moving, hilarious and inspiring – so I hope I manage to do it justice.”
Heart of Cardiff Audio Documentaries
Two audio documentaries will also form a part of the Heart of Cardiff audio series, giving voice to experiences and perspectives of Cardiff communities.
The first audio documentary in the series will be See You Later, Meunier, by writer, actor and creative Aled Wyn Thomas, released on 26 November. Aled’s bilingual audio documentary will capture the voices, experiences, and shared memories of Wales’ victory over Belgium at the 2016 European Championships Quarter Final, paying tribute to fans celebrating in the capital city.
Aled said: “To me, football is like life itself; heartbreak, failure, ecstasy. For all its painful injustices, there is also the chance to dream. I am thrilled to be a part of ‘Heart of Cardiff’ and to share the unbridled passion of our city’s voices.”
The second comes from Emily Garside, a playwright, journalist and academic. Emily’s polyphonic audio documentary will be released on 3 December and will celebrate the many experiences of Cardiff’s LGBTQIA+ community.
Emily said: “Our LGBTQIA+ community has a wealth of stories to tell. From the mundane to the spectacular our stories, our histories, our legends are waiting to be shared. Those stolen moments, those epic tales, the jokes, the places, the people – everything that it means to be US!”
Sherman Theatre’s Creative Engagement team will also be running tailored community and youth outreach activities around each of the Heart of Cardiff plays, creating a wide-reaching programme of events. The projects are designed to engage and connect with the communities that Heart of Cardiff focusses on.
The team of directors for Heart of Cardiff have also been announced and will be led by Sherman Theatre’s Artistic Director Joe Murphy.
Directors for Heart of Cardiff are Alice Eklund, Matthew Holmquist, Jac Ifan Moore, all from Cardiff. Assistant Directors are Connor Allen, from Newport, and Yasmin Begum, from Cardiff. Both Connor and Yasmin will be making their directorial debut for Heart of Cardiff.
Heart of Cardiff also welcomes Composers and Sound Designers Eädyth, and Tic Ashfield.
The Directors and Sound Designers will be working closely with each writer for Heart of Cardiff, paying tribute to the communities and individuals celebrated in each of the unique stories.