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The Good Earth prepares for Wales tour

The Good Earth prepares for Wales tour

Welsh theatre company Motherlode Theatre return to Wales this week, following a triumphant run of their debut production, The Good Earth, in New York’s Flea Theater. The production will embark on a month-long tour across Wales, starting in Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre, on 15 September. 13 Sep 2016

The Good Earth prepares for Wales tour

A truly Welsh story about a community pitted against big business and its own local authority, The Good Earth is an explosive play inspired by real events. In 1973, the villagers of Troedrhiwgwair in Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, were ordered to leave their homes amid fears of a landslide. But the determined villagers defied the authorities, demanding proof of the danger with which they were threatened and sparking a battle that would be fought for a generation.

Motherlode’s bold new writing brings this extraordinary story to an international audience. The production is performed in English with a little Welsh, and incorporates stirring folk songs, first recorded in New York in 1965 by Welsh-language activist Dr. Meredydd Evans.

The production was developed at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre and at a residency at the Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy in 2015, before a brief run in Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff in September. Almost one year on, the company of young, Welsh artists performed the show at New York’s Flea Theater (17 August-3 September) to glowing reviews, and will embark on a month-long tour of eight venues across Wales on 15 September (full schedule below).

Its director and Motherlode co-founder Rachael Boulton said: "The Good Earth first came about after I read an article about Troedrhiwgwair, and how one, small village in south Wales fought the authorities for the right to stay in their homes. This seed of inspiration led us to tell a fictionalised story of home, loss and identity, and to make a production that uses folk songs to express the feelings of a whole community.

"I'm very excited to take the show on tour across Wales. Sharing our story with an overseas audience is an incredible opportunity and we're lucky and thrilled to have been warmly received, especially by New York audiences. Although, myself and the cast are certainly feeling homesick and can't wait to bring the show home, where our family and friends can watch."

Newport-born director Rachael Boulton trained as an actor and director at Joan Littlewood’s E15 Acting School, London. Rachael is a National Theatre Wales emerging director, and has worked on two of their five-star productions including Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage. Rachael is currently working with National Theatre Wales as a community director, is resident director at the Park & Dare Theatre, and a member of the JMK directors’ group at Sherman Cymru. She is artistic director and founder of Motherlode, and directed the company's productions of The Good Earth (Wales & US tour) and Blackout (National Theatre). Rachael is currently developing new work under the Creu Cymru Emergence commission and with other venues like Bristol Old Vic and Theatr Brycheiniog. In 2015, Wales Online named her one of the most powerful and influential women in Welsh theatre.

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