Cerys Matthews makes NT music debut

Published May 20, 2015

Musician Cerys Matthews will compose the music for the National Theatre’s forthcoming production of Our Country’s Good, marking the Catatonia star’s stage writing debut.

The latest in a string of high profile musical artists to work at the iconic venue including Medea’s Goldfrapp and Damon Albarn, whose musical Wonder.land receives a London debut this autumn, Matthews will compose the music for Nadia Fall’s take on the Olivier Award-winning drama that runs from 26 August.

The Welsh singer, songwriter, author and broadcaster found fame in the mid-90s with her band Catatonia, whose hit singles included Mulder And Scully and Road Rage. Her subsequent genre-crossing career has seen her carve out a successful role as a cultural expert alongside her continued acclaimed music offerings; presenting her popular Sunday morning BBC 6 Music show, writing a weekly column for The Guardian and presenting radio and television documentaries on everything from Cuba to early female blues musicians.

While Our Country’s Good marks Matthews’ theatrical debut, the musician’s Welsh folk music album Tir sparked a collaboration with Ballet Cymru and the resulting production of the same name is currently touring the UK.

Matthews’ music will provide the backdrop to Timberlake Wertenbaker’s redemptive tale of the power of art set in Aboriginal Australia where, in 1788, the first convict ship arrives in Botany Bay, crammed with England’s outcasts.

The production will star comedian and actor Paul Kaye, who returns to the stage following his West End debut performance in Matilda The Musical and his current role opposite fellow Matilda original cast member Bertie Carvel in the BBC’s adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

Kaye will be joined in the cast by theatre regulars Jodie McNee (Game at the Almeida, Three Winters at the NT) and Light Shining In Buckinghamshire’s Ashley McGuire, alongside Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Caoifhionn Dunne, Peter Forbes and Tadhg Murphy.

The production will play in the Olivier Theatre until 17 October.