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Rhodri Meilir & Sara Gregory to lead cast Of Sherman Theatre’s Odyssey ‘84

Sara Gregory & Rhodri Meilir

Sherman Theatre has confirmed the cast of its forthcoming production of Tim Price’s Odyssey ‘84; a re-telling of the 1984 Miners’ Strike, inspired by Homer’s Odyssey.

In the 40th anniversary year of the Miners’ Strike, this brand new play tells the story of one of the most explosive chapters of Wales’ history, shining a new light on the international support the miners received as well as the role women played in the stand-off with the British government.

The personal and political collide in Odyssey ‘84, which follows the story of a married couple caught up in the conflict, played by Rhodri Meilir (How My Light Is Spent, Sherman Theatre/Royal Exchange Theatre/Theatre By The Lake; Nye, National Theatre & Wales Millennium Centre) and Sara Gregory (Romeo and Juliet, Sherman Theatre; Home, I’m Darling, Theatr Clwyd/National Theatre).

Rhodri and Sara will be joined on stage by Matthew Bulgo (The Cherry Orchard, Sherman Theatre; Nye, National Theatre & Wales Millennium Centre), François Pandolfo (The Taming of the Shrew, Sherman Theatre/Tron Theatre, An Audience with Milly Liu, difficult|stage); Sion Pritchard (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sherman Theatre; Mammoth, BBC), Dean Rehman (Love Letters to Cardiff, Sherman Theatre; The Kite Runner, UK and Ireland tour) and Lisa Zahra (Grenfell: in the words of survivors, National Theatre; The Boy With Two Hearts, National Theatre & Wales Millennium Centre).

As the strike begins, miner John O’Donnell finds himself thrust into a fight for survival, taking him far from south Wales. Meanwhile, at home, his wife Penny goes on her own epic personal journey whilst striving to support her community. When they are finally reunited, they find that their very different journeys have transformed their lives forever.

Domestic meets epic and local meets global in this ambitious work, told through the lens of Homer’s Odyssey and written by one of Wales’ most successful playwrights, whose most recent work was the critically-acclaimed Nye (National Theatre & Wales Millennium Centre).

Writer Tim Price said: “I’ve wanted to write about the Miners’ Strike for nearly 20 years, but never felt ready or had the right story. Then I read about all the international fundraising that went on and I realised the strike was important not just for us in south Wales but for people all around the world.

“The efforts miners went to, to collect this money and build solidarity, made me think of my favourite Greek epic story; The Odyssey. And then I realised I finally knew how to tell this epic battle between Gods and mortals in the longest and most brutal industrial dispute in our modern history.”

Odyssey ‘84 will be directed by Sherman Theatre’s Artistic Director, Joe Murphy and designed by Carl Davies (Housemates, Sherman Theatre).