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New three-part production at Swansea Grand puts two fingers up to the cost of living crisis

From 17 - 25 March National Theatre Wales’ ambitious new three-part production The Cost of Living will take place at Swansea Grand.


An evening of three parts beginning with Part 1: Counting the Cost of Living directed by Mathilde Lopez and curated by Shirish Kulkarni in partnership with Ethnic Youth Support Team (EYST) and Grange Pavilion Youth Forum. A unique opportunity for the audience to share their experiences of the cost of living crisis with politicians, police chiefs, council leaders and commissioners.


Part 2 stages Joseph K and the Cost of Living directed by Lorne Campbell with Kel and Anthony Matsena. A bold and visionary adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Trial by writer Emily White weaves the nightmare of an innocent man’s arrest and trial into an exciting, contemporary performance that highlights the high price we all pay when we are at the mercy of arbitrary and unaccountable power.



Writer Emily White says: ‘The cost of living crisis has been caused in the main part by the greed and corruption of the main pain of our society. In order to divert our attention from the real source of our problems, we are seeing a frightening resurgence of fascist rhetoric being used by government officials scapegoating and blaming poor people, immigrants, asylum seekers, LGBTQ+ people, women, unions, protestors, etc. There are many ways to interpret the story of The Trial, but my adaptation: Joseph K and the Cost of Living is about the nature of state-led persecution, the individuals the system chooses to persecute and why.”


Co-director Kel Matsena said: “I’m incredibly excited to be working on such a relevant and live piece of theatre. Kafka’s work is monstrous, incredibly rich and speaks so clearly to the world we currently live in. It’s an honour for me to be bringing this work to Swansea, the city I grew up in, the city I call home. To create a space where the people I grew up with can come and see themselves reflected in a powerful, dynamic and high-quality piece of theatre is a real honour.



People can expect the unexpected. My pre-conceptions have been challenged at every step of the process. Emily White has done an incredibly funny and emotional adaption and humour is something I never expected in work like this. Also getting to direct alongside Anthony Matsena and Lorne Campbell is a real treat. We have a stellar cast of actors and a creative team who have special connections to Wales.


The evening concludes with Part 3: F**k the Cost of Living, in partnership with Grand Ambition. A gig of music full of joy and catharsis to empower and inspire you. The perfect protest music for the moment. With Minas, Ayoub, and HMS Morris


Audiences can choose to be there for some of the evening, or all of it.


For details and tickets visit www.nationaltheatrewales.org. Pay What You Can - £8 / £16 / £22.


17 - 25 March 2023

Swansea Grand Theatre

Singleton Street, Swansea SA1 3QJ

Tel: 01792 475715

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