Theatr Clwyd’s Writer in Residence Scheme
Part of TYFU | GROW – Theatr Clwyd’s Creative Development Programme
Generously supported by the Gladstone’s Library
Applications open until Friday 7 December 2019
We are a home for writers in Wales, offering the time and space to write within a community of fellow artists without the pressure of ‘showing’ or producing something. We offer residencies connected to our in-house productions so that writers can get to know other artists working here, spend time observing rehearsals and develop ideas in a supportive environment. The Writer in Residence Scheme is generously supported by Gladstone’s Library.
We’re really looking forward to welcoming our new Writers in Residence for 2019!
If you’re interested in further opportunities like this, then please keep an eye on this page as we will update it when the next applications are released.
Take a look at some of the past Writers in Residence and their thoughts on the experience:
Past Writers in Residence:
Manon Wyn Jones (Sept’17)
For some years Manon has been writing mainly for television, specifically on the Pobol y Cwm and Deian and Loli series, as well as adapting cartoons such as Paw Patrol and Bear Hunt into Welsh. In earlier years she has been co-author on the stage production, Drws Arall I’r Coed for Sgript Cymru and Dominos for Theatr Genedlaethol. She also staged her first full length drama Dau Un Un Dim for the same company. She is the mother of three children.
“Roedd penderfyniad Theatr Clwyd i gynnig y cynllun preswyl arbennig hwn i awdur benywaidd, Cymraeg ei hiaith, yn teimlo fel pe bai wedi ei greu ar fy nghyfer i. O’n i’n ysu am ysgogiad i fentro’n ôl i fyd theatr ers tro – a hwn oedd o. Yn wir, bu’n gyfle amhrisiadwy. Roedd y fraint o gael gweithio o fewn muria’ theatr brysur, â sawl cynhyrchiad ar waith, yn creu cynnwrf a chymhelliad i sgwennu, yn ogystal â’r cyfle i gael picio i mewn ac allan o’u hymarferion. Roedd Llyfrgell Gladstone yn encil hyfryd gyda’r nos, yn ddihangfa prin o brysurdeb arferol bywyd! Roedd yr holl brofiad yn wych. Diolch, Theatr Clwyd, am y cyfle.”
Tracy Harris (Aug’17)
Tracy Harris is a writer, performance artist and filmmaker. Her plays include Past Away (Sgript Cymru) The Cloak Room (Sherman Cymru/ Mighty Theatre, Washington) and No Vacancies (Sherman Cymru) which has been commissioned by spinning head films as a feature film that is being produced in 2018. Along with Chris Rushton, she produced BBC Bafta nominated documentaries Swansea Living on the Streets and Selling Sex to Survive. Her first one-woman show Lost, Found, Stolen was developed through NTW’ WalesLab programme and was performed at Sprint Festival at Camden’s People’s Theatre and Volcano Theatre. Her second show Bottled developed with Greg Wohead and Justin Cliffe was at Experimentica, Chapter and Bristol Ferment. She was the recipient of the 2015 Creative Wales award and recently devised and created Twenty16 with Theatre Iolo and her recent play came runner up in the Richard Carne playwriting award at Sherman Theatre.
“I loved having a week at Theatr Clwyd and Gladstone’s library. I felt very lucky to have the time and space to work on a new play and be completely open to new ideas. I felt inspired by a caring and welcoming team. Being free to be able to go in and out of rehearsals for Uncle Vanya was a real privilege and the creativity and buzz really influenced my writing. A brilliant scheme – loved every minute!”
Keiran Lynn (Apr’17)
Kieran Lynn’s play AN INCIDENT AT THE BORDER was performed at the Finborough Theatre, before transferring to the West End. It has subsequently been performed around the world and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. His other plays include BUNNIES (Bike Shed Theatre), THE RECURRING RISE AND FALL (Hampstead Theatre), PUSHING POPPIES (Theatre 503) BREAKING THE ICE (Traverse Theatre/Oran Mor Theatre) and THE TRAP (Omnibus Theatre). His plays are published by Oberon Books.
“Theatr Clwyd is a theatre with big ambitions and it was an incredible experience to see this up close and to begin a relationship that I hope will have a bright future. I loved my time as Writer in Residence, which was part spent writing at (possibly the most perfect place for it) Gladstone’s Library and part at the theatre, a bustling, multidisciplinary hub for the arts. Both parts were equally inspiring and exciting, and I left full of new ideas for plays and beyond. Even now as I meet with theatre producers and artistic directors around the country, everyone always asks about my engagement with Theatr Clwyd and I’m more than happy to tell them how much I enjoyed my time there and respect it as a theatre. Wherever you’re at in your writing career, I can’t recommend this programme enough.”
Ben Norris (Jan’17)
Ben is an actor, writer and spoken-word artist, and trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. His work has been broadcast across BBC radio, his debut short film for Channel 4 was shortlisted for a Royal Television Society Award, and his first solo show, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family’, won the IdeasTap Underbelly Award at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe before touring the UK to huge acclaim. It has since been nominated for the Ted Hughes Award. Other writing for the stage has been performed or workshopped at Nottingham Playhouse, Theatre 503, Leicester Curve, Derby Theatre, and the Royal Court.
“Being writer-in-residence at Theatr Clwyd was an incredibly restorative experience for me, both as an artist and as a human being. Having the time and space to write and to think, away from the pressures and distractions of everyday freelance life, is such a rare and special gift, and evidence of Clwyd’s genuine commitment to the development of new writers. Working without the obligation to produce something ironically meant that I had one of the most productive fortnights of my professional life so far, facilitated no end by the quiet focus of both the writers’ room at the theatre and the beautiful Gladstone’s library. Having access to the rehearsal room was also very inspiring, especially on the days when I felt my focus slide a little; I would pop in for an hour, or half a day, and leave feeling re-energised by Tamara and the ‘Skylight’ cast, and attack my writing with renewed vigour.
Opportunities like this are increasingly rare, and increasingly vital. I am very grateful for the time I spent in Mold, and hope many more writers have the chance to do the same.”
Matthew Bulgo (Nov ‘16)
Matthew is an actor and playwright. His debut play, Last Christmas, was originally co-produced by Dirty Protest and Theatr Clwyd before receiving critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Soho Theatre. It will be returning for a run at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh in December ’16. Other work includes Constellation Street (The Other Room) and #YOLO (National Theatre Connections). He was the recipient of the Best Playwright (English Language) award at the Wales Theatre Awards 2015.
“I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that I got more work done during my time as Theatr Clwyd’s Writer in Residence than I did during the previous three months. The scheme provided me those two things that are so often lacking – time and space in which to create – whilst at the same time removing the immediate pressures of a deadline or having to share work at the end of the attachment. I’m massively grateful for the opportunity given to me by both Theatr Clwyd and Gladstone’s library.”
Catrin Fflur Huws (Sept’16)
Catrin is the author of To Kill A Machine (which was nominated for 4 Wales Theatre Awards in 2016), Rain of Blood as well as shorter plays for Scriptography Productions EarCandy, PlayPen and Response Time projects.
“Theatr Clwyd and Gladstone’s Library’s writer in residence scheme is an excellent initiative. I learned such a lot during my two weeks there, and having the opportunity to talk to so many of the people who make a show what it is was extremely enlightening and helpful. I was very privileged to be able to see what happens when you put Wales Drama Awards 2016’s best director, best actor and best actress together in rehearsals – it has really raised the bar for me in terms of what good theatre ought to look like, and what I want to aspire to. Gladstone’s Library was a lovely, quiet place to work – that’s a very rare and precious thing these days where so many libraries have become places for talking. The staff at both venues were extremely helpful and kind and very welcoming. I had a very good time indeed. Thank you ever so much Theatr Clwyd. Thank you ever so much Gladstone’s Library.”
Neil Bebber (Jun – Jul ’16)
After winning Script Slam with SEVEN PEOPLE at Sherman Cymru, Neil went on to receive Guardian reviews for his plays CUL DE SAC (Exeter Bikeshed) and STRAIGHT (Tactile Bosch, Cardiff). He’s since had work performed at Sherman Cymru, The Other Room, Chapter and Dirty Protest, Cardiff, as well as at Riverside Studios, Old Vic Tunnels and Almeida Theatre, London.
“Somewhere between inspiring visits to two different plays in rehearsal and regular visits to the designated Writer’s Room, I was able to fashion a new play which felt different to anything I’ve written previously. All this provided by an incredibly friendly, encouraging and accommodating team. When can I come back?”
Alun Saunders (Apr – May ’16)
Alun’s play, A Good Clean Heart, was The Other Room’s first piece of new writing – the new production for 2016 visits Edinburgh Fringe before touring venues across Wales.
“Writing time is precious, and is impossible to put a ‘price’ on. The opportunity given to me by Theatr Clwyd, the time and space to write for a week on an unspecified piece, with no pressure to deliver on a commission, or ‘performance’ was utterly invaluable. Diolch yn fawr iawn.”
Kelly Jones (Mar – Apr ’16)
Winner of the BBC Wales Drama Award 2014, Kelly is originally from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and has been working in Wales since 2007.
“Time and space to write without the pressure of a deadline is a luxury. It’s the main reason that this program is integral to writer development. I had a very productive time at Theatr Clwyd and felt supported by all the core team and the JUMPY Company.”
Lucy Rivers (Feb – Mar ’16)
Lucy is a writer, composer, actor and musician, and is co-founder of the multi-award-winning company Gagglebabble.
“I was lucky enough to spend a week at Theatr Clwyd early this year as their Writer in Residence. It gave me a great opportunity to start working on a new gig-theatre idea and since then I’ve continued to develop this show with the help of Arts Council of Wales funding and The Other Room. Staying at the beautiful Gladstone Library and having a room to write in, away from everything but surrounded by other artists working in the theatre, was a valuable experience.”