In Spring 2016 the Torch Theatre Company will once again tour Wales with a new production about the life of Welsh personality and rugby legend, Ray Gravell.

The Torch Theatre Company’s play Grav about rugby legend and cultural icon Ray Gravell has been going down brilliantly with audiences and critics alike, with standing ovations every night since the play opened last year on 4 February 2015.

The play will tour once again to 15 venues across Wales. To make each performance even more unique and to link up with the local community in each of the tour locations, The Torch Theatre has been contacting local rugby clubs across Wales to ask them to collect and donate mud from their rugby pitches and from the boots of their players to ‘dress’ the play’s set, which is an old changing room. Lynn Preece, The Torch’s Business Development Officer explains:

“Although Grav played for the British Lions and his beloved Country Wales, his local club Llanelli was always at the heart of his rugby career. We wanted to find a way to engage the local rugby clubs in each of the towns and cities that Grav is being performed, to connect with the rugby communities of each area and to represent how crucial that local rugby scene was to Grav. The response we’ve had from the local clubs is fantastic and for most of the performances of Grav, mud from the local rugby pitch will actually be on the set, making each performance unique. We really hope Grav would approve – we think he might.”

Raymond ‘Ray’ William Robert Gravell was a Welsh rugby union centre who played club rugby for Llanelli RFC. At international level, Gravell earned 23 caps for Wales and was selected for the 1980 British Lions tour to South Africa. In his later career, he became a respected broadcaster and occasional actor. Then In October 2007 Gravell, a man who for many embodied what it is to be Welsh, passed away aged 56, after succumbing to complications resulting from contracting diabetes. Known to millions for his legendary exploits on the rugby field, ‘Grav’ was and is so much more than that. An actor, a cultural icon, a father, a husband, a man with a life packed full of stories that deserve to be heard once more.

Written by Owen Thomas, Grav the play has been written with the blessing of Mari, Ray’s widow, and contributions from his Welsh and British Lions team mates. Directed by the Torch Theatre’s Artistic Director Peter Doran, this one man show will explore the life of a man who was as compelling away from the rugby field as he was on it. Peter comments: “We have a plethora of rugby legends in Wales but Grav was so much more; it’s a story waiting to be told, how tragedy as a young teenager dictated and shaped the rest of his life – a fascinating story, a fascinating man!”

Performed by Gareth Bale (The Indian Doctor, High Hopes, Pobol Y Cwm, Richard Parker, Bedroom Farce, Boeing Boeing, Neville’s Island, Up ‘n Under, Bouncers), Grav will remind the world once more of a unique life well lived.

The one-man show was launched last month at a special invited event at Parc y Scarlets, where guests included Scarlets players, supporters and sponsors of the production, representatives of the Ray Gravell Trust, members of Ray Gravell’s family and representatives from the 16 tour veunues. The dedicated website for Grav, www.gravcymru.co.uk also went live at the event, and then guests were invited to share their own memories of the great man in a video booth.

The Torch Theatre Company will have bucket collections at all performances of Grav at its home in Milford Haven and on its 16 venue Welsh tour, in aid of the Ray Gravell & Friends Charitable Trust. Established in memory of Ray Gravell, its aim is to ensure that the passion, energy and spirit of the great man continues through the work it does – protecting his love of and commitment to family life, sport, music, the arts, the outdoors, media and the Welsh language. The Trust aims to make a positive impact by working with selected charities and projects that are helping build, develop, and support the communities of West Wales.

Grav will play at The Torch Theatre  9th-13th February 2016  and tickets are available from The Torch website www.torchtheatre.co.uk or from the Box Office on 01646 695267. The show will then go on a 15 date tour of Wales – full details are available on The Torch website www.torchtheatre.co.uk and the dedicated Grav website www.gravcymru.co.uk

Dates:

The Courtyard, Hereford
Tuesday 16 Februry 2016

Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli
Wednesday 17 Februry 2016

Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold
Thur 18 & Fri 19 Februry 2016

Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Saturday 20 Febraury 2016

Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan
Tuesday 23 February 2016

Metropol Theatre, Abertillery
Wednesday 24 February 2016

Theatr Gartholwg, Pontypridd
Thursday 25 February 2016

Taliesin, Swansea
Friday 26 February 2016

Blackwood Miners Institute
Saturday 27 February 2016

Royal Welsh College, Cardiff
Tuesday 1 March 2016

The Riverfront, Newport
Thursday 3 March 2016

Pontardawe Arts Centre
Friday 4 March 2016

Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells
Monday 7 March 2016

Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen
Tuesday 8 March 2016

Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl
Wednesday 9 March 2016

Savoy Theatre, Monmouth
Thursday 10 March 2016

Theatr Soar, Merthyr Tydfil
Friday 11 March 2016

Theatr Hafren, Newtown
Saturday 12 March 2016