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Dr William Price, Hail Cremation

New musical ‘Hail Cremation!’ to open at National Theatre Wales

Hail Cremation!, a new musical celebrating the life of Welsh radical cremation pioneer Dr William Price will open at Newbridge Memo in South Wales this March.

Described as a musical odyssey through the wild and bizarre life of Welshman Dr William Price, the new musical is a psychedelic fusion of live music, dance and video.

Price lived from 1800-1893 in South Wales and was one of the youngest ever surgeons to qualify from the Royal College of Surgeons. He was known for his eccentricities from his unusual attire, his mode of travel of a cart pulled by goats, veganism and for being a feminist.

Famously, he fathered a child when he was 82 with his 22 year old partner, which led to his most famous act. When his five-month old son died of natural causes, Price burnt the baby’s body on a Sunday when the chapels were emptying which caused an outrage. He was arrested and a famous trial followed where he successfully argues that law did not prohibit the burning of corpses, which paved the way for the 1902 Cremation Act.

Price’s most famous act occurred when his five-month old son died of natural causes. Price burnt the baby’s body on a hill outside Llantrisant on a Sunday when the chapels were emptying which caused an outrage. He was arrested and a famous trial followed. He successfully argued that the law did not prohibit the burning of corpses, and paved the way for the 1902 Cremation Act.

Hail Cremation! is written by Jon Tregenna and directed by Adele Thomas with set and costume design by Rhiannon Matthews, lighting design by Joe Fletcher, musical direction by Richard Melkonian, choreography by Emma Woods and video design by Nic Finch.

The cast features Matthew Bulgo, Gruffudd Glyn, Lee Mengo and Seren Vickers, with dancers Iestyn Arwel, Ella Biddlecombe, Elan Elidyr and Kyle Flaherty. 

The musicians are Stephen Black (of Sweet Baboo)Tom CottleAidan Thorne and Paul JonesHail Cremation! runs from 23 March 2020 until 4 April 2020 at Newbridge Memo in South Wales .

Hail Cremation! runs from 23 March 2020 until 4 April 2020 at Newbridge Memo in South Wales.

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