Founded in 2000, The Llanarth Group is an association of theatre/performance artists dedicated to producing international/intercultural theatre and performance work of the highest quality. Phillip Zarrilli is the Founding Artistic Director, and Kaite O’Reilly is resident playwright/dramaturg. The Llanarth Group produces new work on a project-by-project basis, and all our new work premieres in Wales. We strategically focus each performance in development on a specific question, issues, or set of aesthetic beginning points. Each new performance brings together a specific group of collaborators relevant to the purpose and aesthetic of that project.
In 2001, The Llanarth Group began to develop a close relationship with Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, and since then has sustained that relationship—officially premiering newly created performances at Chapter, and then touring performances to venues in Wales and beyond. Prior to premiering new work, we always have open previews at the Tyn y parc Studio for local audiences. These previews are free of charge. When possible, once created/premiered Llanarth Group productions remain available for future performances and tour nationally and internationally.
The work of The Llanarth Group ranges across a wide variety of aesthetics and styles, and since its founding has involved many different collaborators from Wales, the UK, and internationally. Directed by Phillip Zarrilli and featuring actress/disability activist Sara Beer, in 2016 The Llanarth Group produced Kaite O’Reilly’s critically acclaimed Cosy in association with Wales Millennium Centre. Cosy is an example of The Llanarth Group’s commitment to producing new work around issues of disability and difference. In 2014-2015 The Llanarth Group co-created the critically acclaimed playing ‘the maids’--a major new intercultural production by partnering with Gaitkrash (Cork, Ireland), Theatre P’yut (Seoul, Korea), and independent artists from Singapore/Ireland. The work previewed in 2014 on invitation of the Cork Midsummer Festival, premiered at Chapter and toured in Wales in 2015, and will continue to be available for touring. In 2012 The Llanarth Group co-created The Echo Chamber involving Welsh performer Ian Morgan in his first production back in the UK after working extensively with Song of the Goat. Morgan and Zarrilli performed. The Echo Chamber premiered at Chapter, and may be revived for further performances in the future. In 2009-2010 The Llanarth Group produced Told by the Wind. Co-created by Kaite O’Reilly, Phillip Zarrili, and Jo Shapland, this unique interdisciplinary performance previewed on invitation of the Evora, Portugal Festival in 2009, premiered at Chapter, and has toured in Wales, the UK and internationally to Berlin, Chicago, Wroclaw, and Tokyo. It continues in our repertory of work, and most recently was remounted for performances in the UK in 2016. Zarrilli has a long history of collaborating with South Asian dancers/choreographers including Walking Naked and the Flowering Tree (Gitanjali Kolanad, 1999-2008) and The Dance of The Drunken Monk and '…sweet…dry…bitter…plaintive' (part of Corpo-realities with Sankalpam, 2004/2010). Given Zarrilli’s international reputation as an expert directing Samuel Beckett’s later/shorter plays, The Llanarth Group also regularly producesThe Beckett Project (from 2001 at Chapter) with collaborators from the US and Ireland with most recent performances on invitation of The Malta Festival (2012).
In March, 2017, The Llanarth Group was registered as a Limited Company.