NEWS: @TheNoelSullivan returns home for @TheCentre homegrown production

Cardiff born singer and actor, Noel Sullivan cast for Tiger Bay the Musical

This November, Tiger Bay the Musical – Wales Millennium Centre’s biggest in-house production to date – will premiere in Cardiff with Welsh singer and actor, Noel Sullivan returning home to join the lead cast.Noel Sullivan during Tiger Bay the Musical previews in Cape Town_Please credit NARDUS ENGELBRECHT

Noel, who hasn’t performed on stage in Wales for almost two years, takes on the gritty role of Harbour Master, Séamus O’Rourke in Tiger Bay the Musical, a story of the notorious underworld of Wales’ capital at the turn of the 1900s.

Playing the ambitious opportunist, exiled from Africa to make his fortune through unsavoury means on Cardiff Docks, will be a change in direction for Noel, whose theatre repertoire includes a string of romantic leads, such as Danny Zuko in Grease and Galileo in We Will Rock You.

Noel, whose grandfather worked on Cardiff’s docks, said: “I am used to taking on roles in productions that are already established, so not only will this be the first time I play the bad guy, it is incredibly exciting to be part of a brand new musical of this scale created in Wales.

“I last performed at the Centre during the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels tour in 2015, plus numerous times before then, so I can’t wait to come home to perform in a show which has come out of a place that helped me in my career.”

Following a short, successful run of previews at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town earlier this year, the featured role of Séamus has now been expanded and developed further within the production, presenting Noel with a stronger, meatier role which plays to his strengths.

Noel continued: “The test run in Cape Town was so inspirational, they have a completely different energy out there which has influenced some changes for when we bring the show to Wales in November. It is going to be nothing like the Centre has seen or done before.”

“Growing up in Cardiff you had to travel to Bristol to see a show so the Centre was a much needed addition to Wales. It is time Cardiff and Wales were recognised on the world stage for its musical theatre talent. A production like Tiger Bay the Muscial, conceived and produced in Wales, deserves all its hopes for a bright future. I’m very honoured to be on that journey.”

A Wales Millennium Centre production in association with Cape Town Opera, Tiger Bay the Musical is set in 1900s Cardiff at a time of unrest between the workers heaving coal in the docklands, known as Tiger Bay, and the Bute Dock Company and merchants of the Coal Exchange they afforded.

A fictional story of revolution, reconciliation, courage and love, the award-winning creative team – composer, Daf James, writer Michael Williams and director, Melly Still – have remained sympathetic to the reality of the era which includes forming a promdominently Welsh cast.

Noel will join award-winning and record breaking West End and Broadway performerJohn Owen Jones who plays John Crichton-Stuart, Cardiff’s richest man tormented by loss. 

Rising star Vikki Bebb, a Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama graduate from the south Wales valleys, will play Noel’s love interest, Rowena Pryddy, a shop girl with suffrage ideals. Plus, Welsh school girls Louise Harvey from Rhiwbina and Ruby Llewellyn from Llantrisant will share the role of tenacious water boy, Ianto.

The world premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical will take place on Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre and will run until Saturday 25 November 2017. Tickets on sale now at tigerbaythemusical.com

REVIEW: @Greasemusical @TheCentre #Cardiff #UKTour #18Jul2017

20229226_1386632198057407_272362647520683066_n♬♫♪ Stranded at the drive-in, branded a fool, just how will I start, my Grease review….♬♫♪

One of the world’s biggest musicals has returned to Wales Millennium Centre for a two week run as part of its UK tour that stars Tom Parker (formerly of The Wanted), Jimmy Osmond (formerly a teen singing legend), Danielle Hope (Loves Ruby slippers), and Louisa Lytton (formerly Ruby from Eastenders – yes, I’ve seen what I’ve done there)

Pink Ladies Photos by Paul Coltas

The main thing to remember if you’ve not seen the musical version of Grease is to not to think “oh, this is different to the film” – which I will admit to doing a little bit during the performance. The musical came first; the film version of the musical will always be different.

That aside, this production is brilliant, the sets, costumes, the sound, all add to a pretty impressive staging of a musical that began in 1971 and has had the likes of Richard Gere, Patrick Swayze, Craig Mclaughlin and Luke Goss as Danny, and of course Elaine Paige, Samantha Womack, Debbie Gibson and Sonia as Sandy.

How do the two leads fair in this list of alumni, well, Tom Parker in his first stage acting role is pretty impressive. Being in one of the biggest boy bands in the UK certainly put him in good stead for the musical and dance numbers – and he has something most ex boy band members don’t have – comic timing and a personality to boot.

Tom Parker (Danny) and Danielle Hope (Sandy) Photo by Paul ColtasDanielle Hope’s musical theatre pedigree is undeniably brilliant. Having won “Over the Rainbow” and becoming Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, becoming  Éponine (twice) in the London production of Les Mis and touring with the Sound of Music and Joseph and the amazing Technicolor dream coat, watching her was a joy – just a shame her talent wasn’t showcased further.

The standout moment for me was Jimmy Osmond singing Beauty School Dropout, which further goes to prove there’s no age limit on talent – and class never gets old. A showman, will always be a showman.

Louisa Lytton’s portrayal of Rizzo shows a different side to a character that the film version seems to miss. The song “There are worse things I could do” makes more sense on the stage as the lyrics are being told to another person, not the audience.

Pink Ladies Photos by Paul ColtasOther mentions to Ryan (Doody) and Oliver (Roger) – although not well known outside of theatre circles, both are brilliant vocally and added something a little special – if your only experience of Grease is the film – this will be a special “oh, I didn’t know that” moment.

The ensemble numbers are where Grease truly takes flight. From Greased Lightning, to We go together, I dare you to sit in your seat and not want to hand jive your way around the auditorium.

If you’re a fan of the film, and have never seen the musical – I’d recommend you take a long hard look at yourself and book tickets now. If you’re not hopeless devoted to the film – I’d also recommend booking tickets now because I’ll tell you more, tell you more, for those Summer nights, Grease will sell like lightening, of the greased variety

Grease is currently at Wales Millennium Centre till 29th July 2017

Tom Parker (Danny) and Danielle Hope (Sandy) Photo by Paul Coltas (2)

NEWS: @TheCentre casting news and forthcoming shows #Cardiff #Wales

wmc outsideLots of things happening at Wales Millennium Centre  in the coming months;

Here’s just a little taster

Casting news

JIMMY OSMOND TO STAR IN GREASE

Jimmy Osmond is to star in Grease as Teen Angel, having previously played the role in the West End. He joins Tom Parker (The Wanted) who makes his musical theatre debut playing Danny Zuko, Danielle Hope (Over the Rainbow winner) who plays Sandy and Louisa Lytton (Strictly Come Dancing, EastEnders) who plays Rizzo.

Grease is at Wales Millennium Centre between 17 and 29 July 2017

 

DARIUS CAMPBELL JOINS SHERIDAN SMITH IN FUNNY GIRL

Darius Campbell will reprise his role as Nick Arnstein, joining Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl. Funny Girl comes to Cardiff in July, after wowing critics and audiences alike in the West End. The iconic musical tells the story of Fanny Brice – whose vocal talents and comedic ability see her rise from Brooklyn music hall singer to Broadway star.

Funny Girl is at Wales Millennium Centre between 4 and 8 July 2017

MISS SAIGON

Cameron Mackintosh is delighted to announce final casting for the UK and Ireland tour of his acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon. The cast includes Red Concepcion as The Engineer, Sooha Kim as Kim, Ashley Gilmour as Chris, Zoë Doano as Ellen, Gerald Santos as Thuy, Ryan O’Gorman as Joh and NaNa-Young Jeon as Gigi.

Miss Saigon is at Wales Millennium Centre between 29 November 2017 and 6 January 2018

CRAZY FOR YOU

Charlotte Wakefield will play Polly in Crazy For You, joining the previously announced Tom Chambers as Bobby and Caroline Flack as Irene. She made her West End debut as Wendla in Spring Awakening, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award and played Maria in the critically acclaimed production of The Sound of Music at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre receiving nominations for Best Actress in a Musical at both the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards

Crazy For You is at Wales Millennium Centre between 5 and 9 September 2017

 

New Shows coming soon

 

ROB BRYDON ANNOUNCES SHOWS AT THE CENTRE

One of Wales’ greatest comedy exports, Rob Brydon, makes a welcome return to the Centre next year for his first stand-up tour since 2009.

Perhaps best known for the television shows Gavin and Stacey, Would I Lie To You? and The Trip, Rob starred opposite Kenneth Branagh earlier this year in the West End production of The Painkiller.

Rob Brydon: I Am Standing Up is at Wales Millennium Centre between 8 and 10 October 2018

 

SUNSET BOULEVARD COMES TO THE CENTRE

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award®-winning masterpiece Sunset Boulevard, starring internationally acclaimed musical theatre star, Ria Jones, as Norma Desmond, comes to The Centre next year.

In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded silent-screen goddess Norma Desmond lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screen writer Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world and is seduced by her and her luxurious lifestyle. Joe becomes trapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free, with dramatic consequences.

Sunset Boulevard is at Wales Millennium Centre between 26 February and 3 March 2018

 

MILKSHAKE! LIVE COMES TO CARDIFF

Milkshake! Live The Magic Story Book is coming to Cardiff this summer. Starring Milkshake! favourites Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Toyland Detective and Fireman Sam, the show will be presented by Milkshake!’s Olivia Birchenough and Derek Moran. This all singing all dancing musical masterpiece will take the audience on a journey through the world’s favourite fairy tales.

Milkshake! Live, The Magic Storybook is at Wales Millennium Centre on 9 July 2017

 

NEWS: Welsh schoolgirls land leading role in @TigerBayMusical @TheCentre #Cardiff #Wales

Welsh schoolgirls land leading role in Musical

l-r-ruby-llewelyn-and-louise-harvey_2
Ruby Llewelyn and Louise Harvey

Wales Millennium Centre announced two young locals who have secured one of the leading roles for its next original stage production, Tiger Bay the Musical.

 

Plucked from an open audition process in Butetown in December 2016, Louise Harvey, 9 from Rhiwbina and Ruby Llewelyn, 11 from Llantrisant will share the part of Ianto – an orphan boy, who is really a girl, dreaming of a better life.

While Ruby has previous acting experience, this will be Louise’s first ever foray into the performing arts. They will take to the Wales Millennium Centre stage in November for the world premiere following two months rehearsing and preview performances at Artscape Opera House in Cape Town, South Africa.

Louise, who attends Ysgol Y Wern in Llanishen, said “I was so shocked when I got offered the part as it was my first audition. I am so very grateful. I am very excited to visit South Africa. I can’t wait to start the official rehearsals and meet the rest of the cast!”

Ruby, who attends Cowbridge Comprehensive and is a keen musician studying cello at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, said: “I found out I had got the role the night before Christmas Eve, which was the best Christmas present. At first it was like I’d won a competition but it is starting to sink in now that I am going to Cape Town and be in a musical. It’s just a dream come true.”

Tiger Bay the Musical will bring to life the rich cultural history which helped shape the future of the Capital. The role of Ianto is pivotal within the storyline as it explores intergenerational and class relationships in the early 1900s when Cardiff Bay was one of the busiest and multicultural ports in the world.

Graeme Farrow,  Artistic Director of Wales Millennium Centre said: ‘We held open auditions in Butetown to give local talent a really good chance of attending the auditions. Finding Ruby and Louise who only live a few miles away is a gift to us and will help us tell the awe inspiring story of Tiger Bay in the early 1900s with authenticity and passion.’

Tiger Bay the Musical is being produced in association with Cape Town Opera, maintaining the long-standing relationship with South Africa born from one of the Centre’s original philanthropists, South African businessman, Sir Donald Gordon.

Tiger Bay the Musical will premiere in Cardiff in November 2017. Tickets are on sale now: wmc.org.uk. For all the latest news, follow @tigerbaymusical
tiger-bay-landscape

NEWS: @TheCentre announces the world premiere of #TigerBay, a major #Welsh musical in 2017

Wales Millennium Centre announces the world premiere of Tiger Bay, a major Welsh musical

tiger-bay-portraitSurvival, romance and atonement in a diverse community: Tiger Bay, a new musical, takes place in what was once the most cosmopolitan port in the world, Cardiff Bay. A Wales Millennium Centre production in association with Cape Town Opera, this brand new show takes us back to the dawn of the twentieth century at the height of South Wales’s coal trade with characters drawn from the melting pot of Cardiff’s famous docklands.

Wales Millennium Centre has assembled an experienced creative team to craft the production, to premiere in November 2017. Directing is Melly Still, having just directed Cymbeline for the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican and renowned for her Coram Boy at the National Theatre and on Broadway, and co-director Max Barton, Artistic Director PIGDOG and recently Associate on Stephen Schwartz’s Schikaneder, with a colourful original score by award-winning Welsh composer Daf James, book and lyrics by Cape Town Opera’s Michael Williams and design by Olivier award-winning Anna Fleischle.

Set at an extraordinary turning point in history, Tiger Bay tells of a time when Coal was King yet grinding poverty confronted opulent wealth. Valley girl, Rowena Pryddy, longs for a future away from David Morgan’s shop floor and its boarding house in central Cardiff. On the outskirts of the city, a man arrives in Tiger Bay looking for an escape from his past to find refuge in the city’s underworld of public houses, immigrants and street urchins. Above them all, in the Zodiac Room of Cardiff Castle, the Third Marquess of Bute grapples with his own seemingly insurmountable troubles and ironically it will be a lowly Water Boy who inspires the richest man in the world to leave a legacy for everyone.

Amongst a cast of unforgettable characters, the role of John Stuart, Third Marquess of Bute, will be played by John Owen-Jones – best known as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables in the West End and on Broadway – with further principals to be announced. Completing the cast will be a diverse ensemble to portray the rich multicultural community of the period plus a talented children’s chorus.

Graeme Farrow, Wales Millennium Centre’s Artistic Director, said “2016 has been a defining year for Wales Millennium Centre having created and delivered several landmark projects. I am immensely proud that 2017 will see us realise our next significant piece of work, Tiger Bay, a musical born from the history of our culturally diverse home in Cardiff’s former docklands which has relevance to the world we live in today. I hope that our latest venture will bring a great Welsh story to the world in a time when arts and culture must be a uniting force in our communities.”

Directors Melly Still and Max Barton said “Expect a gritty spectacular and a real thriller that draws on the lives and losses of the people from Tiger Bay, with a healthy dose of romance thrown in. This is a celebration of all that is unique about an extraordinary community, and we’re delighted to be involved with the community itself. And, doing justice to Tiger Bay’s celebrated music history, there are some belting numbers to boot.”

Michael Williams, writer and Managing Director at Cape Town Opera said, “First and foremost I have honoured the musical as an art form, although much of what found its way into the story is actually based on fact. Inspiration came from the complex mix of class, race and cultural diversity of this unique place in turn-of-the-century Britain. In writing Tiger Bay, the process of embedding myself in all things Welsh was made even more compelling when I uncovered my own Welsh roots; my grandfather worked in the Salvation Army in Cardiff and my mother was born there so, for me, the strong partnership between Cape Town and Cardiff began years ago.”

Alongside Tiger Bay, the Centre will be producing an extensive programme of musical theatre workshops, bringing leading artists to collaborate with young people from Cardiff’s Butetown and the historic Tiger Bay area.

The world premiere of Tiger Bay will be Wednesday 15 November 2017 at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff (preview performance on Tuesday 14 November) and the production will run for two weeks until Saturday 25 November 2017.

Booking opens on Monday 28 November 2016. Tickets will be available £7-£39 and can be booked online at www.wmc.org.uk or via the Centre’s Ticket Office in person or by calling 029 2063 6464.

tiger-bay-landscape

NEWS: @TheCentre bringing #CardiffBay to life #Awen2015

Wales Millennium Centre to bring Cardiff Bay to life in breath-taking display, drawing inspiration from across Wales

Picture supplied by Grafic House : Swansea, 07903 809884. www.grafichouse.co.uk       pictures@grafichouse.co.uk Picture sent of behalf of the Wales Millennium Centre marketting department. Last night visitors to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff were treated to a stunning fireworks display
Picture supplied by Grafic House : Swansea, 07903 809884.
http://www.grafichouse.co.uk pictures@grafichouse.co.uk
Picture sent of behalf of the Wales Millennium Centre marketting department.
Last night visitors to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff were treated to a stunning fireworks display

A year in the planning and over 8 months in the making, Wales Millennium Centre presents, Ar Waith Ar Daith, a Welsh journey of myth and magic – a spectacular highlight of their tenth anniversary programme created by world renowned outdoor arts company Walk the Plank. Taking place on an immense scale in Roald Dahl Plass on 12 September 2015, Ar Waith Ar Daith will present a breath-taking display of procession, dance, aerial artistry, projection, storytelling, music and pyrotechnics.

Follow the journey on #Awen2015

www.arwaithardaith.com

Free to attend and suitable for all the family, this unforgettable event – the largest outdoor production to take place in Wales this year – will bring together over 700 participants from across the country

Lured by the magical powers of Ceridwen the enchantress, a flotilla of boats from the Welsh Sea Rowing Association – some from as far away as Porthmadog – will complete their odyssey in Cardiff Bay, joining children and young people from Caernarfon, Mid Wales and the Valleys. The role of Ceridwen will be performed by the incredible Shân Cothi and will feature a new choral composition from Bafta award-winning composer John Rea, performed by Sinfonia Cymru and featuring spoken word performance from school children from Cardiff and Harlech.

With the age-old tale of the birth of Taliesin at its heart, this incredible performance will see Wales Millennium Centre itself transformed through collective imagination as Ceridwen works her magic, mixing the poetic inspiration, the Awen, of contemporary Wales with the talents of dancers, musicians and singers.

Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director at Wales Millennium Centre comments: Ar Waith Ar Daith far exceeds anything, by way of scale, that we have ever commissioned here at Wales Millennium the Centre. It has been fantastic to work with outdoor arts experts, Walk the Plank throughout the year-long planning and creation process. One of our key ambitions here at Wales Millennium Centre is to inspire the whole of Wales and to facilitate the burgeoning creativity of our nation. Ar Waith Ar Daith has embraced this fully, working closely with Welsh artists and communities and expertly weaving this creativity and inspiration into the finale performance. I am extremely excited for September 12 for what will no doubt remain a landmark event in the Centre’s history for decades to come.’

Over the past six months, the creative team involved in the event have been gathering gifts from across Wales – paying tribute to the riches of the seas around North Wales, the mineral wealth of South Wales, and capturing stories and inspiration from across the land – through a series of outdoor arts training schools offered to Welsh creative practitioners. These gifts will form an integral and visually stunning element of the performance.

The Ar Waith Ar Daith event will take place in Roald Dahl Plass on Saturday 12 September at 7.30pm. Audiences are advised to arrive early to secure a good vantage position to watch the show, and to dress appropriately for an outdoor show.  The event is free to attend and suitable for all ages.

Find out more about Ar Waith Ar Daith at www.arwaithardaith.com, via the Ar Waith Ar Daith Facebook event page and on the hashtag #awen2015

Ar Waith Ar Daith is made possible by the kind support of Lloyds Bank, principal sponsors of Wales Millennium Centre’s 10th anniversary.