Sean Mathias Directs An All-Welsh Cast In A Revival Of A PRAYER FOR WINGS At King's Head Theatre
Starring an all-Welsh cast, comprising Llinos Daniel, Alis Wyn Davies and Luke Rhodri, London audiences will now have a rare chance to see Sean Mathias direct his own work. This compelling production plays at the King's Head Theatre for a strictly limited season from 30 October to 23 November 2019. A national press night will be held on Friday 1 November.
A PRAYER FOR WINGS tells the story of a mother and daughter, Mam and Rita, who have no other family and live in a disused church in central Swansea. Mam suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS) and Rita is her daughter, minder and keeper. She's been caring for her mother since she was ten years old. Weary of the responsibility, Rita dreams of a better life, with a wonderful man, in another country, so she sells sexual favours for cash. Alarmingly relevant, Sean Mathias' debut play explores the conflict and burden of caring responsibilities, interdependence and family, set against an individual's hopes and dreams.
Sean Mathias said of the revival: "I am thrilled to bring A PRAYER FOR WINGS to this special London venue which so passionately supported me at the start of my career as an emerging artist. The King's Head Theatre has been a hugely iconic venue on the UK theatre scene for many years and I am so happy to return here before it takes up residence in its important new home. This revival of A PRAYER FOR WINGS premiered in Swansea, where it is set, and after 35 years it was joyous to finally bring it home for the very first time."
This revival production was first performed in summer 2019 at Volcano Theatre, Swansea as one of three plays co-produced by Swansea Grand Theatre to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Swansea achieving city status.
Under the direction of Joan Plowright, A PRAYER FOR WINGS won a Fringe First Award for its world premiere in Edinburgh in 1985 and earned Mathias a nomination for Most Promising Playwright. At the time, the Daily Mail raved:
"This is a work with all the marks of a mature and major writer. Compassion, humour, wit and truth ... a magnificent tale of female heroism."
Mathias has since gone on to become an award-winning director of international repute. During his tenure as Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Haymarket, his legendary production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot played two seasons at the theatre, as well as touring the UK and internationally. His acclaimed production of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, starring Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart, was the highest grossing play in the history of Wyndham's Theatre.
Most recently, Mathias has directed Ian McKellen On Stage, a celebration of Sir Ian's 80th Birthday on an extensive national tour and currently at the Pinter Theatre, which has raised more than three million pounds for theatre charities.