Cathays Cemetery Heritage Walk: Graveyard Voices


Through a fruitful partnership with Cardiff City Council, the University of South Wales (USW) has produced a range of public performance work across the city. Working closely with the Council’s Cemeteries and Bereavement services, USW has brought ‘history to life’ with performers creating short scenes relating to the fascinating stories of the people buried in the Cathays Cemetery.

Funding: Being Human Festival 2016 (funded by AHRC/British Academy)
Research Team: Dr Robert Smith and Denis Lennon (Former PI: Professor Richard Hand)
In partnership with: Cardiff Council Bereavement Services, Friends of Cathays Cemetery

Cathays Cemetery Heritage Walk: graveyard voices

Gathering in the restored Victorian Gothic mortuary chapels and at gravesides, participants in this free event (part of the national Being Human Festival) heard the remarkable history of Cathays Cemetery, the UK’s third largest. Working with Cardiff City Council, actors and musicians brought the history of this unique site to life through presentations of stories about those buried in the cemetery. These ‘Graveyard voices’ span the Victorian era well into the 20th century and range from the rich, heroic or esteemed to the profoundly tragic and emblematic.

TMD: Cathays Cemetery
Graveyard voices: the Cathays Cemetery Heritage podcasts

This free event (part of the national Being Human Festival) consolidated these popular heritage walks with a live audio performance that re-created the sounds and stories of the cemetery and featured the launch of a series of anywhere, any time heritage walk podcasts. In addition to the performance, the event featured presentations and an open discussion on the multiple histories and futures of the cemetery.

'Graveyard Voices’ are short audio monologues, creepy and somewhat humorous vignettes by students of USW’s School of Music & Performance. The programmes form part of a collection entitled Student Showcase: Drama ; audio dramas with performances from students and staff, often including original scripts and music.

More Graveyard Voices will be released over the next few weeks, but this first batch comprises: