Preview: Hail Cremation! At National Theatre Wales

Hail Cremation National Theatre Wales
Hail Cremation National Theatre Wales

National Theatre Wales (NTW) presents Jon Tregenna’s brand new musical Hail Cremation! a psychedelic fusion of live music, dance and video celebrating the extraordinary life of Victorian Welsh radical Dr William Price, regarded as the pioneer of modern cremation and a passionate Welshman.

Hail Cremation! is directed by Adele Thomas (The Knight of the Burning Pestle (Shakespeare’s Globe), Berenice (Royal Opera House/International)) and will star Matthew Bulgo, Gruffudd Glyn, Lee Mengo and Seren Vickers, with dancers Iestyn Arwel, Ella Biddlecombe, Elan Elidyr and Kyle Flaherty. The musicians are Stephen Black (of Sweet Baboo),Tom Cottle, Aidan Thorne and Paul Jones. Hail Cremation! runs at Newbridge Memo in South Wales from 23 March to 4 April and opens the NTW 10th anniversary year, led by new Artistic Director Lorne Campbell.

Passionate Welshman, brutish anarchist, legendary surgeon, father of modern cremation, Welsh radical Victorian, sartorial genius, visionary, charlatan…

Almost totally forgotten.

Hail Cremation! is a musical odyssey through the wild and bizarre life of Dr William Price. This psychedelic fusion of live music, dance and video, will take audiences on a riotous, strange and wonderful journey into the life of a complex and extraordinary Welshman.

Writer Jon Tregenna said: “If Dr Price was around today, he’d be a media star. His outfits would feature in fashion magazines, he’d appear at music festivals, he’d campaign for Extinction Rebellion and the NHS. He was a contrary figure, a passionate believer in workers’ rights yet he drank champagne with industrialists. This musical, a cross between urban folk and pub disco, celebrates this great and largely forgotten Welshman.”

Director Adele Thomas said: “William Price was a man who is still, in so many ways, light years ahead of us. The production is being made through a retro futurist, Victorian psychedelic lens that we think he’d have appreciated. We want to capture his restless, curious spirit through a mix of video art, fabulous costuming and dance, part carnival, part concert and part catwalk show.”

Hail Cremation! is written by Jon Tregenna and directed by Adele Thomas with Set and Costume Design by Rhiannon Matthews, Lighting Design by Joe Fletcher, Musical Direction by Richard Melkonian, Choreography by Emma Woods and Video Design by Nic Finch.

Hail Cremation! runs at Newbridge Memo from 23 March – 4 April 2020. Tickets are on sale here.


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