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Supported Artists

Our Supported Artists are companies and individuals with whom we have agreed to invest time and resource to develop a more meaningful relationship – one that benefits the artist, ourselves, and our audiences. We share a vision, and our values play a central role in our relationship.

We support artists in various ways, including financial support, rehearsal space at Blackwood Miners’ Institute and through on-going conversations and connections. We also co-produce and offer small commissions for work that aligns with our artistic vision and explores new ways of connecting with audiences.

In 2023-24 we are co-producing Black RAT’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Chris Harris’ Trwbl Mawr Yn Tremyglyd. We are keen to support artists/companies who have lived experience of discrimination and have faced barriers to working in the arts.

If you’d like to collaborate, please contact Eloise (Theatre and Arts Service Manager)

Black RAT Productions

Blackwood Miners’ Institute has a long-standing relationship with Black RAT Productions. Since 2010, we have co-produced an annual national tour and together we are committed to providing high quality productions for our local communities and audiences across Wales.

Our current co-production (premiering in October 2023) is an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In true Black RAT style, an energetic cast of four bring familiar characters from the Sherlock stories to life in this brand spanking new romp – full of adventure, laughs and terrific songs.

“Don’t take my word for it – get a ticket to Black RAT’s latest autumn romp and have a laugh-out-loud evening. This joint production with Blackwood Miners’ Institute combines everything that makes Black RAT’s show unmissable, clever writing, fast-paced action, quick-fire costumes changes required by players taking multiple roles, and the feeling that we are just this side of everything going pear shaped.”

Our previous productions include:

  • BOUNCERS by John Godber (2010)
  • UP’N’UNDER: THE WELSH TOUR by John Godber (2011)
  • NEVILLE’S ISLAND by Tim Firth (2012)
  • BOEING-BOEING, by Marc Camoletti (2013)
  • BEDROOM FARCE by Alan Ayckbourn (2014)
  • John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock’s THE 39 STEPS adapted by Patrick Barlow (2015)
  • BOUNCERS by John Godber (2016)
  • ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS by Richard Bean (2017) based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni
  • LOOT by Joe Orton (2018)
  • ART by Yasmina Reza (2019)
  • The Invisible Man by Richard Tunley (2022) based on HG Wells classic sci-fi horror


‘Trwbl Mawr yn Tremyglyd’ by Chris Harris

An original Welsh language play with songs in development with Blackwood Miners’ Institute.

‘Trwbl Mawr yn Tremyglyd’ (‘Big Trouble in Tremyglyd’) is an epic play with songs about industry, community, cottage pie and nuclear weapons. In a world of war and corruption, it asks the question – what makes a leader?

This is Tremyglyd, a fictional town somewhere in Wales. The year is 1960; the swinging sixties and the Cold War erupting over Europe. Alan Elis is a mute lad living in a community that ridicule him and with a family that ignore him. Much to his father’s dismay, he is given an apprenticeship at the local steelworks. When his co-workers realise his political potential, Alan leads them in a revolt against the Management Board over pay cuts and lack of cottage pie in the canteen. Soon after, he gains self-confidence, his voice and the support of his community. But after the sale of the steelworks to a West German company, Alan is complicit in the transformation of his small town threatened by nuclear holocaust, and he is forced to question his relationship, his beliefs, and his role as a leader.

Chris Harris, the playwright, describes the play:

“I began writing Tremyglyd when radical, right-wing Republicans stormed the White House, coaxed by a sickly-disillusioned Donald Trump. Now, as the evil Vladimir Putin rages war in Ukraine, and Boris Johnson desperately clings onto a leadership that he quashed by his own clownish actions over ‘partygate’, the question of what makes a leader – or, more specifically, what makes a dictator – even clearer. Those doubts over the sense of right and wrong are what sparked this tragicomedy piece.

I’m very much inspired by the work of Brecht, as we radically and satirically look at the world around us through the metaphorical lens of this fictional sleepy, industrial town. Music plays a crucial role in the storytelling, and it’s through the mesmerising, narrative-driven songs of folk singer Mari Mathias that the audience will gain a specific gateway into the characters’ wants, doubts and fears.

The epic Welsh language play is here – and it belongs to Blackwood.”

The Wales-wide tour is currently planned for Spring 2025.

For more information, please visit