4:35pm Friday 31st October 2014
As I was born in 1968 the music of the1960s has always been close to me and for that matter has had a particular part to play in forming my own life's soundtrack. As new genres come, go, become stale or boring, the endless genres of sixties, pop, rhythm and blues, rock and even ballads still endure.
10:02am Friday 31st October 2014
“This only happens here” announced Andy Fairweather Low as he played his homecoming concert at Cardiff’s New Theatre on Thursday evening, “I feel like I know you all, I probably do, there’s nothing more frightening, there’s nothing more appealing.”
12:18pm Thursday 30th October 2014
The choice of 'Rent' as their latest project is an adventurous one by WAWWA and they are to be congratulated as they bring it off with some aplomb. It is a show in which much of the dramatic and musical material can be difficult to come to terms with. Jonathan Larsson's score, lying somewhere between Stephen Sondheim amd 'Godspell', is an uneven one and,especially in Act 1, it can feel laboured. Fortrunately the cast is uniformly strong and, by and large, manage to maintain the interest.
9:50am Tuesday 28th October 2014
10:15am Monday 27th October 2014
The Riverfront's tenth anniversary as a home to a variety of arts in Newport coincided with a week run of Daniel Llewellyn Williams one-man stage show A Regular Little Houdini, and really, what a cracker of a show to celebrate with.
12:12pm Thursday 23rd October 2014
Musical theatre is thriving in the city at the moment, and while the Riverfront were celebrating their tenth anniversary, the Dolman Theatre were having a celebration of their own in the shape of a storming production of White Christmas by CentreStage Cymru.
1:42pm Thursday 16th October 2014
Terry Johnson’s Dead Funny, written in 1994 is certainly a product of its era as far as comedy is concerned but Newport Playgoers take on the accompanying underlying sadness and tension brings this production bang up to date.
1:40pm Thursday 16th October 2014
This production of Sammy Fain’s lighthearted classic by Watermill Theatre Productions is a dictinctly minimalist take on the original. On the one hand this is highly impressive as it always is when actors double as instrumentalists, and the whole cast do a good job as accompanying orchestra. Multi-talented they certainly are. However, the down side is the suspension of reality that has the inhabitants of the Deadwood wandering around ‘The Golden Garter’ with a flute under their arm or a cello strapped to their chest.
1:26pm Thursday 9th October 2014
Morecambe and Wise were the funniest comedy double act on television during the 1960s and 70s and even though their partnership ended when Eric Morecambe died of a heart attack in 1984 their popularity has endured.
12:59pm Friday 3rd October 2014
9:47am Friday 3rd October 2014
1:55pm Thursday 2nd October 2014
Over the years the Young Venture Players have covered all genres of production ranging from classics such as Oklahoma and My Fair Lady right through to the modern. For me, nothing cements their depth and range more so than the powerful and emotive, Parade.
12:20pm Monday 29th September 2014
9:44am Friday 26th September 2014
4:12pm Tuesday 23rd September 2014
The latest W.N.O. production of 'Carmen' was certainly an excellent advert for the electrical cigarette . As the gypsy Carmen and her fellow workers at the tobacco factory appeared and sang their opening chorus, cigarettes poised, through thick plumes of smoke (or should that be vapour).
4:11pm Tuesday 23rd September 2014
2:59pm Thursday 18th September 2014
The musical Jesus Christ Superstar, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, traces the last seven days of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. This weeks presentation by MY UK at The Dolman Theatre is the Arena version as originally portrayed by Ben Forster, Tim Minchin, Melanie C and Chris Moyles after the ITV prime time show Superstar where Andrew Lloyd Webber gave the UK public the chance to decide who would be playing the starring role of Jesus.
11:00am Wednesday 17th September 2014
The Ffresh bar and restaurant at Wales Millennium Centre was the perfect venue for the latest tour of Faulty Towers, the Dining Experience, the energetic, three-man, inter-active theatre tribute to the timeless 70’s sitcom.
4:47pm Monday 15th September 2014
While it is a pleasure to see and hear the amount of music-making going on in South Wales it is not often that one gets the opportunity to hear an early music consort like Pavane performing in such a llovely acoustic as St. John's.
4:45pm Monday 15th September 2014
As the opening to their Autumn season (entitled Liberty or Death) W.N.O. chose Rossini's final opera Guillaume Tell. Anyone coming afresh to this opera ( the vast majority) will be forgiven for not immediately recognising it as Rossini. The writing is often closer to Donizetti or Verdi, even Wagner. The works of the latter are also reflected in the extreme length of the opera - a modern editor would certainly have applied his scissors to it, particularly the rather plodding second act. The familiar overture starts imaginatively with the solo cello (symbolic of the idyllic landscape and of the freedom of the Swiss people) placed centre stage as it is accompanied by the cellos of the orchestra. The theme of oppression is thus immediately stated as the Austrian oppressors pluck the player from the stage as the action begins.
8:43am Friday 12th September 2014
"Bands will come and rock bands will go, but Rock and Roll music will go on" announced Kinks front man Ray Davies to a packed audience at St David's Hall on Sunday evening as he launched into All Day and All of The Night.
12:40pm Thursday 11th September 2014
Newport Playgoers Society launched their first production of the season, with another first, when local author and long-time member of the society, Phil Mansell premiered his first full length play, According to Claudia.
12:39pm Thursday 11th September 2014
9:29am Tuesday 2nd September 2014
One of the most pleasurable things about attending a jazz gig such as this is the lack of standing on ceremony that exists ,and informality was certainly the watchword in this highly enjoyable performance by the cream of the country's young jazzers.
10:33am Wednesday 27th August 2014
A MUSICAL and firework extravaganza that raised more than £2,000 for charity and featured a sunset fly-past by two classic Battle of Britain aircraft - what better way to spend an August Bank Holiday?
9:58am Thursday 21st August 2014
There’s always a worry when going to see a stage version of a popular film, cartoon or TV series that the essence of the original might get lost in transition. But when you actually stop and think about it, todays popular entertainment has its roots in the stage and whereas you may not always get the big box office draw stars appearing you can bet your bottom dollar that theres a cluster of fresh acting and musical talent who will exceed your expectations.
3:20pm Friday 1st August 2014
When we arrived at the theatre tonight it looked like the rubbish bins of the Wales Millennium Centre had been tipped on the stage but when the house lights went down, the music started and the rubbish tip lit up you had the feeling it was going to be an enjoyable night.
4:39pm Monday 28th July 2014
4:37pm Monday 28th July 2014
4:36pm Monday 28th July 2014
12:40pm Friday 25th July 2014
As their contribution to the Welsh Proms the young members of the Unknown Theatre company tackled Stephen Sondheim's enchanting melange of faitytales. It is a musical with an ingenious mix of light and darkness with plenty of challenges for director and cast.Musically it contains some of the composer's finest music with some memorable songs such as 'Children will listen' and 'No one is alone' .
12:39pm Friday 25th July 2014
1:15pm Thursday 24th July 2014
The centre of Bristol was last night filled with people wandering around with an inane grin on their faces and with a distinct aura of happiness. They had just witnessed a performance of 'Singin' in the rain' that could not fail to ellicit such a reaction.
1:14pm Thursday 24th July 2014
1:13pm Thursday 24th July 2014
An hour-long performance by organ duo Robert Court and Jeffrey Howard in Four Hands, Four Feet, featured a variety of styles ranging from Mozart symphonies to John Williams' film themes on Tuesday lunchtime.
2:56pm Wednesday 23rd July 2014
The musical that, more than any other, signalled the beginning of a whole new artform - the American musical -still has the ability to shock and to delight in equal measure and its themes of inter-racial marriage, gambling,alcoholism and of haves and have-nots are contemporary ones. Cape Town Opera brought to Cardiff much of the rawness of the original and included authentic racist language (usually revised in later productions since it first appeared in 1927) which ,in places,still makes for uncomfortable viewing. 'Showboat' is, of course, not an expression of racism but a depiction of it, though the nature of this depiction can seem stereotypical today.
1:39pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014
Its Chas & Dave's distinct knack of being able to pull songs out of the air and make them their own that makes them such great entertainers. After all, as Chas Hodges said at the Rockney duos gig at Newport Riverfront on Friday evening "In the old days when we played the London pubs its how we paid the rent. We didnt always know what we were doing but it usually turned out alright."
12:44pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014
Within minutes of Deacon Blue taking to the Westonbirt stage an enthusiastic crowd forgot their picnic baskets and surged to the front, to join, as Ricky Ross wryly put it, his ‘middle-aged mosh pit’.
9:55am Thursday 17th July 2014
11:36am Friday 4th July 2014
Over the years Sharon Fitzgerald-Higgins has trained scores of local students in many disciplines of dance, including, ballet, tap, jazz and modern as well as covering the full spectrum of arts in a very successful musical theatre class. Having been a professional singer and dancer herself, there isn’t anyone better-placed to bring out the best in her pupils.
1:43pm Wednesday 2nd July 2014
It’s amazing to think that in 18 short months of fame, Buddy Holly succeeded in revolutionising the path of rock n roll with artists including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan acknowledging his influence.
1:15pm Monday 30th June 2014
12:54pm Friday 27th June 2014
12:51pm Friday 27th June 2014
Having seen one or two episodes of the children’s programme on the box I was not sure quite how it would transfer to the stage.The answer is – successfully , especially if you are aged between 7 and 15.
10:27am Thursday 26th June 2014
1:51pm Wednesday 25th June 2014
Glamorous, glittering, gobsmacking – this pint size mega-star “moseyed” onto the stage at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, clad in a white rhinestone encrusted dress, beneath a background video of flames to deliver a plethora of hits, starting with the Fire Medley and getting the crowd’s vocal chords warmed up with a faultless rendition of Jolene, donning her guitar, the first of many outfit matching instruments including piano, violin, penny whistle, banjo and mini saxophone , all showcasing Dolly Parton’s huge talent as a musician and songwriter of the past five decades. Her familiar and candid relationship with her audience was in evidence as she shared memories from her poor, but loving “growing up years” with her “momma and daddy” in the Smoky Mountains with songs like My Mountain My Home, Coat of Many Colours and the current single, Home, from her new album, Blue Smoke. A Bob Dylan fan, Dolly put her own spin on Don’t Think Twice and belted out a gospel version of Bon Jovi’s Lay Your Hands on Me. Dolly’s unfailing vocal range shone through in her acapella version of Little Sparrow. The set was infused with messages from Ms Parton to be caring, sharing and kind to eachother, expressed in songs like Real Love and Think About Love and was balanced out with her amusing confessions about her beauty secrets. I particularly enjoyed her lapse of memory regarding which hair she was wearing – Costa Rican or Italian! Here You Come Again and one of my favourites, Islands in the Stream, got the crowd singing along and they were up on their feet for Two Doors Down and 9 to 5. This 26 song set closed with Dolly’s biggest hit, I Will Always Love You, leaving the crowd in no doubt that they will always love her right back.
12:48pm Tuesday 24th June 2014
2:35pm Monday 23rd June 2014
Almost a quarter of a century after its first gig and by now an institution in South Wales, the ten-piece band led by lead vocalist and focal point of the band, Michael McNamara , played to a full house at the Riverside Suite.
5:24pm Thursday 19th June 2014