NEWS: 80 more tickets on sale for @Intothearkmusic as change of date announced for @velvetcoalminer

Velvet Coalmine, the Blackwood festival of writing, rock & roll and coal has announced that Into The Ark’s headline gig will now take place on Friday 1 September, with 80 more tickets available to fans.

Into The Ark, originally from Blackwood, were planned to perform on Friday 8 September, but due to a change in the band’s schedule the gig will now take place a week earlier.

The headline event will remain at Blackwood Methodist Church with expanded capacity to allow more fans to see their hometown heroes. An extra 80 tickets will go on sale at 9am on Friday 18 August.

Dane from Into The Ark said: “We’re very sorry to have to reschedule our gig at Velvet Coalmine, however we are delighted that we can now expand the capacity at the venue and allow more of our amazing fans to come and see us in our hometown. Velvet Coalmine is a great initiative for Blackwood and we wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Iain Richards, founder of Velvet Coalmine, said: “Velvet Coalmine is all about giving locals the opportunity to explore their talent potential. We hope seeing local lads Into The Ark achieving such great things is an inspiration for other young people in Blackwood.

We understand the change of date might leave some people disappointed. For those who have a ticket but are unable to make the new date, we’d like to apologise and will look to refund tickets wherever we can.”

Along with Into The Ark, Velvet Coalmine boosts a whole host of inspiring events including UK’s leading spoken word performers, Tongue Fu, Double Olympic Taekwondo Champion and Wales Sports Personality of the Year, Jade Jones MBE, The One Show’s science presenter, Marty Jopson, and comedian, Mike Wozniak.

With literature at the heart of the festival, there will be appearances from Young People’s Laureate Wales, Sophie McKeand and National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap GlynAfrica Writes, the annual celebration of African contemporary literature in London will bring poetry performances, workshops for teachers, book club discussions and creative writing sessions for their first ever visit to Wales.

Plus, the Children’s Literature Festival will return for a second year, created by Velvet Coalmine with backing from Blackwood Town Council to inspire, stimulate and engage school children through creative workshops with some of the best writers in Wales.

Velvet Coalmine takes place from 7 to 16 September in multiple venues across Blackwood. For the full festival programme and to get your tickets, visit: velvetcoalmine.com

NEWS: @velvetcoalminer announce @Intothearkmusic @thevoiceuk as headliners for #Blackwood festival

Today (30 June) Velvet Coalmine, the Blackwood festival of writing, rock & roll and coal, announce The Voice UK finalists, Into the Ark as headliners for the event taking place 7-16 September 2017.

Velvet Coalmine is now in its fourth year, bringing the best in arts, literature and music to Blackwood to inspire the community and raise the profile of the area. Into the Ark, Taylor Jones (21) and Dane Lloyd (25), originally from Blackwood, will perform alongside Mynyddislwyn Male Voice Choir at the Methodist Church on Friday 8 September.L-R, Taylor Jones and Dane Lloyd of Into the Ark

Joining the band on the Velvet Coalmine line-up are UK’s leading spoken word performers, Tongue Fu, Double Olympic Taekwondo Champion and Wales Sports Personality of the Year, Jade Jones MBE, The One Show’s science presenter, Marty Jopson, and comedian, Mike Wozniak.

With literature at the heart of the festival, there will be appearances from Young People’s Laureate Wales, Sophie McKeand and National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn. While a new playwriting and one-act play competition allows theatre groups and aspiring writers to embrace the event.

Africa Writes, the annual celebration of African contemporary literature in London will bring poetry performances, workshops for teachers, book club discussions and creative writing sessions as part of their tour of Africa and the UK. This will be their first ever visit to Wales.

Plus, the Children’s Literature Festival will return for a second year, created by Velvet Coalmine with backing from Blackwood Town Council to inspire, stimulate and engage school children through creative workshops with some of the best writers in Wales.

Blackwood, nestled in the heart of the valleys, is one of the most deprived towns in the UK with a higher than the national average level of young people leaving school with either no qualifications or GCSE at grade D (31.4% vs. 25.9%). Velvet Coalmine aims to tackle the issues the community faces, by educating and inspiring the young people who live there.

Iain Richards, founder of Velvet Coalmine, said: “We want to give everyone in Blackwood an opportunity to engage with the arts, from children through our school workshops right through to the parents with our evening events. With the help of a five-year sponsorship from Blackwood Town Council, we have worked hard to make this year’s line-up truly international, inspirational and aspirational.”

Into the Ark wowed audiences on The Voice UK earlier this year gaining UK wide recognition and a place on tour with their mentor, Tom Jones this summer.

Taylor from Into the Ark said: “There was nothing like Velvet Coalmine when we were growing up in Blackwood. It is definitely something that has been missing so we are delighted to be involved. We can’t wait to play at the festival surrounded by people who have supported us throughout our music career.”

 Tickets for all Velvet Coalmine events go on sale today apart from Into the Ark which go on sale on Friday 7 July at 9am and Jade Jones on Tuesday 1 August at 9am.

Velvet Coalmine takes place from 7 to 16 September in multiple venues across Blackwood. For the full festival programme and to get your tickets, visit: velvetcoalmine.com

 

NEWS: The search is on for Welsh amateur playwrights @velvetcoalminer #Blackwood #VelvetGoldmineArts

Iain_1
Iain Richards, founder of Velvet Coalmine

Velvet Coalmine, a music, literature and arts festival now in its fourth year, takes place between 7 – 16 September 2017 in Blackwood. As part of this year’s festival it has teamed up with Blackwood Little Theatre to find the newest and boldest playwrights from across Wales to write a one act play which will be read and appraised by four experienced and published authors.

The festival of writing, rock & roll and coal started in 2014 and since then has been instrumental in raising the profile of the area and the aspirations of local children and families. This competition will go that one step further, giving amateur writers the leg up they need.

Neil Maidman from the Blackwood Little Theatre, said: “It doesn’t matter if you haven’t had anything published, acted out or written anything before. This competition is all about finding new and raw talent that we can help get onto a bigger stage.”

Iain Richards, founder of Velvet Coalmine, added: “Since we started the festival we have had one aim – to empower local children to be whoever they want to be and do whatever they want to do. We hope that by launching this play writing competition and showcasing local talent to a wider audience, someone’s talent will get recognised amongst experts in their field.”

Here’s what you need to know to enter:

·       You should submit a one act play for at least two performers. It cannot be a monologue

·       The duration of the play should be around 40 – 50 minutes

·       The play should not have been previously published

·       Entries will only be accepted by authors over 18

·       Equal consideration will be given to English and Welsh language entries.

·       There is a prize of £250 for the winner and £100 for the runner up.

·       Winning play will have a script in hand public reading at Velvet Coalmine.

·      Entries should be e-mailed to blackwoodvelvet@outlook.com by midnight on the 31stJuly 2017

The winners will be announced on Friday 15 September at the festival. The full line up of acts will be announced on the 30 June along with ticket sales to the festival. For further information and criteria for entry go to www.velvetcoalmine.com

 

NEWS: @thecentre gives Welsh artists a global platform via its live streaming capability

Wales Millennium Centre gives Welsh artists a global platform via its live streaming capability

Wales Millennium Centre has launched a new online streaming service which means that audiences can now watch regular live performances from the comfort of their own home or on the move with their smart phone or tablet devices.  The Centre Connected enables viewers from across the globe to watch free, regular, live performances from the Centre’s Glanfa Stage.

http://www.wmc.org.uk/connected

Visitors to Wales Millennium Centre have enjoyed free performances from the Glanfa Stage since the Centre first opened in 2004, with up to 450 performances a year held in this public space. The Centre now hopes to increase accessibility to the arts through its new online programme. Visitors will now have the ability to view these performances regularly, in high quality, live online. Wales Millennium Centre believes it is the first in the UK to commit to a regular, free live streaming programme on this scale.

The Centre Connected hopes to extend Wales Millennium Centre’s founding vision of ‘showcasing the best of Wales to the world’. This platform will do just that, extending the reach of performances by established and emerging Welsh artists to a wider audience both nationally and internationally.

Jonathan Harper, Director, Marketing and Communications at Wales Millennium Centre says, “We’re very excited to launch The Centre Connected as a permanent addition to Wales Millennium Centre’s online offer. The talented artists who perform on our Glanfa stage are part of the life and soul of our public spaces. To be able to stream their work live to anyone, anyway across the world, will help them reach a whole range of potential new audiences.”

In addition to this new application, the Centre will curate a series of on-going insight films which will provide audiences with more information about the artist(s) it presents, from new emerging artists, established artists to regular favourites. The short films will be archived and can be viewed online, via the Centre’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/clipiau and on The Centre Connected page of the website http://www.wmc.org.uk/connected

Visitors to the site will be able to view the Centre’s upcoming St David’s Day celebrations on 1 March. A full programme of events spread over three days will include an array of singers and musicians covering many genres of music.

In previous years Wales Millennium Centre has trialled similar applications which have resulted in successes. Last year the Centre reached the families and friends of children from Mid Wales performing in a Curtain Raiser project alongside Matthew Bourne’s New Adventure’s company.  The project featured young people from John Beddoes School in Presteigne performing a dance piece inspired by The Nutcracker.  The web stream meant that friends and family of the Powys school could view the special performance live from the Donald Gordon Theatre’s stage. The Curtain Raiser project will take place again this year on 8 March, when Hawthorn High School from Pontypridd take to the stage for a performance inspired by the story of Sleeping Beauty.

In June 2012, a live webcast of Cape Town Opera’s Mandela Trilogy on the Donald Gordon stage was broadcast on S4C and live on demand. The production was watched globally.

To view The Centre Connected live and archived performances from the Glanfa Stage, visit http://www.wmc.org.uk/connected

NEWS: Handpicked performances at the Weston Studio @thecentre

A handpicked variety of shows promises a fun new season in the Weston Studio at Wales Millennium Centre this spring. Shows for families, circus-theatre performances and improvised comedy will ensure laughter and entertainment ensues.

 Highlights of the season include:

Stori: A Retelling [22 March]. This season will see a variety of art forms at the Weston Studio with Wales Millennium Centre exploring the art of Storytelling. Over the past few months more than a 100 participants have been sharing stories in a bid to unearth hidden gems. This inter-generational performance explores how the age-old tales relate to modern day society and whether traditional folk and fairy tales are being lost. See performances from the Centre’s very own drama group Off Centre, Grassroots Drama Group and two Year 4 classes from Sully Primary School. This show is part of the Weston Studio’s performances for families, which also includes:

–           Stuck [9 March]. A perfect show for little adventurers which all begins when Floyd gets his kite stuck up a tree. A brand new story by Oliver Jeffers with original music and plenty of audience participation.

–           We Need Bees [9 April] / Gwobr y Gwenyn Gweithgar [10 April]. Bertie Bee wants to be out pollinating wild flowers rather than boring old apples. Through his quest for wild flowers we see Bertie getting into trouble and putting others in danger. Theatr na nÓg brings this wonderfully imagined score to life with Welsh and English performances.

Façade [29 & 30 March]. In an entirely unique circus-theatre experience, performer and audience become part of the show. Enjoy a three course meal while being taken on a journey into the world of the waiters where anything is possible and innermost secrets are exposed. Façade, in association with Wales Millennium Centre, is produced by the Cardiff based circus company Crashmat Collective who were part of last year’s Incubator scheme. Incubator Sharing [14 March] is a platform for artists and companies to develop new work in partnership with Wales Millennium Centre. It continues this year with a programme of new works.

The Trench [5 & 6 March]. The company Les Enfants Terribles, return to the Weston Studio with their sell-out Edinburgh Fringe show. This is the story of one miner’s epic journey as he battles for salvation and sanity. The boundaries between reality and fantasy blur in this physical performance which blends live music and puppetry. This show is produced in association with Wales Millennium Centre and Luton Hat Factory.

NiNE [8 March]. Regulars Mr & Mrs Clark, who were part of last season’s programme in the Medicine Show, are back this year with Film-Noir therapy for the struggling married couple. Bringing to life the sounds of swinging jazz and ‘50s style music this performance will have the audience running the show.

The Noise Next Door: Boys on Tour [7 March].  This improv’ comedy troupe leave audiences in awe of their off-the-cuff humour, lightning quick wit and totally original comedic talents. It’s a show with a perfect blend of ludicrous characters, witty one-liners and musical extravagance.

The Oh F**K Moment [3 & 4 April]. A round table conversation about those moments you realise you’ve done something terribly, irrevocably wrong. This Fringe First winning show celebrates all of those ‘Oh F**k Moments’ and asks what might be learnt from them.

National Theatre Connections [24 – 26 March & 13 April]. Young theatre companies from across Britain breathe life into ten new plays commissioned by the National Theatre to share with the Weston Studio audience.

Louise Miles-Crust, Artistic Programme Manager said: “The programming team work hard to hand pick all the performances for the Weston Studio season. I’m really proud that this season includes work by some of our regulars such as Les Enfants Terribles, Mr & Mrs Clark, and Theatr na nÓg. We’ve also formed some great new relationships with companies such as The Kosh, Big Wooden Horse and Jasmin Vardimon Company. One of my highlights for the season would be The Trench, a powerful performance with live music and puppetry that will have you reaching for your tissues.”

 The spring season in the Weston Studio runs from 5 March – 14 April 2013. For tickets and more information please visit www.wmc.org.uk/westonstudio.

Children & under 16s offer: The Weston studio offers £6 tickets for all shows to children and under 16s. Please note age restrictions do apply on some shows.