NEWS: New musical from @TheCentre gives platform to local community @TigerBayMusical

New musical from Wales Millennium Centre gives platform to local communitytiger_bay_the_musical

The arts and creative team behind Wales Millennium Centre’s next significant production, Tiger Bay the Musical, has developed an immersive creative learning programme for those who live in Butetown and the wider community.

 Tiger Bay the Musical, produced in association with Cape Town Opera, is a Welsh story of courage, reconciliation and love, built from the thriving multicultural community which still exists in Butetown today.

In keeping with this theme, the Centre will come together with the community over the next nine months to ensure the people of Butetown and Cardiff are involved in the production – starting with Performance Platfform, weekly creative sessions for 10 to 14-year-olds.

Already underway, Performance Platfform is led by industry professionals and teaches young people from the area audition techniques as well as providing them with opportunities to perform as part of Tiger Bay the Musical.

On Sunday 19 March the creative team, key cast and young people from the local community and further afield came together as part of Performance Platfform for a backstage tour and a joint rehearsal session. For many of the young people taking part, this was the first time they had set foot on a stage of such size.

Elan Isaac, Creative Learning Producer at Wales Millennium Centre, said, “This is the first time we have put on a creative learning programme attached to an in-house production, so we are really excited to deliver it with our local community and explore the different ways of involving them in the production.

 “The creative workshops are in full swing and the young people are really enjoying the sessions. We hope to find some raw talent for the production from these sessions, but the main purpose is to give participants an opportunity to learn new life skills, build confidence and resilience through the performing arts.”

 Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director at Wales Millennium Centre, added, “Our ambition is to co-create a programme of activity around Tiger Bay the Musical that explores some of the themes of the show that will be as prevalent today as it was then. We have an opportunity to share experiences past and present, generation to generation so that the project resonates with our local community, Cardiff and Wales.”

 tiger_bay_the_musicalTiger Bay the Musical takes us back to the early 1900s in old Butetown, the docklands and Cardiff city centre at an extraordinary turning point in history, when coal was king and the industry booming.

Set to a rousing score from award winning Welsh composer Daf James, a cast of shop girls, sailors, donkeymen, suffragettes, immigrants and raggedy water boys will bring the atmosphere and sounds of old Tiger Bay to life. The musical recounts the story of growing conflict between the powerful Bute Dock Company and the Butetown community.

For information on developments in the Tiger Bay the Musical creative learning programme, visit www.tigerbaythemusial.com. The world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical is on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Tickets are on sale now at wmc.org.uk.

tiger-bay-landscape

NEWS: @TheCentre announces the world premiere of #TigerBay, a major #Welsh musical in 2017

Wales Millennium Centre announces the world premiere of Tiger Bay, a major Welsh musical

tiger-bay-portraitSurvival, romance and atonement in a diverse community: Tiger Bay, a new musical, takes place in what was once the most cosmopolitan port in the world, Cardiff Bay. A Wales Millennium Centre production in association with Cape Town Opera, this brand new show takes us back to the dawn of the twentieth century at the height of South Wales’s coal trade with characters drawn from the melting pot of Cardiff’s famous docklands.

Wales Millennium Centre has assembled an experienced creative team to craft the production, to premiere in November 2017. Directing is Melly Still, having just directed Cymbeline for the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican and renowned for her Coram Boy at the National Theatre and on Broadway, and co-director Max Barton, Artistic Director PIGDOG and recently Associate on Stephen Schwartz’s Schikaneder, with a colourful original score by award-winning Welsh composer Daf James, book and lyrics by Cape Town Opera’s Michael Williams and design by Olivier award-winning Anna Fleischle.

Set at an extraordinary turning point in history, Tiger Bay tells of a time when Coal was King yet grinding poverty confronted opulent wealth. Valley girl, Rowena Pryddy, longs for a future away from David Morgan’s shop floor and its boarding house in central Cardiff. On the outskirts of the city, a man arrives in Tiger Bay looking for an escape from his past to find refuge in the city’s underworld of public houses, immigrants and street urchins. Above them all, in the Zodiac Room of Cardiff Castle, the Third Marquess of Bute grapples with his own seemingly insurmountable troubles and ironically it will be a lowly Water Boy who inspires the richest man in the world to leave a legacy for everyone.

Amongst a cast of unforgettable characters, the role of John Stuart, Third Marquess of Bute, will be played by John Owen-Jones – best known as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables in the West End and on Broadway – with further principals to be announced. Completing the cast will be a diverse ensemble to portray the rich multicultural community of the period plus a talented children’s chorus.

Graeme Farrow, Wales Millennium Centre’s Artistic Director, said “2016 has been a defining year for Wales Millennium Centre having created and delivered several landmark projects. I am immensely proud that 2017 will see us realise our next significant piece of work, Tiger Bay, a musical born from the history of our culturally diverse home in Cardiff’s former docklands which has relevance to the world we live in today. I hope that our latest venture will bring a great Welsh story to the world in a time when arts and culture must be a uniting force in our communities.”

Directors Melly Still and Max Barton said “Expect a gritty spectacular and a real thriller that draws on the lives and losses of the people from Tiger Bay, with a healthy dose of romance thrown in. This is a celebration of all that is unique about an extraordinary community, and we’re delighted to be involved with the community itself. And, doing justice to Tiger Bay’s celebrated music history, there are some belting numbers to boot.”

Michael Williams, writer and Managing Director at Cape Town Opera said, “First and foremost I have honoured the musical as an art form, although much of what found its way into the story is actually based on fact. Inspiration came from the complex mix of class, race and cultural diversity of this unique place in turn-of-the-century Britain. In writing Tiger Bay, the process of embedding myself in all things Welsh was made even more compelling when I uncovered my own Welsh roots; my grandfather worked in the Salvation Army in Cardiff and my mother was born there so, for me, the strong partnership between Cape Town and Cardiff began years ago.”

Alongside Tiger Bay, the Centre will be producing an extensive programme of musical theatre workshops, bringing leading artists to collaborate with young people from Cardiff’s Butetown and the historic Tiger Bay area.

The world premiere of Tiger Bay will be Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff (preview performance on Tuesday 14 November) and the production will run for two weeks until Saturday 25 November 2017.

Booking opens on Monday 28 November 2016. Tickets will be available £7-£39 and can be booked online at www.wmc.org.uk or via the Centre’s Ticket Office in person or by calling 029 2063 6464.

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NEWS: New stage for @TheCentre #Wales #Cardiff #WMC

A new stage for the Centre

Wales Millennium Centre is making cultural waves as it releases a whole season of sensational sounds from their iconic building in the Bay.  

Less than six months since Festival of Voice, the Centre is launching a season of live music hosted in their newly refurbished cabaret style space – truly keeping the spirit of their inaugural city wide festival alive.  A creatively engineered programme of jazz, contemporary music and entertainment will further unlock Cardiff’s access to international vocalists and performers.

“The response from the ten day festival in June was incredible and we recognised an appetite to submerge the city in an enriching and eclectic season of entertainment,” says Graeme Farrow – Artistic Director of Wales Millennium Centre.  “We brought the likes of John Cale, Van Morrison and Laura Mvula to venues across our city and we are delighted to launch our own in-house programme with the sensational sultry tones of Ala.Ni – an incredibly talented performer who supported Rufus Wainwright during our Festival.”

Recognised as one of Wales’ top visitor attractions, the Centre has a vision to deliver inspirational experiences to new and existing audiences, showcasing the talents of Wales and bringing world class quality entertainment to the stage.  This new programme is sure to offer the city something unique and is a great way to bridge the gap between each biennial Festival of Voice.

Every Friday and Saturday night throughout November and December, the Centre’s bar and dining area will be transformed for each performance – recreating a slice of Soho and New York on our doorstep.  The programme, which runs Nov-Dec 2016 and returns Feb-Apr 2017 includes performances from La Voix, Hello Cabaret, The Tootsie Rollers and winner of the Yamaha Jazz Scholars Prize from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama: Huw V Williams.

The Centre’s Managing Director Mathew Milsom says “We have incredible ambition here at the Centre and feel passionately about giving both new and existing audiences access to unique, quality art and culture.  Our live music programme will serve up a new dynamic in entertainment which we know there is demand for and we look forward to welcoming a new wave of visitors as well as familiar friends into this new space.”

To book tickets visit the Centre’s website www.wmc.org.uk/WhatsOn/livemusic/

NEWS: #Disney & @MaryPoppins comes to @TheCentre #Cardiff #Wales

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s International Supercalifragilistic Musical Hit Mary Poppins will fly into Wales Millennium Centre for Christmas 2016

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s multi award-winning musical Mary Poppins comes to the Wales Millennium Centre from 14 December 2016 to 14 January 2017; the last stop on its current UK & Ireland Tour.

The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been triumphantly and spectacularly brought to the stage with dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs. The stage version of MARY POPPINS is brilliantly adapted from the wonderful stories by PL Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film, starring Zizi Strallen as ‘Mary Poppins’ and Matt Lee as ‘Bert’.

Zizi Strallen most recently starred as ‘Lana’ in Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Car Man’. Her previous West End credits include: ‘Cats’; the multi award-winning ‘Merrily We Roll Along’; ‘Rock of Ages’; ‘Dirty Dancing’; ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and Matthew Bourne’s ‘Cinderella’ at Sadler’s Wells.  She has also appeared in ‘The Music Man’ at Chichester Festival Theatre and as ‘Penny Pingleton’ in ‘Hairspray’ at Leicester Curve.

mary-poppins-zizi-strallen-as-mary-poppins-photo-credit-johan-perssoMatt Lee, one of Australia’s premier “song and dance men”, played the role of ‘Bert’ in ‘Mary Poppins’ in the hugely successful Australian production of the show, his portrayal winning him the prestigious Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Musical. His other theatre credits in Australia include ‘Miss Saigon’, ‘The Witches of Eastwick’, ‘Rent’, ‘Grease’ and ‘The Boy from Oz’. Matt was also a permanent member of the judging panel for Australia’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.

The stage production of MARY POPPINS is co-created by Cameron Mackintosh and has a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and ‘Downton Abbey’ creator, Julian Fellowes. It has a timeless score by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman including the songs Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Feed the Birds with new songs and additional music and lyrics by the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The producer for Disney Theatrical Productions is Thomas Schumacher.

The internationally renowned and multi award-winning creative team assembled for MARY POPPINS is led by stage and film director Richard Eyre. Co-direction and Choreography is by Matthew Bourne, with Co-choreography by Stephen Mear. Set and Costume Design is by Bob Crowley with Lighting Design by Natasha Katz, Sound Design by Paul Groothuis and Orchestrations by William David Brohn. The International Tour of MARY POPPINS is Directed by James Powell with Original Choreography adapted by Geoffrey Garratt. Musical Supervision is by Stephen Brooker.

The Olivier and Tony Award winning stage production of MARY POPPINS originally opened in the West End in 2004 and ran for three years and over 1,250 performances. The Broadway production opened in 2006 and ran for over six years. The show has subsequently enjoyed great success in Holland, Mexico and Vienna where it is in its second record breaking year. MARY POPPINS has toured Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and the UK and has been seen by over 11 million people worldwide.

Mary Poppins comes to Wales Millennium Centre 14 December 2016 – 14 January 2017. Ticket prices range from £24 – £59. Age guidance 5+. For more information visit www.wmc.org.uk or call 029 2063 6464.

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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

 

NEWS: ALVIN AILEY® AMERICAN DANCE THEATER RETURNS TO @TheCentre AS PART OF UK TOUR 2016

ALVIN AILEY® AMERICAN DANCE THEATER RETURNS TO WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE AS PART OF UK TOUR 2016 

TUESDAY 4 & WEDNESDAY 5 OCTOBER 2016

 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.

 

ALVIN AILEY® AMERICAN DANCE THEATER – UK Tour 2016 – WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE, CARDIFF

Tue 4 & Wed 5 October at 7.30pm

Wales Millennium Centre CARDIFF

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