News: Performances for the Curious returns to #Cardiff & @TheCentre

image005Performances for the Curious opens next month at Wales Millennium Centre with a new spring season of over 35 thought-provoking and joy-fuelled performances (15 March-17 May), adding to the already vibrant offer in Cardiff Bay.

CLASS

All shows are now on sale, with new play CLASS (1-4 May) coming to Wales for the first time to complete the season. CLASS is a parent-teacher meeting gone wrong and an explosive confrontation over learning difficulties, love and entitlement as two recently separated parents are called in to school to discuss their 9-year old’s reading difficulties. Written by Iseult Golden and David Horan, CLASS was the hit of the Dublin Theatre Festival 2017 and won the Edinburgh Fringe First award in 2018. CLASS is new Irish writing at its finest and completes the programme of cutting-edge contemporary theatre as part of the Performances for the Curious season at Wales Millennium Centre this spring.

Other contemporary theatre taking place in Wales Millennium Centre’s Weston Studio includes Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Merched Caerdydd / Nos Sadwrn o Hyd (10-13 April). Merched Caerdydd (Cardiff Girls) by Catrin Dafydd follows three young, bright women from contemporary Wales, each trying to make sense of their messy lives. And in Nos Sadwrn o Hyd (Saturday Night Forever) by Roger Williams, we meet Lee – who, following a messy break-up sound-tracked by Take That, goes looking for love again. Both are performed in the Welsh language with live English language access available for non-Welsh speakers and Welsh learners via the SIBRWD app.

Audiences are invited to see more new writing and early stages of Wales-based theatre with a week of free Scratch Nights (13-17 May). Or with Bump/Bully (18 April) – a double bill of work-in-progress readings from new company Unsolicited Theatre who aim to make bold, inclusive and accessible performances for everyone. Bump by Kelly Jones is a one-person play exploring the nature/nurture debate. While Bully by Tom Wentworth is a hard-hitting monologue about what happens when a super fit, gay rugby player becomes disabled in a sporting accident.

In addition to cutting-edge contemporary theatre in the Weston Studio, Performances for the Curious offers joy-fuelled live entertainment every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening in ffresh, Wales Millennium Centre’s lively cabaret bar and kitchen. The season opens on Friday 15 March with Ffresh Burlesque – starring ‘weapon of mass seduction’ FooFooLaBelle and support from Cardiff Cabaret Club soloists. And the first Saturday of the season welcomes Wales’ award-winning West End Musical theatre star and Eurovision Song Contest 2017 UK representative, Lucie Jones with new show, This is Me (16 March).

ffresh bar and kitchen opens at 6pm on show nights, with live entertainment starting at a new earlier time of 8pm. This spring sees a vibrant new menu of small plates featuring a range of seasonal and local Welsh produce. Ideal for sharing, the new menu is proudly entirely gluten free with a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options, plus new Dessert Cocktails. The perfect pairing to cabaret, comedy and more.

Curious?

Wales Millennium Centre’s Performances for the Curious season takes place from 15 March – 17 May, featuring over 35 unique experiences. The full programme can be explored at wmc.org.uk/curious

For more information on tickets and dining, visit wmc.org.uk or call 029 2063 6464

 

 

Performances for the Curious
Spring 2019 Season Listings

15 March – 17 May 2019

Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Place, Cardiff CF10 5AL

wmc.org.uk/curious

Ffresh Burlesque
15 March
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
FooFooLaBelle and the soloists from Cardiff Cabaret Club are celebrating spring with some Ffresh Burlesque. FooFooLaBelle is an explosive cocktail of sex and stupidity, a weapon of mass seduction whose powerhouse vocals and all-encompassing humour has been wowing audiences since 2011.

Lucie Jones – This is Me
16 March
ffresh
16+ £20 6pm doors, 8pm start
Lucie Jones is an award-winning West End Musical theatre star who represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017. Having toured the world performing to sold-out arenas, theatres and concert venues, Lucie is bringing her voice back home to Wales for an exclusive number of ‘up close and personal’ dates.

Blah Blah Blah: Stand Up and Slam
21 March
ffresh
16+ £12 6pm doors, 8pm start
Stand-up comedy: poetry’s idiot relation, right? Performance poetry: comedy’s boring cousin, yes? Six phenomenal acts from the worlds of comedy and poetry go head-to-head in three killer rounds, battling it out to decide, once and for all, which art form is the best. Team Poetry includes Dan Simpson, Malaika Kegode and Mab Jones. Team Comedy includes Eshaan Akbar, Sarah Bridgman and Steffan Alun.

Cabarela
22 March
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start

Welsh language performance.
The unique harmonies of Sorela conduct a cabaret evening of Welsh comedy through song, including the ever-surprising singer-songwriter, Hywel Pitts, and the endless electric talents of the Divas & Diceds.

Mary Bijou: Fakes It
23 March
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
Cabaret so good, you will think that Mary Bijou is faking it! Daredevil stunts, dazzling circus skills and gorgeous music. This is the biggest stunt show from the Cardiff-based troupe that you will ever see in ffresh.

An Evening with Mal Pope
29 March
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
BBC Radio Wales presenter, Mal Pope, returns to Wales Millennium Centre for an evening of stories and songs. From his early days spent recording with Elton John at Abbey Road to the creation of sell-out musicals Cappuccino Girls and Amazing Grace, join Mal for an intimate evening of tales and tunes from the last 50 years.

Jeff Hooper: Swinging with the Stars
30 March
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
A celebration of the greatest swing vocalists of the 20th century including Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and, of course, Frank Sinatra. Jeff Hooper’s career credits read like a who’s who of the entertainment world, working with the likes of Matt Monro, Morecambe and Wise, Stephane Grapelli, Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

Diffusion: Juniper
3 – 5 April
Rehearsal Room 3
12+ £12 7pm
Following on from their multiple award-winning full-dome film, Liminality, Cardiff-based creative collaborators Matt Wright and Janire Najera join forces again to transport and immerse audiences into the stunning album Juniper by Slowly Rolling Camera.

Part of Diffusion Festival 2019, which this year is themed around Sound+Vision.

Diffusion: A Woman’s Work – Symposium

4 April

Rehearsal Room 3

16+ £10 9.30am – 12.30pm

To launch A Woman’s Work, a two year Creative Europe project that uses photography and digital media to challenge the dominant view of gender and industry in Europe, this symposium looks at the changing landscape of the audio-visual industries, and the new opportunities emergent technology and global mobility create to increase diversity at all levels in the creative industries.

Part of Diffusion Festival 2019, which this year is themed around Sound+Vision.

Miles Davis: The 1950s and Beyond
4 April
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
Using the music of Miles Davis as a reference point, the Gethin Liddington/Ian Poole Quartet explore the rich melting pot of styles and influences that came together to help create the sound of jazz in the 1950s and beyond.

Machynlleth Comedy Festival Preview
5 April
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
Ahead of the 10th Machynlleth Comedy Festival, join us for a special showcase of comedy talent appearing at this year’s festival.

Paulus: Beta
6 April
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
A queer fairytale. A one-person musical. A personal story of showbiz, booze and leggings.

‘Doyen of cabaret’ (Time Out) Paul L Martin has teamed up with musical director Jordan Clarke and band to bring you Paulus: Beta; the first show from Martin’s new gender-fluid, alt-drag persona, Paulus.

Merched Caerdydd / Nos Sadwrn o Hyd
10 – 13 April
Weston Studio
Preview: 10 April – Pay What You Feel
14+ £12 7pm
Two contemporary plays by two distinct voices, based on modern day life in the capital city of Wales. Merched Caerdydd (Cardiff Girls) by Catrin Dafydd and Nos Sadwrn o Hyd (Saturday Night Forever) by Roger Williams are both Welsh-language productions from Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, the Welsh-language national theatre of Wales. English language access is available for non-Welsh speakers and Welsh learners via the SIBRWD app.

Fever: Jo Harrop
11 April
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
Jo Harrop pays tribute to Peggy Lee, the sultry songstress who Duke Ellington called ‘the queen’. Created with Musical Director, arranger and pianist Alex Webb, and backed by a stellar group of musicians, Jo Harrop delivers moving renditions of Peggy Lee ballads as well as swinging-out on other great songs from the Lee cannon, including FeverWhy Don’t You Do Right and The Folks Who Live on the Hill.

House of Broadway
12 April
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
House of Broadway are back in ffresh after their sell-out show last year. After receiving 5-star reviews from both Broadway World and London Theatre Reviews, the team are set to perform a night of musical theatre scorchers.

Séayoncé
13 April
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
Join this drag-tastic séance, for those lonely souls in desperate need of the camp ecstasy of cabaret and character-comedy. Séayoncé summons tales of sordid pasts and bleak futures and conjures up celebs from the spirit world.

You’ve Got Dragons
16 – 20 April
Weston Studio
3+ £7 11am
“Dragons come when you least expect it. You turn round…and they’re there.”

A delightful tale of one child’s journey to come to terms with their dragons, told in Taking Flight’s unique style. With original live music, this highly visual, sensitive production is a humorous and touching exploration of the dragons, or worries, that we all face.

Every performance has interwoven BSL, captions & Live Audio Description.

Bump/Bully: Double Bill
18 April
ffresh
16+ £12 6pm doors, 8pm start
A work in progress reading of two new plays, presented by Unsolicited Theatre – a new company who tell bold stories for contemporary Wales and beyond.
Bump by Kelly Jones is a one-person play exploring the nature/nurture debate in a world where political views in family units are polarised.

Bully by Tom Wentworth is a hard-hitting monologue about contemporary disability, exploring what happens when a super fit, gay rugby player becomes disabled in a sporting accident.

If You Don’t Noel Me by Now: An Evening with Noel Sullivan
19 April
ffresh
16+ £20 6pm doors, 8pm start
If You Don’t Noel Me by Now is the first solo cabaret show of Cardiff-born singer and actor, Noel Sullivan. Accompanied and arranged by the renowned musical director, Nick Barstow on piano, Noel’s new show wanders through funny tales and the beautiful music that has inspired him, crossing genres of musical theatre, pop and soul.

Donna Marie: #MYGAGALIFE
20 April
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
Watch Donna Marie transform as she takes you down memory lane; from her early years as an aspiring singer/dancer who loved The Muppets and wanted to be one of the kids from Fame, to the day she met Lady Gaga – dressed as Lady Gaga! Performing classic songs and sharing stories that inspired her life and career – laughter, dancing and fun are guaranteed.

Little Meerkat’s Big Panic
22 & 23 April
Weston Studio
0 – 7 years £7 12pm & 4pm

Relaxed performances
Join an award-winning multi-sensory musical adventure in the Kalahari in the company of Little Meerkat and find out how to manage some very big feelings. Based on the storybook by parenting and trauma expert, Jane Evans, this little tale helps everyone to see, hear, smell, taste and feel what’s going on in their brains and bodies when emotions become overwhelming. With help from a Kind Elephant and a Wise Monkey, can Little Meerkat learn to feel calmer and find those missing meerkats?

Tina May
25 April
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
Since forming her first quartet in the early 1990s, Tina May’s astonishing vocal ability and hypnotic stage presence has won her worldwide acclaim. A gifted lyricist, consummate jazz artist and sparkling entertainer, Tina’s wonderful voice will already be familiar to ITV viewers from the catchy theme tunes of Infidelity and Airline.

Aleighcia Scott
26 April
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
Growing up in Cardiff with Jamaican roots, Aleighcia Scott’s voice has the soul of the finest reggae singers combined with the power of a 50-strong Welsh choir. Her live appearances include sets at Boomtown Fair and Aberjazz, culminating in performances in Kingston, Jamaica and a set at the world-renowned, Dub Club. Aleighcia now returns to her hometown to perform an intimate gig at Wales Millennium Centre.

User Not Found
29 & 30 April
Quantum Coffee Roasters
14+ £12 6pm & 8.30pm
User Not Found is about our digital identities after we die. Audience members receive a smartphone and a pair of headphones and are immersed in one man’s story as he’s faced with keeping or deleting his partner’s online existence after his death. A story of contemporary grief unfolds through this intimate, funny performance that gently interrogates our need for connection.

Every performance is captioned – please inform a member of the Front of House team on arrival if you’d like to use captions.

CLASS

1 – 4 May

Weston Studio

14+ £12 7pm

A parent-teacher meeting goes very wrong in CLASS– a new play about learning difficulties: in school, in life, wherever. Brian and Donna’s son is nine years old, and he’s struggling. That’s what his teacher says. Says he should see a psychologist. But Brian and Donna – recently separated – never liked school, never liked teachers. Written and directed by Iseult Golden and David Horan, CLASS is new Irish writing at its finest – a “hugely entertaining” (Irish Times) and “emotionally explosive” (Mail on Sunday) confrontation over learning difficulties, love and entitlement.

Edinburgh Fringe First winner 2018.

The Greatest of Shows
4 May
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
The Greatest of Shows is a live interactive sing-along show where the cast will have you up on your feet singing and dancing along to songs from some of the greatest musicals and films of all time. With songs from The Greatest Showman, We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia, The Sound of Music, The Rocky Horror Show and Dirty Dancing you’ll be sure to have ‘The time of your life’.

Against the Grain
9 May
ffresh
16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start
In the spirit of rebellion and resilience, local arts writer Jafar Iqbal presents a double bill of artists who defy the cultural norm.
Dancing Queer What’s that? Belly dancers should have long hair and shave their legs and underarms. Well, not this one. Shrouk El-Attar is an Egyptian, hairy, bearded, pierced and tattooed Queer Refugee dancer who will give you a very authentic performance with a twist. A UN award winner and named as one of the BBC’s top 100 influential women worldwide, Dancing Queer is a protest against the persecution of LGBT+ people in Egypt.

Holly Morgan: Madonna or Whore Holly Morgan is going to sort this whole misogyny mess out once and for all, using something she half-remembered from university about the Madonna-Whore complex and the greatest pop songs of all time. Holly channels controversial women from history and asks the big questions.

The Nature of Why
9 – 11 May
Weston Studio
Preview: 9 May – Pay What You Feel
8+ £12pm Various Times
The Nature of Why merges dance and live music into an epic performance that brims with emotion and physical beauty. Commissioned by Unlimited, the show features a cinematic live-score from Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, an ensemble of musicians from the British Paraorchestra and four extraordinary dancers. Taking inspiration from the unconventional curiosity of Nobel prize-winning theoretical physicist, Richard Feynman, the show explores his search for meaning in the world around us through nine distinct and emotive movements.

Connie Orff: You’re A Vision
10 May
ffresh

16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start

Wales’ favourite ‘inclusive, asthmatic, bilingual gay Dad in a dress’ is back at Wales Millennium Centre. As a connoisseur of the continent’s favourite cultural contest, Connie Orff promises to warm the ‘EU’ up on her multilingual journey through nations and decades… And she’s ready for douze points.

 

Comedy Scratch

14 May

Weston Studio

16+ Pay What You Feel 7pm

Comedian Leroy Brito returns to Wales Millennium Centre for a night of comedy – but this time he’s bringing some friends for a night of new material from some of the most exciting names in Welsh Comedy. Featuring Ignacio Lopez, Esyllt Sears, Chris Chopping, Priya Louise Hall and Mac Bernie.

Book a free Pay What You Feel ticket online – and make a donation on the night, if you can, to support the artists and the further development of their work.

Dirty Protest: A Monday Mixed Scratch

15 May

Weston Studio

16+ Pay What You Feel 7pm

Since 2007, Dirty Protest has been the company to follow to see the next big stars in writing and acting. Breaking down theatre barriers by performing in yurts, kebab shops, pubs and clubs they kick-started a new writing theatre revolution in Wales. They have worked with more than 200 writers since then and staged the best in Welsh new writing across the UK and internationally. Join the Dirty Protest gang for A Monday Mixed Scratch as they celebrate and scratch Wales’ most exciting writing talent.

“There are few people in Wales making theatre this exciting in Wales today”, The Guardian.

Book a free Pay What You Feel ticket online – and make a donation on the night, if you can, to support the artists and the further development of their work.

 

Drag that Scratch

16 May

Weston Studio

16+ Pay What You Feel 7pm

Ever think that the Drag you see on TV is a little too…polished? Fancy being there to witness the beginnings of the fabulousness? Fresh from sold-out shows at Wales Millennium Centre, Connie Orff curates an evening of Drag – from virgin Queens and Kings to more seasoned performers just…trying out cool stuff!

Book a free Pay What You Feel ticket online – and make a donation on the night, if you can, to support the artists and the further development of their work.

Scratch Night: On the Bench

17 May

Weston Studio

16+ Pay What You Feel 7pm

An opportunity to discover new work by disabled artists with an evening of poetry, song and drama from members of Disability Arts Cymru.  Performers experimenting with their new work include Des Mannay Hooligan Poet, singer-songwriter Bel Blue and Sherrall Morris, Rosie Moriarty-Simmonds and Sara Beer perform ‘Meg, Mabel and Molly’, a new script by Sherrall Morris.

Book a free Pay What You Feel ticket online – and make a donation on the night, if you can, to support the artists and the further development of their work.

Hollie McNish: 2019 Tour
15 May
Ffresh

16+ £15 6pm doors, 8pm start

After a sell-out 2017 performance, Hollie McNish returns to ffresh to perform poems, chat honestly and openly and read from her latest poetry collections. With Benjamin Zephaniah stating ‘I can’t take my ears off her’, Kate Tempest describing her poetry as ‘welcoming, galvanising and beautiful’ and fans ranging from Emma Watson, Robin Ince, Pink and Tim Minchin, Ted Hughes Award winner Hollie McNish is a poet whose readings are not to be missed. She is an Arts Foundation Fellow in Spoken Word, has garnered over ten million YouTube views for her online poetry performances and was the first poet to record at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios. Expect strong language as she talks fruit and flesh, guilt, sex, politics, death, breasts, transformers and more.

Books will be available to purchase at the event and there’s a book signing afterwards.

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