A packed programme of celebratory concerts, films, community events, arts projects and workshops helped make the Park and Dare Theatre’s centenary year the best yet!
Thousands of people visited the magnificent venue during its 100th Anniversary celebrations to attend a whole variety of live performances in song, dance and theatre befitting the landmark building.
This vibrant year of events was befitting the memory of those miners from the Park and Dare Collieries who donated a penny from every pound of their wages to create a venue that continues to entertain audiences in their droves.
Since its official opening in 1913 the Park and Dare Theatre is a regarded as a truly inspiring and commanding building that dominates the skyline of the town of Treorchy.
As centenary patron Max Boyce said: "It is our duty to recognise the debt we owe to those proud people and celebrate the legacy that was left in our care."
The celebrations were launched in November 2012 and throughout the year welcomed a vast array of activities to stimulate the interests of a whole range of audiences whether young or old. The programme attracted additional funding from the Arts Council of Wales, the Performing Rights Society Foundation and the Arts & Business Cymru “Arts & Kids” project.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Leisure and Tourism Cllr Robert Bevan explained, “The Park & Dare has a proud history, having served its community for the past 100 years and remains one of the proud landmarks of the County Borough.
“It has survived from early Music Hall days, through to the first talking pictures to the advent of rock ‘n’ roll up to the present day and continues to attract thousands of visitors year after year.
“This year residents and visitors of the County Borough certainly helped to celebrate its 100th anniversary in style and I’m proud in the quantity and quality of events that took place to mark this outstanding milestone.
“We are grateful too, of the role played in these celebrations by our national arts companies including National Theatre Wales, Welsh National Opera, Literature Wales and National Dance Company Wales”
The Centenary Events that took place included:
Park & Dare Gala Concert featuring Daniel Evans, Sophie Evans, Martyn Joseph, Siren Sisters, Mal Pope, Amy Wadge and Pete Riley
Song of the Building/Can Yr Adeilad” was co-produced by Rhondda Cynon Taf Music & Cultural Services with Ty Cerdd, composer Jack White and Conductor John Quirk featuring a host of performers including pupils from Gelli, Penpych and Penyrenglyn Schools and workshops in Ysgol Hen Felin
“Flights of Fancy/Heddfa’r Dychymyg” through National Dance Company Wales, Welsh National Opera, Artis Community ‘Cofio’ Group, Treorchy Comprehensive School, Take Part, Expressions, artistic director Phil Williams, composer Jak Poore and over 70 participants ranging in age from 11 to 93
Film of the Century project led by Simon Davey and Matthew Dentus
Amateur Gala Performance “100 Not Out” featuring Parc & Dare Band, Theatremask, Selsig Operatic Society, Spotlight, Players Anynomous and Treorchy Male Choir
National Theatre Wales “Word 4 Word” by Patrick Jones
National Theatre Wales “Tonypandemonium” by centenary patron Rachel Trezise and directed by Matilde Lopez
National Theatre Wales “Dirty Gifted and Welsh” coordinated by Catherine Paskell and Sarah Leigh
Gwyn Thomas – A Centennial Celebration in association with Literature Wales
“Mother Courage On Trial” directed by John McGrath
Treorci Assembly coordinated by Gavin Porter and participants
Youth Arts Workshops featuring local comprehensive and primary school pupils
Youth Arts Showcase featuring RCT performing arts groups including break dancers, poets and singer-songwriters and coordinated by Liz Driscoll, Miranda Ballin and Louise Prosser
“Next Generation Take Over” starring Only Boys Aloud, Peasant’s King, Remembering August, Evan Gardner. Gabrielle Murphy, Nufolk. Matthew Frederick and Jessie Jenkins