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White Christmas, Dolman Theatre

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.

Dead Funny, Dolman Theatre

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.

Calamity Jane, New Theatre

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.

Eric and Little Ern, Newport Riverfront

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.

Rock of Ages, New Theatre, Cardiff

1:26pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Rock of Ages

Bedroom Farce, Blackwood Miner's Institute

12:59pm Friday 3rd October 2014

There is never a dull moment in this Alan Ayckbourn play, focusing on the complex love lives of four couples in the 1970s.

The Mousetrap, New Theatre

9:47am Friday 3rd October 2014

“We ask you to keep the secret of 'whodunit' locked in your hearts.”

Parade, Dolman Theatre

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.

Welsh Sinfonia - Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

12:20pm Monday 29th September 2014

As part of their Crescendo Tour, in which they took orchestral music to many of the schools of Wales and sought to set up several school orchestras, Wales’ premier chamber orchestra came to Cardiff.

Downtown Paradise, The Riverfront

9:44am Friday 26th September 2014

The studio at the Riverfront lent itself well to this powerful drama penned by Mark Jenkins and tightly directed by Michael Kelligan.

Welsh National Opera, Wales Millennium Centre

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).

The Man Jesus, The Riverfront

South Wales Argus: FUTURE: Plans to look at funding for the arts including the running of the Riverfront Theatre are out for consultation

4:11pm Tuesday 23rd September 2014

WHAT a scoop for Newport Riverfront to play host to Matthew Hurt’s play The Man Jesus – a dramatic, energetic and funny one-man performance by the enigmatic Simon Callow.

Jesus Christ Superstar, Dolman Theatre

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.

Faulty Towers, The Dining Experience, Wales Millennium Centre

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.

Pavane, St John the Baptist Church, Newport

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.

Welsh National Opera, Wales Millennium Centre

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.

Ray Davies, St David's Hall, Cardiff

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.

According to Claudia, Dolman Theatre

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.

The Vicar of Dibley, Blackwood Little Theatre

12:39pm Thursday 11th September 2014

It is never easy to translate a well-known and loved television comedy into a successful stage production.

National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Borough Theatre

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.

Proms in the Park, Chepstow racecoure

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?

Shrek the Musical, Bristol Hippodrome

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.

Review: Cats, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

South Wales Argus: (8785394)

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.

The Last Night of the Welsh Proms, St David's Hall

4:39pm Monday 28th July 2014

 Following a wonderful week packed full with diverse music, the Welsh Proms 2014 drew to a stunning close on Saturday evening.

The Russian Prom, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

4:37pm Monday 28th July 2014

This penultimate night of the 2014 Welsh Proms saw the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra arrive in Cardiff.

Tinariwen at St David’s Hall in Cardiff

4:36pm Monday 28th July 2014

It was time for a complete change of pace and atmosphere at the World Music Prom on Thursday evening.

Into the Woods, St David's Hall

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' .

Paul Weller, Cardiff Castle

12:39pm Friday 25th July 2014

 Summer so far has lent itself well to the many outdoor, ‘festival-feel’ concerts, and a well-lit, Cardiff castle proved a spectacular setting for the Paul Weller road show.

Singin' in the Rain

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.

Capital City Jazz Orchestra with Clare Teal

1:14pm Thursday 24th July 2014

Later in the evening, Cardiff's own Capital City Jazz Orchestra took the stage with an evening of Big Band music.

Organ Prom, St David's Hall

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.

Showboat, Wales Millennium Centre

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.

Chas & Dave, The Riverfront

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."

Deacon Blue, Westonbirt Arboretum

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’.

Dawn French, Thirty Million Minutes Tour, New Theatre

9:55am Thursday 17th July 2014

A SELL-OUT audience were treated to an amazingly honest performance from comedienne, actress all round entertainer Dawn French in Cardiff last night (Wednesday July 16).

Sharon Fitzgerald School of Dance, Dance is the Answer, Dolman Theatre

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.

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story, New Theatre

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.

James Blunt, St David's Hall

1:15pm Monday 30th June 2014

Love him or hate him it was clear on the latest leg of James Blunt’s world tour in Cardiff, that he is a born performer.

Mametz, National Theatre Wales, Great Llancayo Upper Wood near Usk

12:54pm Friday 27th June 2014

As befits such hugely resonant and emotive subject matter, National Theatre Wales’ large scale, site – specific production was a highly vivid and ultimately numbing experience.

Horrible Histories, New Theatre

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.

Starlight Express, Dolman Theatre

10:27am Thursday 26th June 2014

 The Young Venture Players are never afraid of a challenge, so there was nothing unusual about this feisty little group staging Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, unique musical, Starlight Express.

Dolly Parton, Motorpoint Arena

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.

Sinfonia Cymru, The Riverfront

12:48pm Tuesday 24th June 2014

Sinfonia Cymru is a diverse concept as well as a terrific young orchestra of professionals, a fact illustrated by this performance from beginning to end.

Big Mac's Wholly Soul Band, Newport Centre

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.

War Horse, Wales Millennium Centre

5:24pm Thursday 19th June 2014

THE National Theatre's phenomenally successful and multi-award winning show made its eagerly anticipated bow at Cardiff Bay last night and what a crowd pleaser it proved to be.

Pygmalion, Dolman Theatre, Newport

3:46pm Friday 13th June 2014

Taking to the Dolman stage this week, is the Newport playgoers society production of Pygmalion.

Drenge, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

3:31pm Friday 13th June 2014

Drenge, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

The Sooty Show, Newport Riverfront

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.

Nine Inch Nails, Motorpoint Arena

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”.

Formby, The Riverfront

3:53pm Tuesday 27th May 2014

Ewan Wardrop’s much praised tribute show to entertainer George Formby played the final date of its current tour at Newport Riverfront on Friday evening.

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