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Clwyd’s Terry Hands Revisits London with Memory

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After more than 15 years away from the London stage, former Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Terry Hands will return next month with the transfer of his Theatre Clwyd production of Welsh dramatist Jonathan Lichtenstein’s Memory. The play embarks on a brief regional tour from 1 September 2008, culminating with a five-week season at north London’s Pleasance Theatre from 1 October to 2 November 2008 (previews from 30 September).

Memory is billed as “an intimate exploration of how we choose to remember events and the consequences of those choices”. From a group of actors and their director in the rehearsal room, Memory takes us to East Berlin in 1990 just as the wall has come down. A young man arrives at his grandmother’s flat with awkward questions about the past. Meanwhile, a generation later, the Israeli security barrier is going up.

The play had its world premiere in 2006 at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, where Hands is director and chief executive, before an Off-Broadway run. The multi award-winning Hands is considered one of Europe’s leading directors. In addition to his many international credits, he was the founding director of the Liverpool Everyman and an active member of the RSC for more than three decades from 1966. He served as the RSC’s joint artistic director, alongside Trevor Nunn, in the 1970s and as its chief executive in the 1980s. In 1997, he rescued the Clwyd Theatr from closure and has been running it ever since, building it into one of the most successful producing outfits in Wales.

Author Jonathan Lichtenstein’s other credits include Station and The Pull of Negative Gravity. The cast for Memory are Huw Dafydd, Daniel Hawksford (pictured), Guy Lewis, Simon Nehan, Vivien Parry, Oliver Ryan and Tom Shepherd. The production is designed by Martyn Bainbridge and presented at the Pleasance Theatre by Clwyd Theatr Cymru in association with Karl Sydow.

Prior to its London transfer, Memory will tour to Milford Haven, Bangor, Aberystwyth, Bath and Cardiff.

- by Terri Paddock

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