Shelf Life

Tue 06 Apr 2010 to Sun 25 Apr 2010

National Theatre Wales, Volcano and Welsh National Opera join forces with a team of internationally acclaimed artists join forces to create a unique multi-sensory experience.


Surprises and strange occurrences, singing librarians, extraordinary dancers, and a little more noise and disruption than is usually allowed. Shelf Life was an extraordinary theatrical adventure exploring a magical building  at the heart of Swansea’s history. A journey through the outer courtyard, labyrinthine stacks and circular reading room of the Old Library in Alexandra Road. The library was opened in 1887 by the former (and future) Prime Minister William Gladstone, and closed without fanfare in 2007. For more than 100 years it served a storehouse of knowledge. Fact and fiction; gossip and wisdom – it was all collected here. It even housed the bodies of people who lost their lives in the blitz. You could find all kinds of things in the library.

Now the last books have been cleared out and the doors closed to the public. Like ghosts, we browse the shelves once more, and even poke our noses into places where once only librarians were permitted to venture.

Directed by Catherine Bennett and Paul Davies
Music by Peter Swaffer Reynolds
Design by Paul Clay
Dramaturg: DJ Britton
Chorus Master: Kate Woolveridge
Cast:  Nigel Barrett, Gerard Bell, Anna Bjerre-Larsen, Lindsey Butcher, Theo Clinkard, Jane Guernier
Photos by Kirsten McTernan


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