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Scooby Doo Live, New Theatre

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.

The Searchers, The Riverfront

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.

Under Milk Wood, Sherman Theatre

3:33pm Monday 14th April 2014

Whatever other qualities composer John Metcalf might possess, he’s certainly not short of courage.

Gwent Bach Society, St Mary's Priory Church, Abergavenny

3:32pm Monday 14th April 2014

Among musical long hauls that tell a story, the St. John Passion of J. S. Bach is among the most compelling.

Elbow, Motorpoint Arena

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.

High Society, Borough Theatre, Abergavenny

9:32am Wednesday 9th April 2014

WHAT a swell party this is - swelegant and elegant and the cast all have a ball, and so do the audience!.

The Rite of Spring/Petrushka, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

9:28am Wednesday 9th April 2014

Humour has never sprung to mind as an ingredient of Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring, unless you include the madcap behaviour of the French audience at the premiere in 1913.

Philharmonia Orcestra

12:50pm Monday 7th April 2014

If ever there was a millstone around the neck of a British woman cellist it's the Elgar concerto.

La Boheme, St David's Hall

12:48pm Monday 7th April 2014

Touring opera and ballet companies face many challenges, logistical and musical, with staging being adapted to a range of venues. The results can therefore often be patchy to say the least. In the case of this production it was a little disconcerting to hear sounds that suggested that the set was still being built coming from behind closed curtains between acts.

Love Story, Dolman Theatre

12:38pm Friday 4th April 2014

 I have to say that curiosity was my main motivation for paying a visit to Newport Playgoers’ latest offering, Love Story.

First Wednesday Recital, The Riverfront

12:07pm Thursday 3rd April 2014

Of all the instruments capable of seductively wresting music from those for which it was originally conceived, the harp has no equals.

Four Tops, Temptations, Platters and Freda Payne, Motorpoint Arena

10:21am Wednesday 2nd April 2014

Nostalgia was the name of the game as the legends of Tamla Motown rolled back the years to keep an appreciative audience dancing in the aisles at the Motorpoinnt Arena.

Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra, King Henry V111 School, Abergavenny

4:54pm Monday 31st March 2014

Conducting an amateur orchestra and performing with it as a soloist are parts of the learning process for young professionals.

BBC NOW, St David's Hall

2:15pm Monday 24th March 2014

Though the main attraction for much of the audience at St. David's Hall would have been the opportunity to hear one of the great orchestral showpieces of the twentieth century, Bartók 's Concerto for Orchestra (and the orchestra were certainly on top form here), it was the music of the first half that particularly stayed in the memory.

All Shook Up, Dolman Theatre

10:38am Thursday 20th March 2014

The New Venture Players put their unmistakeable stamp on their latest production, All Shook Up, a musical comedy written by Joe Dipietro around some of Elvis’ greatest hits.

Thomas Trotter, St David's Hall

9:34am Wednesday 19th March 2014

That was true at this lunchtime recital by international organ virtuoso Thomas Trotter, who ended his programme with Julius Reubke’s formidable Sonata in C minor, based on Psalm 94.

Brandenburg Bach Soloists Abergavenny Borough Theatre

10:16am Monday 17th March 2014

Not every concert by an early-music group obliges the audience to check that everything is being done to the letter.

Wicked, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

2:30pm Friday 14th March 2014

A SMASH hit on Broadway and the West End, the much loved Wicked makes a welcomed stop at the Welsh capital for more than a month.

Florilegium St David’s Hall, Cardiff

9:32am Friday 14th March 2014

Historical distinctions were blurred at this concert as they are in real musical life when one style is giving way to another.

Under Milk Wood, New Theatre

9:30am Friday 14th March 2014

The Clwyd Theatre Cymru production of Under Milk Wood marks the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas. Originally written as a play for radio and best-known in the recording with Richard Burton as the first voice, it is as much a celebration of language as it is a celebration of life with its panoply of colourful characters - earthy, lascivious, surreal and endlessly fascinating as it spans 24 hours in the life of the fishing village of Llareggub (famously, this should be read backwards). What comes through most of all is Thomas' love for each one of them in all their strangeness. All this is told through a rich and virtuosic display of language.

BBC Young Musician Jazz Award Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

9:52am Monday 10th March 2014

A teenage saxophonist in his first year of A levels won the inaugural BBC Young Musician Jazz Award in Cardiff on Saturday.

Roots Unearthed: Martyn Joseph, St David's Hall

5:36pm Friday 7th March 2014

Roots Unearthed: Martyn Joseph

Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror, Dolman Theatre

2:24pm Friday 7th March 2014

The Playgoers New Generation gave full vent to a pacy comedy/mystery, Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror, adapted for the stage by Marcia Milgrom Dodge and Anthony Dodge.

Theatr Pena - The Killing of Sister George, Newport Riverfront

South Wales Argus: (3982308)

5:38pm Thursday 6th March 2014

The Killing of Sister George

Welsh National Opera, Wales Millennium Centre

10:06am Thursday 27th February 2014

Works by contemporary composers performed by Welsh National Opera in the last thirty years barely reach double figures.

Aladdin, Dolman Theatre

1:41pm Wednesday 26th February 2014

Maybe it was the fact that this production was performed away from the normal pantomime season at Christmas but the audience at the first night of 'Aladdin' needed some initial energising to get them into panto mode. Once they did this there was tremendous fun to be had by the sizeable audience (with a large contingent of children enjoying a half term treat) and the usual expected responses to the action (' He's behind you .......Oh yes he is.....' ) came thick and fast.

Imogen Cooper, RWCMD

9:29am Wednesday 26th February 2014

There are times when, as a reviewer, one has to lay down one’s pen and merely sit back to allow the music to weave its magic; when it seems churlish to nitpick at the details of a performance.

Rumpelstiltskin, Borough Theatre, Abergavenny

9:27am Wednesday 26th February 2014

IT comes to something when an ugly gnome and a cat steal the show.

Greater Gwent Youth Jazz Orchestra, Celtic Manor Resort

9:26am Wednesday 26th February 2014

Jazz arrangers don’t so much make silk purses out of sows’ ears as make silk purses silkier.

Philharmonia Orchestra, St David's Hall

5:01pm Monday 24th February 2014

It’s not often you see the conductor at an orchestral concert take one step off the podium to get closer to his musicians.

Review: What The Butler Saw, Dolman Theatre

3:58pm Thursday 20th February 2014

What the Butler Saw

Evita, New Theatre

11:09am Tuesday 18th February 2014

Eva Peron crammed a lot into her 33 years. From her humble beginnings, through 'her wild days' and 'mad existence', to meeting Juan Peron and becoming, with him, the most significant Argentinian political figures of the twentieth century, before her premature death amid calls from the poor of that country that she be canonized.

Review: Ultimate Rhythm and Blues, St David's Hall, Cardiff

South Wales Argus: (3442600)

3:19pm Thursday 13th February 2014

The Ultimate Rhythm and Blues Show which visited Cardiff’s St David’s Hall last Friday featuring five acts that had their R&B roots firmly in the 1960s.

Welsh National Opera, Wales Millennium Centre

3:26pm Wednesday 12th February 2014

David McVicar’s solid and uncluttered production of Verdi’s La Traviata for WNO gives the company a chance to revive it again as part of its Fallen Women theme for the current Spring season.

Mishka Rushdie Momen St David’s Hall

12:12pm Wednesday 12th February 2014

In a dreamworld of competitions, we would be awash with aspiring musicians justifiably claiming our attention.

The Play That Goes Wrong, New Theatre

12:00pm Wednesday 12th February 2014

Mischief Theatre Company’s, The Play That Goes Wrong, playing to a capacity, New Theatre audience did exactly what is said on the tin.

BBC National Orchestra of Wales, St David's Hall

3:37pm Monday 10th February 2014

Orchestral concerts consisting of a single work focus the mind on more than core musical matters.

Welsh National Opera, Wales Millennium Centre

3:36pm Monday 10th February 2014

Puccini’s first widely popular opera, Manon Lescaut, is about flight - from place and, unsuccessfully, from self.

First Wednesday Recital, The Riverfront

12:58pm Thursday 6th February 2014

Not the least remarkable fact about this lunchtime concert was that the performers, as a group, were anonymous.

The Circus of Horrors, The Riverfront

12:57pm Thursday 6th February 2014

THE ringmaster of the Circus of Horrors warned the audience his show would not be politically correct, backing this up by entreating volunteers to help “strangle a midget” in a tug-of-war.

Del Amitri, Bristol Colston Hall

4:14pm Wednesday 5th February 2014

I have been following Del Amitri for the last 30 years, from their legendary debut album The Waking Hours through another five studio albums. To see them together again was the stuff of dreams.

Inspector Norse, Blackwood Miners' Institute

South Wales Argus: (3752818)

5:13pm Friday 31st January 2014

Inspector Norse, Blackwood Miners' Institute

West Side Story, Bristol Hippodrome

12:13pm Friday 31st January 2014

West Side Story - Bristol Hippodrome Following the first groundbreaking performance of West Side Story in 1957 musical theatre was changed forever. The integration of the different elements, its story of prejudice and violence and a musical score making increased , semi-operatic demands of its singers and players were all employed organically to produce a classic. No mere tuneful escapism here.

Acis and Galatea, RWCMD

12:11pm Friday 31st January 2014

'Seriously sexy' is not a description that I would normally associate with a production of Handel's great 'pastoral' mini-opera 'Acis and Galatea' but it was one that I overheard on leaving the Richard Burton Theatre at the end of this memorable performance . It was, in fact, quite accurate in referring to much of this production as the cast frolicked their way through Handel's depiction of youthful love (and lust). It was a production full of charm and wit with much tongue-in-cheek humour. Even the character of Polyphemus (Mathew Stiff), usually portrayed as the most brutish of ‘baddies’, was here played as quite a cuddly and comical one.

Michael Collins, RWCMD

9:16am Wednesday 29th January 2014

Many will remember Michael Collins as the fresh-faced teenager who was one of the earliest winners of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition back in the 1980's. Now, having passed his fiftieth year, it is clear that he still maintains that youthful enthusiasm in every note that he plays. He has, of course, continued to build on his extraordinary virtuosity as was evident in the final piece of this lunchtime recital and one of the great potboilers of the clarinet repertoire - Messager's Solo de Concours - which completely took the breath away and elicited the loudest cheer that I have heard in the Dora Stoutzker Hall.

Antigone, Blake Theatre, Monmouth

9:15am Wednesday 29th January 2014

Imagine Greek drama performed by The Three Stooges on speed and you’ll have some idea of what this production was like.

Review – Van MorrisonSt David’s Hall, Cardiff

2:33pm Tuesday 28th January 2014

THE BELFAST Cowboy may have been in great spirits when he rode into the Welsh capital but he wasn’t at the peak of his musical powers in this disappointing concert.

The Full Monty, New Theatre

9:54am Tuesday 28th January 2014

A standing ovation greeted the exceptional cast of last night’s performance of ‘The Full monty’ at the New Theatre Cardiff. Headed by TV stalwart Simon Rause (ITV’s The Bill), former soap star Craig Gazey (Coronation Street) and actor Kenny Doughty (Stella).The production is a direct adaptation of the hugely successful low budget British film of the same name.

A Regular Little Houdini, The Riverfront, Newport

12:19pm Friday 24th January 2014

 ‘A Regular Little Houdini’ is the story of a boy from Newport. This boy comes from Pill and wants to do magic. The play is Newport through and through and refreshingly authentic.

Ian Bostridge and Fretwork, RWCMD

10:58am Friday 24th January 2014

Expressed in music, the idea of human happiness at a time when lives were generally brutish and short never ceases to amaze.






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