From festive family shows to a spine-chilling production for adults, Christmas 2014 at Wales Millennium Centre promises to help everyone ease into the festive spirit this year.
From the start of December, visiting the Centre will be a treat in itself thanks to spectacular large- scale installations which will transform the public spaces into a beautiful winter landscape. Inspired by ice formations and created by paper artist Andy Singleton, this stunning visual display, Ice Storm, will provide a perfect backdrop for the Centre’s busy programme of events.
Departing form more traditional Christmas offerings, festive thriller The Frozen Scream will offer a chilling alternative for adult audiences from 11-20 December. Adapted for the stage from a lost 1920s mystery novel, this gripping new show is guaranteed to frighten and surprise with its unexpected twists and turns. A co–production by Wales Millennium Centre and Birmingham Hippodrome, The Frozen Scream is co-written by acclaimed Welsh author Sarah Waters and award-winning writer and performer Christopher Green, who will also be directing and performing in the show.
Complete with Welsh food and craft stalls, free live performances, workshops and children’s activities, Wales Millennium Centre’s Christmas Fayre will be filling the Centre foyer for two weekends in November (15 & 16, 22 & 23 Nov). Spend a few hours browsing the stalls and soaking up the atmosphere and you’ll leave feeling wonderfully festive and stocked up with gifts for friends and family.
As always, Father Christmas will be making plenty of appearances around the Centre this Christmas. Meet him in his grotto every weekend from 29 November (also 22 & 23 Dec), or join him for afternoon tea in the Centre’s ffresh restaurant (29 & 30 Nov, 6, 7, 13 & 14 Dec).
While the world’s most successful production, Disney’s The Lion King, will be dazzling audiences on the Donald Gordon Stage (6 Nov – 11 Jan), the Weston Studio will also be busy with a wide array of shows. Welsh language pantomime, Pws Mewn Bwts from Martin Geraint (1 & 2 Dec), promises to offer a perfect family treat for Welsh speakers and learners alike, or catch Smashed (5 Dec), an exhilarating mix of circus and theatre from award winning Gandini Juggling. Also featuring in the Weston studio programme is The Spirit of Christmas from Hijinx Theatre (27 – 29 Nov), Novello & Son (3 Dec) and What Would Beyoncé Do?! (4 Dec).
ffresh bar & restaurant will also be offering Christmas party nights from 4 December making it the perfect venue for your Christmas celebrations. Enjoy a three course meal from ffresh’s Christmas menu before dancing the evening away at the disco in ffresh Bar.
Speaking about this year’s Christmas programme, Graeme Farrow, Wales Millennium Centre’s artistic director said: ‘I really wanted Christmas in our tenth anniversary year to be extra special, which is why we’ve commissioned paper artist Andy Singleton to create an absolutely jaw-dropping installation which will transform the Centre into a true winter wonderland. I’m also hugely excited about The Frozen Scream, a co-production with Birmingham Hippodrome and a new Christmas venture for us. It will also be Welsh author Sarah Waters’ first foray into writing for the stage, so I’m especially pleased that we can be the first venue to present such new work from a Welsh artist. Most importantly, though, this Christmas is about welcoming people of all ages and backgrounds into the Centre, and helping them to discover that we really do have something on offer for everyone.’
For more information visit www.wmc.org.uk/christmas or call 029 2063 6464.
06 Nov 2014 – 11 Jan 2015
Disney’s The Lion King
Donald Gordon Theatre |Tickets £22 – £81.50 | Age Guidance: 6+ (No under 3s)
Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s The Lion King is a worldwide theatrical phenomenon. It has been seen by over 70 million people worldwide and is still drawing sell-out crowds at London’s Lyceum Theatre in its 15th year.
This award winning production will begin its long anticipated run at the Centre in November 2014.
15 Nov & 16 Nov, 22 & 23 Nov
All Day |Glanfa Foyer |Free
In the run up to Christmas, the Centre will be full of festive spirit as we welcome visitors to our free, family-friendly Christmas Fayre held over two weekends (15 -16 November and 22 – 23 November). There will be plenty to keep you entertained with Welsh food and craft stalls, free live performances, workshops and children’s activities.
27 Nov – 29 Nov
Odyssey: The Spirit of Christmas
Weston Studio |Thu – Sat 7pm & Sat 3pm | £8 – £13
Perfect for all ages, The Spirit of Christmas is a musical festive treat celebrating family, friendship and shared histories. Megan is on a mission to find out about her grandmother, a glamorous performer that the family never talks about, who emigrated from Cardiff 60 years ago. All she has is one photograph and an invitation to a party for the chance to learn more about the woman she is told she resembles both in looks and talent. As her relatives bring out old photographs, stories come to life helping Megan to piece together her long lost history.The Spirit of Christmas brings together the infectious energy of Hijinx’s community theatre group, Odyssey, with the enthusiasm of pupils from Woodlands High School and talented music students at University of South Wales, Caerleon.
29 & 30 Nov, 6,7,13 & 14 Dec
Afternoon Tea with Father Christmas
ffresh Restaurant | 3pm | £12 adults (U12s £8)
Tea with Father Christmas is a lovely way to start your family festivities. Enjoy a delicious tea of sandwiches and sweet treats and get to tell the big fella in red what you want for Christmas.
01 Dec – 02 Dec
Cwmni Theatr Martyn Geraint a Theatrau Rhondda
Pws Mewn Bwts
Weston Studio | Mon 1pm & 6.30pm, Tue 10am & 1pm |£8 – £13 | Age Guidance: 5+
Pws Mewn Bwts is a Welsh version of the famous Puss in Boots adventure – the tall tale of a poor miller’s son, Jac, who is left little in his father’s will except a very talented Cat. After the roaring success of his debut as Dame last year, Martyn Geraint will spend another winter in his posh frocks as he tries to help Jac marry the princess. With fun, music, dance, special effects and interactivity for all the family, this Welsh language pantomime is great for Welsh learners.
Novello & Son
by Arnold Evans
Weston Studio |8pm | £8 – £13 | Age Guidance: 10+
It is 1938. Singer, pianist, conductor and one of Cardiff’s most famous daughters, Madame Clara Novello Davies, looks back at her life and her relationship with her son Ivor, whose unexpected fame has eclipsed hers. In a funny and at times poignant final performance, she tells her story, sings his songs, and allows us a glimpse of her conflicting emotions – envy, guilt, regret…and a new feeling of invisibility.
Live Nation presents
Luisa Omielan: What Would Beyonce Do?!
Weston Studio | 8pm | £8 – £13 | Age Restriction: 18+
All the single ladies, all the single ladies – here comes comedian Luisa Omielan with one of the most successful debut shows to come out of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. With 2 sell-out years at the Edinburgh Fringe, five runs in the main house at London’s prestigious Soho Theatre as well as sell-out shows in Belfast, Finland, LA, New York and Singapore, What Would Beyonce Do?! is the ultimate party with jokes in.
Thu, Fri & Sat from 4 – 19 Dec
ffresh Christmas Party Nights
ffresh restaurant | from 8pm |£29.50 per person
Enjoy a superb three-course dinner in ffresh Restaurant with a disco in the Bar until 1am.
Includes three course dinner, half a bottle of selected wines, crackers and disco.
|Weston Studio | 8pm | £8-£13 | Age Guidance: 7+
At the forefront of contemporary circus for over 20 years and having performed in over 40 countries, Gandini Juggling bring their award-winning sensation Smashed to the Weston Studio. A mesmerising mix of circus and theatre, inspired by the work of Pina Bausch, this is a rare opportunity to catch this global smash-hit.
11 Dec – 20 Dec
Wales Millennium Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome & Christopher Green present
The Frozen Scream
co-written by Christopher Green & Sarah Waters
| Weston Studio |Tue – Thu & Sat 8pm, Fri 6pm & 9pm |
Tickets £17 | Age Guidance: 16+ (Ticket includes a glass of mulled wine or a soft drink)
Based on the lost 1928 supernatural murder-mystery novel by CC Gilbert, The Frozen Scream tells the chilling tale of a group who find themselves stranded at an abandoned lodge in the depths of winter. Forced to entertain themselves, they begin to tell the tale of Jack Frost, the most terrifying of the Frost Giants. But as the story takes a shocking twist, they discover they should have heeded the early warnings to ‘beware the ice’.