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National Theatre Wales
January 2011
In Butetown, Cardiff

The Soul Exchange

Past and present collide on the streets of Butetown - join a young man in search of his father and experience the taxi ride of your life. Unearth the secrets of these well-loved streets.

Meet millionaires and paupers, seamen and dockers, gamblers and poets, royalty and rogues. Explore the myths and truths that have made Tiger Bay roar. Join us to make a new piece of history, and celebrate a place where those from across the ocean (and close by) have lived, loved and made their mark.

About the production

In January 2011, National Theatre Wales took audiences on a taxi ride around the well-loved streets of Butetown, Cardiff.

The idea for The Soul Exchange was first born in 2009 during a visit to Cardiff by three exciting young artists from Contact Theatre in Manchester – Ali Gadema, Borhan Mohammedi and Yusra Warsama. The three spent a lot of time in Butetown, meeting artists and community leaders like Leanne Rahman, and generally getting excited by the cultural richness of ‘The Bay’. This initial visit was followed by a year of workshops and research, with Butetown artists including Gavin Porter, Anthony Brito and many others coming on board.

During their visits to Butetown the Manchester artists had discovered that taxi drivers often had the best stories to tell about the area. The Butetown artists explained the importance of the Coal Exchange building to local history. A random meeting on the street provided the story of a man looking for his father. Director Kully Thiarai and her fantastic creative team came on board to turn the ambitious ideas that had emerged into an extraordinary theatrical reality.

This sell-out show celebrated the communities past and present of Butetown.

Cast & Creative Team

Directed by
KULLY THIARAI

Assistant Director
BORHAN MOHAMMADI

Musical Director
KEITH MURRELL

Designer
JANE LINZ ROBERTS

Lighting Designer
CERI JAMES

Writer
ANTHONY BRITO

Film/Animation
GAVIN PORTER KYLE LEGALL

Photographer
RHODRI JONES

The Soul Exchange