The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre’s much-loved free family street theatre festival Big Splash returns this July for the ninth year with a weekend jam-packed with free events and performances guaranteed to entertain the whole family. Familiar city centre locations John Frost Square, Usk Plaza, Commercial Street, Riverwalk, The Red Wave and of course The Riverfront will all be transformed into outdoor stages as exciting and entertaining performances pop up where you least expect them.

Olivia Harris, creative producer for The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre and Big Splash, shares what you can expect from the festival this year: “Last year’s Big Splash Festival saw the city of Newport taken over for one weekend only by giant whales, unicycling unicorns and bouncing kangaroos to name but a few. This year people can expect even more crazy characters taking over the streets of the city, and a few surprises of course!”

Over 50 free shows and performances will take place over the weekend.

There will be music, slapstick comedy, circus, puppetry, acrobatics… something to entertain all tastes! Acts coming up this year include: Do What Yah Mama Told Ya! from Just More which is a vibrant comedy circus show that spans both geography and generations. Starring international contemporary circus artist Blaze as ‘Daughter’ and touring circus chef and performer Fatina as ‘Mother’, this act promises to be a food juggling, fire blazing show that brings the family kitchen and its recipes of the world to life. If this isn’t enough, you really won’t want to miss the epic hula hooping finale.

Ruby Gibbens’ The Hunt for the Twrch Trwyth is a striking visual theatre and puppet piece, which glimpses into the mythical past. The wildest of wild boars, the Twrch Trwyth, is rampaging through the Welsh countryside pursued by the legendary King Arthur, a lovable if not occasionally useless hero. Witness their mighty duel, watch the great beast sniff and growl before his charge. Will our brave king save the day and tame the untameable? Can the monster from the Mabinogion be thwarted? You will have to attend the Big Splash to find out.

Kitsch & Sync Collective’s Topiary Trauma is a comedy dance performance for all the family. Meet Daisy, Lawna and Mo, our glamorous 1950s housewives in sunny suburbia, who enjoy nothing more than a bit of baking and a quiet spot of gardening on a Sunday afternoon. But recently they have all been having some trouble with their topiary. Are these ladies of leisure losing their minds or does the flora and fauna have a mind of its own…who knows!?

Mystic Myfanwy, also from Kitsch & Sync Collective, features Zoltanas who are un-hinged and unplugged from their amusement arcade booths, ready to read your fortune through the medium of contemporary dance, the psychic iPod and emoji roulette. Mystic Myfanwy, Clairvoyant Clarissa and Psychic Jill are complete charlatans. Don’t believe their cold readings – it’s a scam. Watch out, they are masters of disguise, divination and debauchery. Topiary Trauma and Mystic Myfanwy have been commissioned by the Wales Outdoor Arts Consortium.

The Big Splash returns thanks to the support of Newport Live, Arts Council Wales, Newport Now, Friars Walk, Western Power Distribution and Kingsway Centre.

Join us in Newport on Saturday July 20 & Sunday 21 and get involved in all
the fun.