Martin Morley

A Life in Theatre & Television Design

Web site created by Martin Morley using Serif WebPlus X8 Updated:January 2017

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Where possible I have given photo credits. For those I have over looked I hope I have not given offence. Most of the rehearsal photos are my own taken with a simple point and shoot camera.

Cwmni Theatr Gwynedd 1986-2008

For 35 short years Theatr Gwynedd was home to live theatre in North West Wales. It was university owned but was managed first by Theatr Cymru and from 1986 by Theatr Gwynedd Ltd. During that time numerous Welsh Language productions were mounted before setting off on their tours of Wales. It was also a receiving theatre and productions from all over were seen there. Thirdly it was a cinema. Now it is no more. I feel very proud to have been able to be part of it. It had its ups and downs, but now it is gone: At the end of 2015 it’s replacement the  splendid new Pontio Arts & Innovation Centre opened and is now serving the community as a receiving house, cinema and much more.


Following the demise of Theatr Cymru who had managed Theatr Gwynedd up 1984, it had three artistic directors: Graham Laker, Sian Summers and Ian Rowlands. For the last few years of its life it became solely a receiving house and cinema. During the summer season in its early years it produced English language shows for a tourist audience: particularly musicals but also popular drama. This tradition was started when Theatr Cymru ran the theatre on behalf of the university with ‘Under Milk Wood’ and ‘Irma la Douce’. Graham Laker directed a string of very successful shows drawing on the talents of the university  and professionals in key roles. These included ‘ Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, ‘Cabaret ‘ and ‘Oliver’. There was also ‘Sleuth’, ‘Educating Rita’ and ‘Relatively Speaking’, and others. In the days when the University had a drama department one of my jobs as resident designer with Theatr Cymru was to design the occasional production for the department. These included ‘The Crucible’, ‘The Good Woman of Setzuan’, ‘Spring Awakening’ and ‘Saved’. It was also well used by schools and local groups.

The artistic programme, particularly in the early years was very wide ranging, including visits from the WNO, Moving Being, Caricature Theatre and Theatr Clwyd and more recently, Theatr Genedlarthol Cymru to name but a few. From 1986 it mounted three in house Welsh language productions  which then toured to the other medium sized venues in Wales.


Designing for Cwmni Theatr Gwynedd allowed me for almost the first time in Wales to work on a slightly larger scale as though all productions toured, unlike Theatr Cymru they only went to the chain of medium sized venues.


Some of the other designers whose work was seen on the stage of Theatr Gwynedd: Rhian Cemlyn, Sean Crowley, Colin Falconer. Christopher Green, John Jenkins,  Katy Smith and others.  

Hover and click

Theatr Gwynedd being built:- opened 1973

Theatr Gwynedd:- closed 2008

Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre:- opened December 2015

Costume design for

‘Y Gelli Gierios’ -

  (‘The Cherry Orchard’)

By Anton Checkov

Costume design for

‘Dynnes Ddela Leanne’

(The Beauty Queen of Leanne)

By

Martin McDonagh

‘Dyddiau Difyr’

 (Happy Days)

Samuel Beckett

‘Amadeus’

By Peter Shaffer

Costume drawing