“Heb Hanes – Heb Hunaniaeth” “Without History – Without Identity”

New Company Directors join Contemporancient Theatre

We are thrilled to be able to announce that Stephen J Preston has formally joined the company as a Director and will be our MD, Composer, Musician and Actor as we go forward. There are lots of details about Steve’s varied and impressive career on the website under the ‘Meet The Team’ section – so you can find out all about what he’s done and is doing right there. Steve is acting in our forthcoming musical farce about a family of Welsh Elvis Presley tribute acts as well as being MD, and musician and singer for the show. Steve is composing new work for our piece about Richard Price and will be involved in composition for our work linked to religious and political refugees in Abergavenny which we are just beginning to plan.

We also welcome the wonderful Neil Maidman as Company Director, Theatre and Technical Director, Dramaturg and Actor for the company. Several of us have worked with and known Neil for many years – again, you’ll find a summary of his career on our ‘Meet The Team’ page. Neil has a huge wealth of experience in all aspects of theatre and we are very fortunate to have him bring all that expertise and experience to Contemporancient Theatre. Neil joins us with the Elvis work well under way and will support us in bringing his directorial eye to the piece as well as helping us as Technical Director, as we bring the work to stages around South Wales.

Neil Maidman
Stephen J Preston

New Poems – The Larkdown Suite

From Professor Kevin Mills. Click on the link below for a reading of the poems together with the text of the collection. Our Director, researcher and poet, Kevin has written a new sequence of poems based on traditional songs. In the past, events such as outbreaks of the plague, disasters and social crises were memorialised…

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We’ve been very frustrated as a new company over the last eighteen months – just like anyone else in theatre, pretty much all around the world. We have ideas, projects, and performances that we are longing to bringing to the stage and to audiences but that just hasn’t been possible.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that we have been idle. We have three projects in various states of development. The first is the ‘Price Project’ – for this we have a completed script and a cast in place. We have a collection of new poetry written and a score in the process of composition. This project is for performance in 2023, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Price. The plan is to perform in the Garw Valley initially and then to take the play elsewhere in Wales and hopefully, abroad.

The second project is a very different one indeed – looking at the more contemporary side of our mission and work – the starting point for this comedy was annual The Elvis Festival at Porthcawl – a huge event which we wanted to celebrate. This is a riotous, musical farce about a family of Welsh Elvis tribute performers. This play is in the latter stages of rehearsal and will tour venues across South Wales as soon as the pandemic conditions allow. We hope to perform the play at The Elvis Festival in Porthcawl in September 2022, also.

The third project, which is really at its inception, is a play looking at the lives of those who as a result of their beliefs, are forced to take refuge. We are focusing on ‘The Gunter House’ in Abergavenny, a place where, in the seventeenth century, Catholic priests took refuge, hiding in priest holes and in a secret chapel hidden amongst its walls. This will lead us to look at those who have travelled across the world to seek refuge in modern day Abergavenny – again in fear of their lives.

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