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The curtain comes down as Peter Doran prepares to leave the Torch after 25 years

05 Apr 2022 3 minute read
Peter Doran in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Photo the Torch Theatre

The Torch Theatre has confirmed that Peter Doran will be stepping down as Artistic Director at the end of December, ending an incredible 25 years in the role.

He had re-joined the company in 1998 as Artistic Director having been one of the original Torch Theatre Company members back in 1977 when it first opened.

Over the last 25 years, Peter has achieved critical acclaim as a director, winning several awards including Best Director at the Wales Theatre Awards for the bilingual production Belonging/Perthyn in 2017, and two Laurel Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for Grav and Oh Hello! in 2015.

Leading the theatre’s 40th anniversary celebrations in 2017, Peter’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was widely regarded as one of the finest productions ever staged at the Torch.

He has also enjoyed a successful career as an actor, making over 50 appearances in television and performing in theatres up and down the country before turning his hand to directing.

He has been responsible for 70 Torch Theatre productions over his 25 years at the helm and oversaw the £5.8million redevelopment of the Torch in 2008 which transformed the theatre into a multivenue arts centre for Pembrokeshire.

Grav

The creative partnership with writer Owen Thomas and actor Gareth John Bale with Peter as director has seen one of Welsh theatre’s most recent international success stories with Grav, the remarkable one-man show exploring the life and times of Ray Gravell.

The play has been performed over 100 times, including in New York and Washington, sold out venues across Wales and the rest of the UK and in 2021 was turned into a feature length film for S4C.

Grav was also performed to the Men’s Welsh Rugby Team on the eve of the opening match of the 2019 Guinness 6 Nations at the Principality Stadium, apparently proving an inspiration for Wales’ Grand Slam that year!

In recent months Peter has again been involved behind the scenes with Owen and Gareth, developing Torch Theatre’s most recent production, the highly acclaimed Carwyn.

Extraordinary

“I’ve had an extraordinary 25 years leading this organisation and have had the privilege of working with so many wonderful people, both on the artistic side and with the staff team at the Torch, as well as our volunteers, all of whom have been incredibly loyal to both me and the Torch. I’ve enjoyed working every minute with them all,” he said.

“25 years is a long time and coming after the pandemic lull where we were closed for 18 months, I was able to have a period of self-reflection and felt that now is the time for a new vision and new energy and to that end, Executive Director, Benjamin Lloyd and the team will be seeking to find my replacement over the coming months”.

“It is thanks to Peter’s understated but determined endeavours and his understanding of the Torch’s place in our part of Wales that the theatre has developed from a cottage industry to a well-established and respected arts venue,” Torch Theatre Trustee and former Chair of the Board Carol Mackintosh said.

“Over the twenty-five years of Peter’s leadership even when the going got tough there was never any doubt about his commitment to and passion for the Torch. It has been a huge privilege for me to be on the Board working with him throughout this time.”


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Stephen Thomas
Stephen Thomas
6 months ago

Great achievements all round. Unfortunately, as a non-thesp, I have no idea from this piece where the Torch Theatre is located, other than within the county of Pembrokeshire. Is it peripatetic?

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