Cardiff’s 3D Theatre Company goes national with its hit play, ‘Richard Parker’

Two men, one name, coincidence or something more sinister…? Do we live in a world where coincidence is a reality or are we simply living in a world filled with so many people that sooner or later events of sheer coincidence are bound to happen?

Written by Owen Thomas, this darkly comic two hander starring actors Gareth John Bale and Alistair Sill, explores a chance encounter aboard a ferry between a man called Richard Parker and an enigmatic stranger who, through a series of revelations, is set to change Richard’s life forever.

Exploring the notion of fate and coincidence, the play began life as a 20 minute one – act piece performed as part of Cardiff’s 3D Theatre Company’s highly successful ‘Zufall’ production which consisted of 6 bilingual short plays performed over two nights in Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff during Spring 2008. This production was funded by Arts Council of Wales. Both evenings were sold-out and the reviews were glowing:

“In addition to the great entertainment value, the audience also had the opportunity to explore subjects such as; “strange phenomenon”, and “coincidence” in a safe environment; many debates and conversations ensued on these subjects in lobby after. I left the play positively inspired, with a renewed respect for the theatre and its future, but also a thirst for life.” (Chantal Lee-Gan)

Co-Producer, Nia Wyn Jones, explains why they had to bring ‘Richard Parker’ back:

“We were blown away by the terrific response all the plays received last year and ‘Richard Parker’ in particular was a huge hit with the audience. Gareth Bale, one of the actors in the play, delivered such a blistering rendition of an intricate and technically challenging monologue, that he received a rousing round of applause mid-performance!”

Following the success of the one-act version of Richard Parker, 3D Theatre Company invited the writer, Owen Thomas, to develop the work further into a three act play. The extended version will now tour Wales and the UK beginning its journey on September 20 2009 at the celebrated ‘Hen and Chickens Theatre in Islington, London.

Co-producer Hannah Wyn Jones explained:

“It’s a dream come true to have the support not only from Wales based venues but further afield too. We begin the tour in London and then ‘Richard Parker’ will visit the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven; Sherman Cymru in Cardiff; The Grand Theatre in Swansea and finally Pontardawe Arts Centre. It’s a great achievement that we’ve managed to organise this ambitious tour as we also hold down full time jobs!”

3D Theatre Company was established in the summer of 2003 at Aberystwyth University by three friends who shared the same interest and enthusiasm for one thing -the theatre. Nia Wyn Jones from Aberdaron; Hannah Wyn Jones from Colwyn Bay and Catrin Wyn Jones from Llanelli. Good friends and now business partners. Co-Producer Catrin explains how they got together:

“When we graduated from the University of Wales Aberystwyth in 2003, many of our friends and fellow students started rock groups and were gigging. So we thought why couldn’t we be part of something creative too? Why is it that rock groups of all standards have a platform and an audience in Wales, but not theatre groups? Putting on a play should be like a gig – an enjoyable night out with no pretensions and we hope that’s what we’ve achieved with our work.”

All three girls also share the same surname, which, of course, is a coincidence in itself…


Photo: by Emyr Young


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