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National Theatre Wales launches 2013 season with production rooted in Cardiff's Somali community

Friday, November 16, 2012
By Ben Bryant

De Gabay writer Hassan Panero (left) and Creative Associate Yusuf Mohamed (right).

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A three-day production exploring Cardiff's Somali community that will be live-streamed online launches National Theatre Wales's third season.

De Gabay is a three-day exploration of the Butetown area of Cardiff - a part of the city renowned for its diversity and rich history.

The site-specific work runs for three days and will be streamed online, moving from private living rooms to the boulevards of Butetown in a part of the city formerly known as Tiger Bay.

Audiences around the world will be able to interact with and watch the production over the internet as it segues from intimate performance to large-scale parade from March 1-3.

The production will focus on the lives of young Somali poets and the generations that came before them, with a cast and crew that includes members of the local community.

John McGrath, National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director, said: "Poetry's place in Somali culture, as it is in Wales, is fundamental. The poets who inspired De Gabay - and whose writing is already driving its development - document their lives as young Somali men through their words.

"They have a wealth of stories to share about their experiences as members of the international Somali diaspora. We can't wait to share those stories with audiences in Cardiff and worldwide, and to work with the community of Butetown, some of whom are old friends and some new."

The production is directed by Jonathan Holmes, whose previous works include his original play Into Thy Hands at Wilton's Music Hall and a five-week run of The Tempest at the Barbican, London.

The English-language national theatre company, established in May 2009, has staged 22 productions to date.


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