Multilingual Adaptation of Petula Tours Wales Following Sherman Theatre Debut

Wales’ two national theatre companies, National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, have combined talents to tour Wales with a new production of Fabrice Melquiot’s play, Petula, currently playing Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre.

This multilingual adaptation was thought of by Director Mathilde Lopez and her Cardiff-based theatre company August012, mixing both English and Welsh, while even using some French.

The story follows teenager Pwdin Evans who is pushed to the brink by his parents, step-parents and all other worries. He escapes by launching himself into space in search of his missing cousin, Petula, as is only natural. The production touches on the struggles of blended families, bilingual households, body image and relationships, topics that many will undoubtedly identify with.

Dewi Wykes & Kizzy Crawford In Stage Adaptation

Mathilde Lopez is the Artistic Director of August012 and has a long history with National Theatre Wales where she was appointed Associate Director. In 2013, she directed Rachel Trezise’s Tonypandemonium for NTW and will, once more, be uniting with theatre designer Jean Chan on this new production of Petula.

Mathilde explains, “I am thrilled to delve into the incredible world of Melquiot with such a brilliant team of actors and theatre makers and wrestle with the magic and horror of teenage years. 

What a joy to be allowed to explore these fragile times in all their beauty, absurdity and complexity with the full trust and support of National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol.”

Dewi Wykes plays the role of Pwdin while Kizzy Crawford portrays Petula alongside Tom Mumford, Sion Pritchard, Clêr Stephens and Rachel Summers as the parents and step-parents.    

Theatre’s Collaborate on Petula Production

Petula will mark the second co-production between National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru following 2015s {150}, a multi-platform experience exploring the lives of Welsh settlers in Patagonia.

Artistic Director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Arwel Gruffydd says: “It’s a great pleasure to once more co-produce with National Theater Wales, but this time also to collaborate with August 012, who bring their own unique vision to a very different theatre experience!

“It’s also great to be collaborating again with playwright Daf James, who brings his playful brand of theatre to this colourful and surprising project. We’re also glad of the opportunity to present a production where both the English and Welsh language share the stage in a way that reflects the real life experience of people in Wales today, and of young people in particular – although the play often takes us to a world far removed from our earthly reality.” 

Artistic Director of NTW, Lorne Campbell, said “Building new audiences for theatre in Wales and making it relevant to more people, especially young people, is essential. Engaging, consulting and empowering young people as part of the theatre-making process not only enriches our work, it also generates new creative pathways to support their wellbeing, and maybe even inspire the next generation of theatre makers.” As well as building these new teams to advise on the show and marketing, tickets for under 25s will be £10 across the whole tour.

Petula plays Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre until March 19 before touring to Aberystwyth, Bangor, Llanelli, Milford Haven and Newport.

Published by Thomas Howells

The doctor said I should be in hospital for all the blood I was losing, but instead I went to drama practice

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