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Peter Gill Returns To Cardiff To Direct Chekov's A Provincial Life

Peter Gill, returns to his native city with a portrait of provincial life in 1890s Russia. Based on Chekhov's short story, A Provincial Life follows one young man's struggle to exchange his privileged position for the life of a worker. 

This lavish production will bring a Welsh flavour to Chekhov’s Russia, and will be designed by award-winning production designer Alison Chitty, a long-term collaborator with Mike Leigh and Peter Hall. A Provincial Life will be one of the first productions staged at the newly rebuilt Sherman Cymru building in Cardiff.

The cast of professionals will include Kezia Burrows, Alex Clatworthy, Richard Corgan, Helen Griffin, Lee Haven-Jones, Mike Hayward, Mark Lewis, Sara Lloyd-Gregory, John-Paul Macleod, Liam Mansfield, Clive Merrison, Kenneth Price, Nicholas Shaw, William Thomas and Menna Trussler.

Alongside these will be an ensemble of 12 semi-professional performers from Cardiff, gathered as part of National Theatre Wales’ TEAM programme, with help from Sherman Cymru and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

Director Peter Gill was born in 1939 in Cardiff and started his professional career as an actor. A director as awell as a writer, he has directed over 100 productions in the UK, Europe and North America in both the modern and classical repertoires, including plays by Chekhov, Congreve, Otway, Shakespeare, as well as Hampton, Orton, Osbourne, Pinter and Wright. At The Royal Court Theatre in the 1960s, he was responsible for introducing D.H.Lawrence’s plays to the theatre and was the founding director of Riverside Studios and the Royal National Theatre Studio. Classical plays directed include: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (Theatre Royal Bath, Tour & Vaudeville Theatre, 2008); Gaslight (Old Vic, 2007), Look Back in Anger (Theatre Royal Bath, 2006), The Voysey Inheritance (NT, 2006), and Romeo and Juliet (RSC, 2004-05). Other directed work includes: The Breath of Life by David Hare (Sheffield Theatres, 2011); The Aliens by Annie Baker (Bush Theatre, 2010); Hens by Aila Bano (Sky Arts Live - Riverside Studios, 2010); Semper Dowland and The Corridor by renowned composer Harrison (Aldeburgh Festival / Southbank Centre, 2009); Epitaph For George Dillon by John Osborne and Anthony Creighton (ATG, 2005); Days of Wine and Roses by J P Miller, in a new version by Owen McCafferty (Donmar Warehouse, 2005), Scenes from the Big Picture by Owen McCafferty (NT, 2003); and Speed the Plough by David Mamet (ATG, 2000).

Peter’s plays include: Another Door Closed (Theatre Royal Bath, 2009); Small Change (Donmar Warehouse, 2008); The York Realist (English Touring Theatre at the Royal Court, 2002); Original Sin (Crucible Sheffield, 2002); The Look Across the Eyes and Lovely Evening (BBC Radio 4, 2001); Certain Young Men (Almeida, 1999); Friendly Fire (NT, 1998/99); Cardiff East (NT, 1995); Mean Tears (NT, 1987); In the Blue (NT, 1985); Small Change (NT, 1983); Kick for Touch (NT, 1983); The Sleepers Den (Royal Court, 1969) and Over Gardens Out (Royal Court, 1969).

Theatre designer Alison Chitty has a distinguished international career in theatre, opera and film. Her theatre credits include eight years as resident designer at The National Theatre where she designed many productions, including Venice Preserv’d, Antony and Cleopatra, The Bacchae, The Voysey Inheritance and Mike Leigh’s Two Thousand Years. She has just designed Mike Leigh’s new play, Grief. She has designed in opera houses throughout the world, including Chicago, Seattle, Munich and Paris. Recently she designed the highly acclaimed world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and Rigoletto for La Fenice, Venice.

Film credits include: Aria, Turn of the Screw, and several Mike Leigh films including Life is Sweet, Naked and Secrets and Lies.

In recognition of her particular approach to teaching and commitment to developing the talent of young theatre designers and practicioners, Alison was awaraded The Misha Black Award in 2006, The Young Vic Award in 2008 and a Fellowship of Birkbeck, London University 2011.

Composer Terry Davies has written for many theatre productions at The National Theatre, RSC, West End, around the UK and elsewhere. His productions with Peter Gill include The Aliens (Bush), Look Back in Anger (Theatre Royal, Bath), The Voysey Inheritance (NT), Romeo and Juliet (RSC), Original Sin (Sheffield) and The York Realist (English Touring Theatre/Royal Court). He is an artistic associate of choreographer Matthew Bourne, composing for his Lord of the Flies, Dorian Gray, Edward Scissorhands, The Car Man and Play Without Words for which he received an Olivier Award. He has conducted the music for nearly 50 films including W.E., The King's Speech, The Illusionist, Another Year and Brideshead Revisited.

Lighting Designer Paul Pyant is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and works in opera, ballet, musicals and theatre worldwide. He has a long-established association with Glyndebourne Opera, English National Opera, The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, National Theatre, English National Ballet, The Donmar Warehouse, The Almeida Theatre and Northern Ballet Theatre. Recent productions include: Grief (National Theatre), Richard III (The Old Vic), Aspects of Love (Menier Chocolate Factory), House of Games (Almeida), Betrothal in a Monastery (Theatre du Capitol and Opera Comique), The Heretic (Royal Court), and Hobson‘s Choice (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield).

Cast Biographies (in alphabetical order)

Kezia Burrows trained at RADA. Theatre credits include: Venice Preserved (Arcola), A Man For All Seasons, Kind Hearts and Coronets, To Kill A Mockingbird and Treasure Island (Pitlochry Festival Theatre) Cinderella's Not Enough (Couch Potato Productions), By Parties Unknown (Sincera Productions), The Merchant of Venice (Creation), The Misanthrope and The Bald Prima Donna (London Road Productions), Much Ado About Nothing (Young Shakespeare Company) and Measure for Measure (Sherman Cymru). Television credits include: Angelo's (Channel 5), CRASH (BBC), Casualty (BBC), Phoneshop (Talkback Thames/E4). Film credits include: Dance Floor (Spectre Films & Sister Films), Glitch (Device Productions), Capgras Tide (Upstart Films), Magpie (Nowhere Fast Productions) and With These Hands (Room 16 Productions). Radio credits include: Betty, My Turn To Make The Tea - The Anarchist in the Basement (BBC Radio 4).

Alex Clatworthy trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she won the 2011 Michael Bryant Award. Theatre credits include: Sleeping Beauty (Birmingham Rep), and Big Brother is Watching You (Sherman Cymru). Television credits include: Henry IV Parts One & Two directed by Sir Richard Eyre (BBC), Axon, The Bench and Want 2TLK Science? (BBC Wales), Treflan (Alfresco), Pawb At Y Bwrdd and Hotel Eddie (Apollo). Radio credits include: Evacuees and Meddwl (BBC Wales).

Richard Corgan’s theatre credits include: Macbeth, Twelfth Night (Ripley Castle), Flowers From Tunisia (Torch Theatre), Taming Of The Shrew (The Globe), Frozen, Merlin And The Cave Of Dreams (Sherman Cymru), It’s About Me (Hampstead Theatre), Money & Science & Me (Liverpool Everyman), Romeo & Juliet (The Lord Chamberlain’s Men), The Ballad Of Blood & Darling (Rose Theatre), The Long, The Short & The Tall (Pleasance, Islington), La Fanciulla Del West, Fighter (Royal Opera House), Macbeth, The Changeling (The Pit, Barbican), Hius Clos (True / Fiction), Phoenix & The Carpet (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, The Two Noble Kingsmen, Red Noses (New Vic), The White Devil (Redgrave Theatre) Into The Woods (Aberystwyth Arts Centre). Television credits include: Baker Boys (BBC Wales), Doctors, Casualty, Caught In The Web, The B Word (BBC) and Pobol y Cwm (S4C). Film credits include: Magpie, Colin, Nowhere Fast (Nowhere Fast Productions), Hindsight (Ignition Films), The Sunday (U.W.A.) Radio credits include: Blue Remembered Hills (Christchurch Studios), Great Ormond St Charity Concert St Paul’s (Lbc).

Helen Griffin’s theatre credits include: The Devil Inside Him (National Theatre Wales) Small Change, Shadow Of A Boy, title role in the acclaimed one-woman whow Caitlin and Waves In The Chatroom (Sherman Cymru); Ballad Of Megan Morgan (Clwyd Theatr Cymru); Cymbeline (Ludlow Festival); Mental (Edinburgh Festival). Television credits include: Coronation Street; Getting On; Tati's Hotel; Criminal Justice Two; Casualty; Con Passionata; Belonging; Cowbois Ac Injuncs; Vivian Vyle Show; Nice Day For A Welsh Wedding; Pobol Y Cwm; Prime Suspect Vii; The Bill, Dr Who 'The Age Of Steel'. Film credits include: The Reverend, Little White Lies, for which she won Bafta Cymru Best Actress 2007. Helen also works as a writer and wrote the screenplay for Little White Lies, is under commission to Sherman Cymru and has screeenplays in development with Red and Black Films and The Film Agency of Wales.

Lee Haven-Jones’ theatre credits include: Mary Stuart, Festen and Arcadia (Theatr Clwyd), Memory and Night Must Fall (Theatr Clwyd/59E59 Theatre, NYC), The Pull of Negative Gravity (Traverse Theatre), Romeo a Juliet (Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru), and The Bacchai (National Theatre). Television credits include: Gwaith Cartref (Fiction Factory), Caerdydd (S4C) and Love in a Cold Climate (BBC). Film credits include The Prince and Perfect Day. Television directing credits include: Indian Doctor (BBC) and Alys (S4C).

Mike Hayward’s theatre credits include: Henry V (Royal Exchange), Acqua Nero (Sgript Cymru), Under Milk Wood (Princes Trust), Just About Ready to Jump – One Man Show by A L Kennedy (Edinburgh Fringe First/British Council tour of India and Sri Lanka), Anthony and Cleopatra, Animal Farm (National Theatre/tour of Europe), Macbeth (St George’s Theatre), The Long & The Short & Tall (Hornchurch Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Leeds Playhouse), The Party, The Marriage of Figaro (UK Tour), The Canterbury Tales (Bristol Old Vic). Television credits include: Doctors, High Hopes, Annually Retentive, Waking the Dead, Little Britain, Tracy Beaker, Casualty, A Small Summer Party, Eastenders, All About Me, Trail of Guilt, This Life, Tiger Bay (BBC), Take the High Road (STV regular role), The Bill, Coronation Street (ITV), The Shop – pilot (Radical Sheep). Film credits include: Panic Button, Secret Places, The Wicked Lady, Captain Stirrick. Radio credits include: Safety Catch, Rhod Gilbert’s Leaving Llanbobl (BBC Radio Comedy), Lysistrata, The Clouds (Open University).

Mark Lewis trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. His theatre credits include: Maskerade, Faust, Vautrin, and Anthony (Citizens’ Theatre), Lakeboat (Arcola), Hurts Given and Received (Riverside Studios), Moby Dick (Royal Exchange) and Salome (Far East tour). Television credits include: Casualty, City Central, Vanity Fair (BBC), The Bill (Thames TV), Heartbeat (YTV), and The Knock (ITV). Film credits include: Six Bullets and Ever After. Radio credits include: The Minister Of Chance (Radio Static).

Sara Lloyd-Gregory’s theatre credits include: The Utah Bride (Development 1.618 Theatre), Up ‘n’Under (Black Rat), Romeo and Juliet (Wales Theatre Co), The American Pilot and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RWCMD). Television credits include: Alys, Blodau, Con Passionate, Y Pris (S4C), Thorne: Sleepyhead (Sky 1), Being Human, Doctors, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Torchwood, Belonging (BBC), Sleep With Me and Affinity (ITV). Film credits include: Little White Lies (Red & Black Films), A Way of Life (AWOL Films) and Stopping Distance (BBC Films). Radio credits include: Last Tango in Aberystwyth and O Little Town of Aberystwyth (BBC Radio 4).

John-Paul Macleod trained at RADA and graduated in 2007.
His theatre credits include: Keith in Spies (Theatre Alibi), Burgundy/Curan in King Lear (Headlong Theatre/Liverpool Everyman) directed by Rupert Goold, the site specific production of The Passion (National Theatre Wales/Wildworks) directed by Michael Sheen in Port Talbot and All Night I Dream About Being Good (The Yard Theatre, Hackney).

Television credits include Casualty (BBC TV), My Boy Jack (BBC TV) and two appearances in Doctors (BBC TV).

John-Paul's film debut was as the lead role of Taliesyn Jones in The Testimony Of Taliesyn Jones (I.C.A. Films). He has also appeared as Richard Cromwell in To Kill A King (Fairfax Films Ltd) and as Helen Mirren’s son Jem in Calendar Girls (Buena Vista).

Liam Mansfield trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and graduated in June 2011.
Theatre credits include: Under Milk Wood (Farnham Rep), Fameless (Sotto Voce), 24 Hour Plays: Old Vic New Voices (Old Vic Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Maxim Theatre, Stockholm)
Film credits include: Ushers (Jukka Productions)

Clive Merrison trained at Rose Bruford College.
His theatre credits include: The History Boys (National Theatre), Credible Witness (Royal Court), The Cocktail Party (Lyceum), and The Madness of George the Third (NT & US Tour).
Television credits include: Peep Show (Objective Productions), Foyle’s War (Greenlit Productions), Yes, Prime Minister (BBC) and McLibel (Channel 4). Clive will appear in Bert and Dickie for the BBC in 2012.
Film credits include: History Boys, Saving Grace, The English Patient and Heavenly Creatures.

Kenneth Price trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Theatre credits include: What the Butler Saw, Death of a Salesman and The Duchess of Malfi (Salisbury), Blue Orange (Keswick), Joking Apart, Neville’s Island, Rocket to the Moon and Thark (Scarborough), The Man of Mode (Worcester), I Have Been Here Before (Plymouth), An Enemy of the People, King Lear and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Bristol Old Vic), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Manchester Royal Exchange), Misalliance, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Forty Years On (Leatherhead), The Importance of Being Earnest (Belfast). Film credits include: John and Yoko – a Love Story, Fierce Creatures, Diana and Me, Murder on Line One. Television credits include: Emmerdale, The Atomic Inferno, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, Teachers, Boyz Unlimited, Casualty, A Touch of Spice, The Bill and Doctors. Radio credits include: Monk’s Hood, The Legendary Series, Decline and Fall.

Nicholas Shaw trained at Drama Centre London.
Theatre credits include: Phaedra's Love (Arcola, London), Hamlet (Northern Broadsides), Tis Pity She's A Whore and Anthology (Liverpool Everyman/Slung Low), The Fairy Queen (Glyndbourne/Opera Comique/Brooklyn Academy Of Music), Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), Merchant of Venice and Holding Fire! (Shakespeare's Globe), Easter (Oxford Stage Company), for which he received an Ian Charleson Award commendation. Television credits includes; Land Girls, The Rotters' Club, All ABout Me, The Romantics, Heroes and Villains (BBC); Foyle's War, Afterlife, Heratbeat, Dalziel and Pascoe (ITV); Goldplated (Channel 4). Film credits include: The Torment (Authentic Films).

William Thomas‘ work spans four decades, and he received a nomination for Best Actor at the BAFTA Cymru Awards (2007) for his portrayal of Glyn in the award winning Con Passionate. Other television credits include Doctor Who, Midsomer Murders, Alys, Gavin & Stacey, Belonging (10 Series), Grass, Fun at the Funeral Parlour and We Are Seven. William also plays Geraint Cooper in the BBC & US Series, Torchwood. Film credits includes Mr Nice (Kodak Award Winner); Assassin in Love (RiverRun International Film Festival Winner); Longitude (2001 BAFTA Winner for Best Drama Serial); Oscar nominated & BAFTA Award winning Solomon & Gaenor; and Twin Town.

Menna Trussler’s theatre credits include: Swansea Girls, Gypsy, Cabaret, Side by Side by Sondheim, Puss in Boots, 84 Charing Cross Road, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Cinderella (Swansea Grand), Bedside Manners, The Drag Factor, Green Favours, Roots and Wings, Sleeping with Mickey Mouse, Loose Ends and A Kiss on the Bottom (Sherman Theatre), Tartuffe (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Family Planning (Grass Roots). Television credits include: Stella (Sky), Come Fly With Me, Crash, Jam and Jerusalem (3 series), Torchwood II, Casualty, Doctors, Little Britain (3 series), The Bench, Hope and Glory, Trip Trap, Rainbow Chaser, Boy Soldier and Thicker Than Water (BBC), Alys, Y Pris, Os Byw Ac Iach, Bydd Yn Wrol, Pam Fi Duw?, Pobol Y Cwm (S4C), In the Company of Strangers, Ballroom, Better Days and We Are Seven (HTV), Liquorice Alsorts (Daffodil Productions). Film credits include: There She Goes (Short Films), Rhestr Nadolig Wil (Boom Film), Caught in the Act ( Carnaby Films), Family Ties (Beryl Productions), Plotz with a View (CFI Films), Human Traffic (Fruit Salad Films), August (Granada Films). Radio credits include: Writing the Century 14, A Burden to Strangers – The Diaries of Rachel Minshall (BBC Radio 4), Ceri Elen (BBC Radio Cymru).

National Theatre Wales present A Provincial Life

From Chekhov’s story
Adapted and directed by Peter Gill

Sherman Cymru
Senghennydd Road
CF24 4YE

Dates: 1st-17th March 2012
Time: 7.30pm
Matinees: 2.30pm on Thurs 8th, Sat 10th, Thurs 15th and Sat 17th March 2012

Box Office: 029 2064 6900
Tickets: £15-£25; Previews and Matinees £12-£20

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