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Swansea theatre production named one of UK’s best

A play staged at Swansea’s Grand Theatre has been named as one of the UK’s best of 2023.

Sorter is listed by influential arts publication The Stage as one of last year’s top 50 productions across the UK and Ireland.

Staged in March, it was presented by the Grand-based Grand Ambition team.

Written by Grand Ambition co-founder Richard Mylan, Sorter tells the story of two heroin addicts and was seen by more than 1,300 people.

Starring Mylan and Swansea-born Sophie Melville, it was the team’s first original production.

It drew on Mylan’s own experiences in recovering from heroin addiction. It contained discussion of substance misuse, child loss, childhood abuse and suicide.

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Grand Ambition is a collaboration between Swansea Council, which runs the theatre, and city-based professional artists Mylan, Steve Balsamo, Michelle McTernan and Christian Patterson.

Enabled by the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF), Grand Ambition was established in 2021 to become a company in residence at the theatre.

Supported by the council’s cultural services team, the short-term ERF was an opportunity for the theatre and Grand Ambition to develop new audiences, youth theatre and home-grown talent, including Sorter.

Following its initial success, Grand Ambition is now continuing its work thanks to the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

Swansea Council cabinet member Elliott King said: “Sorter was an incredible play and it’s great to see Grand Ambition continuing to do a whole host of other fantastic work with communities around Swansea.”

Richard Mylan said: “It’s great that Swansea and Grand Ambition have been applauded by The Stage.

“We want to encourage, support and connect the arts to our home city.”

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