by Bertolt Brecht

in a translation by John Willett

Revised by Ed Thomas

Lyrics revised by Dafydd James and Ed Thomas

Sound Production by Dan Lawrence

Directed by John E McGrath

Merthyr Labour Club, Merthyr Tydfil


‘Imaginatively conceived and coherently realised – not to mention bracingly rude.’ The Independent

‘Best work of theatre of the year, so far?! Gut-wrenching, hilarious and alert. There is absolutely no excuse not to see Mother Courage in Merthyr’ The Sprout

‘It’s as though Brecht’s polemic…has sprung directly from the fabric of the very building…The tension in the room is palpable.’ The Daily Telegraph


National Theatre Wales returned to its birthplace in the south Wales valleys for the first production in its fifth season – a bold, anarchic  new version of Bertolt Brecht’s 1939 anti-war play performed in and around the Merthyr Labour Club.

Hinterland creator Ed Thomas returned to the stage to adapt, NTW artistic director John McGrath directed and Dafydd composed original music and co-translated the lyrics, mixing Brecht’s world with the Saturday-night spirit of Merthyr.

Mother Courage has been described as the greatest play of the twentieth century. Performed by a cast of nine great Welsh actresses, in the gutsy English of the South Wales Valleys, and in the context of our own unending wars, this was a defiantly twenty-first century version.