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
REVIEW: The Buddy Holly Story, New Theatre 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
8:23am Tuesday 17th June 2014
Like most rock musicals that tell a story, the hook is usually the tragedy. Marc Bolan’s death in a car crash in 1977 is no exception for 20th Century Boy, but the tragic episode unfolds into a celebration of the rock icon’s life rather than a lament.
3:46pm Friday 13th June 2014
3:31pm Friday 13th June 2014
9:45am Friday 13th June 2014
The phrase “Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy!” was uttered once again by children and grown-ups alike on Saturday morning when the first of two performances of the Sooty Show played to a packed Riverfront Theatre.
3:56pm Tuesday 27th May 2014
Nine Inch Nails, at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, was a visual and aural assault on the senses. For an hour and forty minutes, they played almost non-stop – the only breaks being the encore and testing a synth pad which had “blown up”.
3:53pm Tuesday 27th May 2014
3:49pm Tuesday 27th May 2014
3:03pm Friday 23rd May 2014
9:25am Thursday 22nd May 2014
1:06pm Wednesday 21st May 2014
Billed as a ‘Beatles show’, ‘Let it be’ is in fact an unabashed tribute concert featuring virtually all of their best known songs (more than 40 of them)and charting their progress from The Cavern Club through the rise of Beatlemania to their psychedelic zenith with masterpieces such as ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’ and ‘A Day in the life’.
12:36pm Wednesday 21st May 2014
12:51pm Monday 19th May 2014
12:25pm Friday 16th May 2014
12:17am Friday 16th May 2014
Christchurch Music Society's former chairman and president, Ernest (Nobby) Fuller sadly passed away this year so for me, it wasn't without sadness that I took my familiar seat, for their latest production, Anything Goes.
12:15am Friday 16th May 2014
4:18pm Thursday 15th May 2014
Duets, the current Newport Playgoers production is a bit of a toughie to review, if only for the fact that it seems unjust to attempt to give four excellent comedy two-handers the same space usually afforded to one show.
10:48am Wednesday 14th May 2014
9:59am Tuesday 13th May 2014
1:49pm Monday 12th May 2014
1:47pm Monday 12th May 2014
Saturday evening was a big occasion for the resident choir of the Gwent Dragons as they made the significant transition from being a group whose primary function has so far been to provide the preliminaries to rugby matches at Rodney Parade(albeit that they were officially judged Wales' best in this capacity since winning a televised competition in 2007) and giving guest concert appearances, to being the main centre of attention before a packed audience.
1:45pm Monday 12th May 2014
3:11pm Thursday 8th May 2014
11:54am Wednesday 7th May 2014
Considering that this was part of of a Radio 3 Dylan Thomas day the links with the poet were surprisingly tenuous. There was a work by Dylan's composer friend Daniel Jones, conductor Tecwyn Evans had a parent from 'the ugly,lovely town' of Swansea though he hailed from New Zealand (names can be misleading), and the programme comprised a first half of Welsh music and a second half from America,representing the countries in which he lived and died.
11:52am Wednesday 7th May 2014
12:01pm Thursday 1st May 2014
12:29pm Monday 21st April 2014
Okay let’s stop all this “it’s for the kids” nonsense, few cartoon series around at the moment span the generation gap quite as well as cartoon canine sleuth Scooby Doo and his friends can. Their spooky adventures are up there with the best and have been since Hanna-Barbera put out the first cartoon series towards the end of the 1960s.
3:35pm Monday 14th April 2014
It may be 50 years since The Searchers topped the charts, but as the band consisting of John McNally, Frank Allen, Spencer James and Scott Ottaway showed on Friday night they have lost none of their fun and energy.
3:33pm Monday 14th April 2014
3:32pm Monday 14th April 2014
12:38pm Wednesday 9th April 2014
Over the last decade and a half Elbow have evolved into a band that commands respect on the worldwide stage, not least because of the understated way in which they go about their business. Here was a masterclass in contemporary rock, not only its composition but in its presentation and delivery.
9:32am Wednesday 9th April 2014
9:28am Wednesday 9th April 2014
12:50pm Monday 7th April 2014