Hello, welcome to the #BringTheNoise Blog.

Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of me and do not necessarily represent those of any organisation I work for.

PS You’ll see this kind of thing a lot around the interweb – it’s as much use as a chocolate teapot – or the word allegedly

REVIEW: @MammaMiaMusical @TheCentre #Cardiff 12.10.16

REVIEW: Mamma Mia!
LOCATION: Wales Millennium Centre
DATE: 12th October 2016

It’s fair to say it’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest jukebox musical of all time and it’s currently on tour around the UK with it’s present home of the Wales Millennium Centre. And as a footnote, tonight’s performance was the 3000th of a UK tour!

img_6009What more can be said about Mamma Mia that’s not been said before? It’s one of the biggest selling DVD’s, the music that it’s based around is from the biggest export of Sweden (baring Volvo and Ikea), and did you know Mamma Mia! Isn’t the first attempt at employing the ABBA catalogue for a stage musical. Abbacadabra was originally a French TV special that employed ABBA songs with altered French lyrics to tell classic fairy tales. In 1983, it was adapted to the London stage and ran for eight weeks.

If you’ve lived under a rock since 1999 and haven’t seen the film, this is the general premise;

It’s the story of a former pop-singer turned hotel owner on a Greek Island. On the weekend of her daughter’s wedding, she is reunited with the former members of her girl group and three ex-beaus, one of whom is the father of the bride-to-be. Add to this, the music of Abba, the feel of a summer romance and you have one of the biggest and brightest musicals of the last 20 years.

When you review something like this there’s a danger of letting each performance be praised when there were particular moments for me to have the hairs stand on the back of my neck. Sara Poyzer’s Winner takes it all was one of those moments as was her number with Jaqueline Braun and Emma Clifford of Dancing Queen. The choreography is just stunning in the group numbers of Lay all your love on me and Gimme Gimme Gimme. Richard Standing as Sam provides the perfect opposite to Sara’s Donna – dot dot dot. And mention also to Lucy May Barker who plays Sophie, with a voice like that it won’t be long till she’s headlining a musical. img_6010

Mamma Mia was the first major musical of its kind, and since then we’ve had the music of Queen (We Will Rock You), Madness (Our House), The Kinks (Sunny Afternoon) and Spice Girls…. Well okay, that’s not the best comparison as it didn’t last too long. So okay, Jukebox Musicals aren’t everybody’ s cup of tea, you can’t put a Wicked against a We Will Rock You, but for a night of pure pop brilliance from one of the music’s best writers, an escape from the humdrum grind of the day to day life, get yourself down to the Wales Millennium Centre as Mamma Mia is there till 13th November.

It won’t cost much Money Money Money, for you to say I do I do I do, just ring ring the box office and you’ll be the winner that takes it all. Go on, take a chance!

(Photos from the Mamma Mia Tour Website)

VLOG: @cityunexpected #RoaldDahl100 #Cardiff @TheCentre 18.9.16 #Wales

Footage and me from the City of the Unexpected that happened in Cardiff across the weekend just gone – 17th and 18th September 2016

Also the Wondercrump exhibition at Wales Millennium Centre (www.wmc.org.uk)

Footage from within Cardiff Castle on Sunday 18th – we had the readings. Michael Pennington read Fantastic Mr Fox and Leah Boleto read The Witches.

This is also my first ever vlog, and to be honest I’m everso slightly cacking myself – so be nice. Any suggestions for future vlogs, be they technical or artistic – let me know. It’s a massive learning curve for me!

Filmed using a Canon Legria FS306 and Sony HX60


VIDEO: @Coldplay @wembleystadium 18th June 2016 #HeadFullOfDreams

Montage of the night from Coldplay at Wembley Stadium 18th June 2016

All copyrights acknowledged

Not meant to be a brilliant quality video – far from it, but might bring back some memories of the night.

Please note, this is all I have. There isn’t other footage🙂

I do not own the copyright to this video or audio herein – it is just for entertainment purposes




 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world’s most popular dance companies, will return to the UK for the first time in six years and presents an exhilarating mixed bill of dance at Wales Millennium Centre on Tuesday 4 & Wednesday 5 October during its UK tour 2016. Celebrating the human spirit through the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition, Ailey’s performances, under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Battle, form the perfect edition to the Black History Month line-up taking place across Wales throughout October.

Founded in 1958, the company is recognised by the U.S. Congress as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World.” In almost six decades, Ailey’s artists have performed for over 25 million people in 71 countries on six continents and continue to wow audiences and critics around the world.

Commenting about the Company’s return to the UK, Ailey’s Artistic Director Robert Battle said:I’m proud to continue Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s legacy of extensive international tours with my inaugural visit leading the Company’s extraordinary dancers through the United Kingdom. Presented by Dance Consortium six years after they so successfully last welcomed Ailey, we’ll share a diverse repertory of works including several UK premieres.  I’m excited for audiences old and new to experience the uplifting performances that have inspired people the world over, fulfilling Mr. Ailey’s belief that ‘Dance came from the people and should always be delivered back to the people.

Head of Programming at Wales Millennium Centre, Louise Miles-Crust, said: “After a 6 year absence from the UK, I’m extremely excited Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, one of the world’s most exciting and inspiring modern dance companies, will be performing at the Centre as part of their UK tour.  From British Dance Edition to the Mariinsky Ballet and Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, 2016 has been an exceptional year for dance at the Centre, bringing the very best in national and international dance across a wide range of genres to audiences in Wales. Alvin Ailey, with their fresh, modern style and wide audience appeal, will bring this year’s season of dance at the Centre to a breath-taking conclusion.”

The Wales Millennium Centre programme will include UK premieres by two of today’s most acclaimed choreographers: the uplifting Exodus by hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris; and the spiritual journey of Four Corners by Ronald K. Brown. A company UK premiere, the dreamlike duet After the Rain Pas de Deux by Christopher Wheeldon, will also be performed during the Cardiff evening.

Drawing the programme to a close will be Revelations by Alvin Ailey. The beloved crowd-pleaser, the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world, will be performed by the incomparable Ailey dancers. Revelations premiered in 1960 and continues to bring audiences all around the world to their feet.

The Ailey CARDIFF 2016 programme, which is subject to alteration, will be as follows:

Four Corners / Exodus / After the Rain Pas de Deux / Revelations

UK Premieres

 Exodus (2015) Choreography by Rennie Harris / Music: Original compositions by Raphael Xavier, “A New Deal” by Ost & Kjex. Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris created a work that explores the idea of “exodus” – from one’s ignorance and conformity – as a necessary step toward enlightenment. Set to gospel and house music along with spoken word, the work underscores the crucial role of action and movement in effecting change. Exemplifying his view of hip hop as a “celebration of life”, Exodus marks Harris’ latest invitation to return to spiritual basics and affirm who we are. His previous contributions to the Ailey repertory include Home (2011) and Love Stories (2004), Judith Jamison’s dynamic collaboration with Harris and Robert Battle.

Four Corners (2013) Choreographer: Ronald K. Brown    / Music: Carl Hancock Rux, Yacoub & Various Artists. Four Corners brings to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds. Drawing inspiration from the lyrics of Rux’s Lamentations, Four Corners trails 11 dancers as they rise to seek a life of peace on the “mountaintop”; a powerful and hope-filled journey of tribulation, devotion and triumph.

Company UK premiere

After the Rain Pas de Deux (2005 / Ailey Company Premiere 2014) Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon / Music: Arvo Pärt. An instant hit at New York City Ballet in 2005, Christopher Wheeldon’s dreamlike duet – praised for its sublime simplicity and intricate partnering – is revealed in a fresh light as the Ailey dancers make it their own. Set to music by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the sensual male‐female pas de deux has resonated deeply with audiences and marked the first work by Christopher Wheeldon to enter the Ailey repertory.

Ailey Classic

Revelations (1960) Choreography by Alvin Ailey / Music: Traditional Spirituals. More than just a popular dance work, Revelations has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans. An American classic acclaimed as a must-see for all, Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece is a tribute to his heritage and genius. Using African-American spirituals, the work fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive I Been ’Buked to the rousing Wade in the Water and the triumphant finale, Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.



Tue 4 & Wed 5 October at 7.30pm

Wales Millennium Centre CARDIFF

Tickets: 029 2063 6464 www.wmc.org.uk

Review: Ramada Resort @cwrtbleddyn Hotel and Spa #Wales #Hotel

We stayed the night at the Ramada Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel and Spa in Usk on Tuesday 30th August

We paid £96 for the room and had as part of the package, a 25 minute session in the spa (which could’ve included a facial, pedicure/manicure or a back/neck/shoulders massage), also a hot and cold breakfast buffet was included. 

The room was in a cottage seperate from the main complex. This was clean and tidy. There is free wifi but it can be fairly hit and miss. The bed was comfortable and clean – as was the bathroom. Plenty of tea and coffee and the tv was 32″ – probably the biggest tv I’ve seen in a hotel bedroom.

We didn’t have a meal in the restaurant but did have breakfast the next morning. We had heard that the hot part of the buffet wasn’t necessary very hot – I can report that when we had ours at 820am, the food was hot. Plenty of choice for a Welsh cooked breakfast and the cold continental also had lots of cold meats, cereal and juices.

As part of a stay at the Cwrt Bleddyn you get access to the spa facilities. You can also spend £15 and have a days access to these facilities. They include a gym with all the usual appliances, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and a small pool. It’s a nice temperature in the pool room (30C) and the water allows you to cool off after being in the steam room, although it’s temperature is more than adaquate. Lack of windows in the pool room but for those rubbish British summers it’s quite nice to not have to worry about what’s outside. Little note though, under 16s aren’t allowed in either the steam or sauna room. It’s good – and a perfect little area to lay back and not have to worry about the world.

My partner and I did have a treatment – the massage. She has previously had the facial. It was my first massage and the staff are all very friendly and professional. I can’t really comment on the massage as it was the first one I’ve had – and as I learned later from my partner, I should’ve had my shoulders down and not over my head(!)

The grounds are well kept and on a sunny afternoon provide the backdrop to a very comfortable and enjoyable time.

It was a very pleasant 24 hours at the Cwrt Bleddyn and whether you choose to add some of the treatments or not, I’m sure you’ll find a stay there really pleasant and good value. 

VIDEO: @JDonOfficial @StDavidsHall #Cardiff 6.5.2016 #TenGoodReasons

Montage of the night from Jason Donovan at St Davids Hall Cardiff 6th May 2016

All copyrights acknowledged

Not meant to be a brilliant quality video – far from it, but might bring back some memories of the night.

Please note, this is all I have. There isn’t other footage🙂