Twice Upon a Time as Sanctuary – The Secrets of The Gunter Mansion plays Abergavenny Borough Theatre

Tickets for Contemporancient Theatre’s production of ‘“Sanctuary – The Secrets of the Gunter Mansion” are on sale now. Casting for the play, that looks at both the historic and contemporary story of refuge and building on the Abergavenny as a town of Sanctuary, has taken place under direction of Neil Maidman and the writer of the play, Vic Mills.

For more than four hundred years Abergavenny has provided Sanctuary for those in danger – now the horrors and joys of their secret stories are told in thrilling theatre and music. Carys is hiding in a garret in The Gunter Mansion in the centre of Abergavenny whilst building work and restoration goes on around her in 2023. Garnet and Oldcorne, two Jesuits priests are hiding in the same garret space in the early 17th century; Latifa has fled to Wales from Syria – all three find refuge and find each other in this hard-hitting, deeply moving and ultimately life-affirming and joyful story of Sanctuary and of kindness in Abergavenny.  Told through original music and song, through visual images and through the power of theatre, this is a story of Abergavenny’s past and its present and points very much to its future.

 “This is an important piece and a superb opportunity for the people of Abergavenny to help tell their own story of tolerance, refuge and sanctuary,“ says Neil Maidman.

“We are very excited to be bringing it to the newly opened and refurbished Borough Theatre in June – during the National Refugee Week, and our professional cast are equally looking forward to engaging with the Abergavenny community through this project. We have been helped tremendously by both national and local funders for this project, not least the Plas Gunter Mansion, the Abergavenny Town of Sanctuary and the Abergavenny Town Council.

“The play itself has the same setting but told hundreds of years apart, but with the underlying theme of tolerance and refuge. With the support of the Arts Council for Wales, we have also been fortunate to be able to commission a suite of music to accompany the production, but that will also be able to be performed as a standalone piece, in the future. A partnership of both a Welsh and a Syrian composer and musician, has brought together some wonderfully evocative pieces of music that we are delighted to be bringing to the people of Abergavenny”.

Sanctuary features Jemima Nicholas as Carys, Vic Mills as Oldcorne, James Morgan as Ed / Garnet and Sara Masry as Latifa, with music by Stephen J Preston and Lyrics / Poetry by  Kevin Mills. 

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