Review National Theatre Connections Festival 2016 by Lois Arcari


Sherman connections is an annual festival centred around making strong links with young talent, raising the profile and awareness of theatre companies and their rising stars to general audiences, the theatre and themselves. The three day festival, only one of which I was privileged enough to attend, was packed full of short productions such as Simon Armitage’s Eclipse, presented by the Everyman Youth theatre and Lucinda Coxon’s What are They Like, as performed by WGYTC.

Although I could only catch two of the nine productions featured in the festival; the diversity of plays and the thorough rehearsal of their excellent young casts was evident in both.

There were also opportunities to participate in an extensive range of workshops.
These workshops really made the atmosphere of creative buzz and talent checking even further heightened; some generally constructive such as a review workshop with Jafar Iqbal of the Western mail, others shedding light into current issues in the arts such as inclusivity. A particular highlight for attendants was the one off workshop from Matthew Bulgo.

It was a great opportunity for bolstering support of local Welsh talent, and its place in the Sherman’s packed catalogue cements its place as one of the most active theatres in Cardiff; doing all it can to heighten not only its already well regarded profile, but that of fresh talent and Welsh arts in general.

Although it’s main onus did seem to be on connections within the youth groups; seeing new talent in a space evidently very invested in the future of theatre with so much packed into its tight schedule seems a must for fans of the Sherman, and anyone interested in looking out for the future landscape of Welsh Theatre,

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