Theatr Brycheiniog Set to Stimulate your Heart, Mind...and Imagination this Spring
Spring brings rejuvenation at Theatr Brycheiniog, with the launch of a fresh new programme brimming with stimulating activities and events. With the brand new Corporate Support Club spring at the theatre is a time of fresh activity.
The programme celebrates the power of our relationship with nature at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, and Our Life with Birds, when birds of prey will swoop across the auditorium. The centenary of World War I is marked in high quality new drama, The Wood, whilst the incredible mask work in A Brave Face continues to explore war as a theme. Folk music boundary pusher, ex-Bellowhead Jon Boden rouses the soul, and dance fans can enjoy NDCWales’ Terra Firma as well as the spring show from the renowned Ballet Central.
The theatre is nestled in the basin of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, and in addition to the stunning setting, the venue prides itself on welcoming everyone. From the success of the Friends and Patrons’ Scheme evolves the Corporate Support Club, which sees the theatre eager to reach out to local businesses. Family activity is at the heart of theatre life, from National Dance Company Wales’ Discover Dance Matinee and the free Family Dance Festival to weekly babies’ and toddlers’ session, Bookworm Boogie, and the stage production classic children’s tale, There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly. The completely accessible venue also holds weekly dementia friendly Drumming Together sessions, and a host of regular events, including lunchtime classical music recitals with Brecon Bites, and fascinating talks from University of the Third Age and The Arts Society Brecknock. There is free live music every Saturday 1-3pm with Live @ The Waterfront, monthly art exhibitions, and a vibrant Youth Theatre for Reception age all the way to 25. With its varied, high-quality programme, Theatr Brycheiniog is one of the leading arts venues in Mid-Wales
January wouldn’t be the same without an annual visit from The Westenders, and this year they are bringing a brand new gem in the form of Aladdin! (20 – 27 January) The show promises comedy, energetic dancing, mesmerising scenery and one magic carpet ride audiences won’t forget in a hurry!
February welcomes Brecknock Young Farmers’ Club (5 – 10 February) with their incredibly popular Pantomime, Drama and One Plus Festival. This year marks their 70th annual weeklong festival and is sure to be a sell-out yet again! Mountaineer, wall-climber and winter expedition writer Andy Kirkpatrick (12 February) gives a fascinating Speakers from the Edge talk to coincide with the release of the award-winning film, Psychovertical. Brecon born Christina Rogers appears as Just Adele (16 February) in a home-coming concert packed to the brim with hits, and 100 young musicians in glorious harmony take part in the 21st Rorke’s Drift Concert (12 February). Woman of Flowers (20 February) marks the season’s first great Welsh drama as this dynamic production based on the ancient Mabinogion tells the legend of Saunders Lewis’ Blodeuwedd as never before. The first celebrity guest arrives as Jimmy Osmond (23 February) pays tribute to legendary Andy Williams in Moon River and Me. NDCWales returns with their atmospheric new triple bill show, Terra Firma, (26 February). The show will feature stunning choreography by Caroline Finn, Marcon Morau and Mario Bermudez Gil. NDCWales are also inviting audiences to learn some moves in their Discover Dance workshop (27 February). Ending February is a very special St. David’s Day concert, An Evening with the Band of the Welsh Guards. (28 February). All proceeds will be donated to the Armed Forces charity, SSAFA.
March begins with award-winning comedian Stewart Lee, (7 March), then takes a dramatic turn with The Wood, (8 March) a powerful drama written to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I. The Wood, written by Owen Thomas, tells the tale of friendship, love and sacrifice against the backdrop of the Battle of the Somme. The hugely successful And Finally... present the Phil Collins Collection 2018 Tour (10 March), covering all the classics from In the Air Tonight to a selection from the Genesis archive. Mid Wales Music Trust presents a free, interactive show for primary schools, The Lost Box of Stories (12 March), and Dawns Powys Dance celebrates the work of their dance session participants of all ages and abilities in MARCH/ FORWARD (16 March). Academic David Starkey presents an entertaining and provocative talk, Henry VIII: The First Brexiteer? (17 March), and music fans will be blown away by the eclectic mix of gipsy swing, jazz and blues music performed by the Remi Harris Trio (18 March). Banff Mountain Film Festival (20 March) returns for another spectacular evening of extraordinary short films sure to ignite the audience’s passion for action, adventure and travel! Tchaikovsky’s sweeping lyricisms and Pushkin’s heart-breaking story is explored by Mid Wales Opera in Eugene Onegin, (21 March). The free 21st Sir John Lloyd Memorial Lecture (23 March) explores Justice in Brecknock Over the Centuries with Lord Thomas, and the Explosive Light Orchestra (24 March) returns for another epic night of rock classics and melodic symphonic rock after blowing us away in their last show. March ends on a terrifying high with the latest incarnation from The Circus of Horors: Voodoo (26 March). Expect bizarre circus acts, a shock-horror story and unbelievable dark magic, guaranteed to scare!
April’s begins with There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (4 & 5 April), a magical show based on the well-loved nursery rhyme, filled to the brim with sing long songs, colourful animals and heartwarming fun. Family fun continues with the free Family Dance Festival (7 & 8 April) a jam-packed hour of pop-up dance from three wonderful Welsh companies. There is a very special show on 12 April, Our Life With Birds: Lloyd and Rose Buck; enjoy a rare opportunity to not only see Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Hawks, and Owls live on stage but also to experience them flying over the audience! Television actor and Spandau Ballet star, Martin Kemp, talks candidly about his amazing career in An Audience With Martin Kemp (14 April), and Bellowhead lead singer and ‘stand out performer of his generation’ (The Guardian) Jon Boden (17 April) performs hits from his brand new album ‘Afterglow.’ Pupils from eight local schools perform as part of South Powys Dance Festival (20 April), and Ballet Central (25 April) brings a performance from young dancers on the cusp of their professional careers. There will be samples from Black Swan, Sleeping Beauty, Valley of Shadows and many more. Welsh speakers and learners will not want to miss a stirring adaption of period drama Miss Julie (26 April) performed in Welsh, a thrilling revival of August Strindberg’s 20th Century classic. A night of glam rock greats, power ballads and party anthems await as the golden age of pop is revisited in Solid Gold 70s Show (27 April). Vamos Theatre sees the season out in style with A Brave Face (28 April). The place: Afghanistan. The year: 2009. Post-traumatic stress is explored in Vamos’ trademark, wordless, full mask style.
The Andrew Lamont Gallery will host four exhibitions this season. The Haymakers’ Christmas Collection continues until 15 January displaying a range of Hay-On-Wye based The Haymakers’ varied work. The Taff Trail Trajectory (18 January – 25 February) is Fiona Harper’s personal journey of paint documenting the beauty of the Taff Trail. Coinciding with Brecon Women’s Festival is Abstract Edge, (2 March – 8 April) an exhibition of paintings from an artists’ collective comprising mostly of women. Vulgar Earth (12 April – 20 May) displays painting, sculpture and installation, reawakening realisations of the direction humanity has taken.
Monthly favourites continue into spring, with Comedy Club on the last Friday of every month giving a unique opportunity to enjoy some of the best up and coming comedians in the circuit in a relaxed and informal setting. Brecon Bites, in partnership with Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, brings some of the most exciting young graduate and undergraduate musicians and ensembles Brecon for an entertaining and eclectic programme of monthly lunchtime concerts. In January (30) will be Robinson & Wischhusen Voice & Guitar Duo; February (27) Royal Welsh College Harps; March (27) Blackweir Brass; and April (24) Quartet 19. The Arts Society Brecknock also returns on February 6 with a talk on The Paintings and Watercolours of Ireland, with subsequent talks on Tibet: The Roof of the World, (March 6) and The Camden Town Group (April 3).
Theatr Brycheiniog continues to offer a range of classes and activities, including Mid Wales Dance Academy, Chorus Line, Brecon Town Band, University of the Third Age and Pilates classes. Participatory, dementia friendly, music making sessions for older people are held weekly at Drumming Together¸ presented in partnership with Beat It Percussion. This is a chance to do something creative and social and have fun at the same time. Our thriving Youth Theatre is run by professional practitioners and offers the opportunity for young people aged 4 – 25 to develop confidence and performance skills. There are four age groups to choose from, and sessions run weekly, except in the school holidays. A late addition to Autumn Season was Bookworm Boogie, a weekly session for babies and toddlers featuring drama, stories, music and movement, these will continue on Friday mornings throughout Spring.
For any details on performances, activities or anything else, please visit brycheiniog.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01874 611622.