Motherlode Theatre is preparing to perform its debut production, The Good Earth, in New York later this month, followed by an extensive tour at home, in Wales.


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 is preparing for a two-and-a-half-week run at New York’s Flea Theater this August/September, followed by a tour of eight venues across Wales in September/October.


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, and curious to learn how this intrinsically Welsh story might speak to audiences overseas.”


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.


Motherlode Theatre is a new company dedicated to making ambitious theatre of the highest quality. Headed by director and producer Rachael Boulton, composer Max Mackintosh and artist Emma Vickery, it produces exciting work from Wales that speaks to worldwide audiences. The company creates its work in the Rhondda Valley, just next to the Bwlch Mountain. Resident at the Park & Dare Theatre, built in 1914 (and one of Wales' few still standing ex-mining halls), Motherlode invite exceptional artists to collaborate with them to tell relevant and rousing stories, rooted in Wales but knowing no bounds. Its aim is to share the unheard stories of Wales by working with the communities they represent to create entertaining, innovative and moving productions for the audiences of Wales and beyond. The development of The Good Earth since 2013 has been supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Wales Millennium Centre, Chapter, National Theatre Wales, Creu Cymru Wales Arts International and RCT Theatres.


Website: motherlodetheatre.com


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RCT Theatres operates as a creative hub in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which is situated in the heart of south Wales valleys. RCT Theatres comprises of two mid-scale venues; the Coliseum Theatre in Aberdare and the Park & Dare Theatre in Treorchy. Our passion is to work in partnership to support local emerging artists and arts companies to produce and co-produce work. Our work responds to the needs of our communities by telling stories of hope and sheer determination of days gone by, which enables us to fly the flag for future generations, to celebrate a wonderful history and glorious heritage that in turn will enrich the lives of people living in our communities through experiencing the arts.

Dates: 7-8 October

Times: 1pm and 7.30pm (7 October), 2pm (8 October)

Venue: Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy, Rhondda Cynon Taff

Tickets: £10 (£8 conc)


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