Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news


The New Year brings a host of star names to the New Theatre as well as some great fun for all the family. An exciting programme of drama includes REBECCA starring Nigel Havers, Ronald Harwood’s THE DRESSER with Nicholas Lyndhurst and Julian Glover, Russ Abbot in LORD ARTHUR SAVILE’S CRIME, and the classic gothic tale, DRACULA. Clwyd Theatr Cymru returns with Shakespeare’s TROILUS & CRESSIDA directed by Terry Hands. In a change of pace, Patsy Palmer stars in the hilarious comedy about the lives, laughs and loves of a weekly tap dancing class, STEPPING OUT. The West End’s best-selling hit comedy ROUND THE HORNE…REVISITED, the riotous theatre version of the classic 60’s radio show, also comes to the New Theatre for a week of rip-roaring fun. There is great musical entertainment with BOOGIE NIGHTS 2 starring David Essex and Cardiff’s own Orbit Theatre provide an Easter treat for all the family with the wonderful WIZARD OF OZ. April 2005 sees the second Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre. The New Theatre’s programme includes The Who’s exhilarating musical TOMMY, the BBC RADIO 2 VOICE OF MUSICAL THEATRE and DIVERSIONS, who open the festival with a thrilling and diverse programme of dance. More dance comes in the form of the spectacular MAGIC OF THE DANCE, an energetic and powerful explosion of tap dance and special effects and Northern Ballet Theatre returns with an elegant and touching interpretation of LA TRAVIATA. There is plenty in store for children this season with Roald Dahl’s magical tale THE WITCHES and Rudyard Kipling’s classic story THE JUNGLE BOOK. Looking ahead to the summer, there is an abundance of great shows coming up including the comedy ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, an evening with MIKE DOYLE, the BBC CARDIFF SINGER OF THE WORLD and Cole Porter’s sparkling musical HIGH SOCIETY.

The season opens on Monday 31 January with Daphne Du Maurier’s masterpiece Rebecca starring Nigel Havers. Set on the windswept Cornish coast, Rebecca tells the haunting story of Maxim De Winter and his new wife returning to his family seat of Manderley, the scene of the mysterious death of his first wife Rebecca and a past sinisterly guarded by the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. Cardiff audiences will be among the first to see this captivating new production before it moves to the West End and Broadway.
Kicking off a great season of family entertainment at the New Theatre from Tuesday 8 February is the Roald Dahl classic, The Witches. This magical world comes alive as a gruesome gang of witches fiendishly plot to get rid of all the children in Britain. The hero of the story takes on the most repulsive, powerful and terrifying villain of them all – the Grand High Witch herself. Roald Dahl’s award-winning tale has all the ingredients for a magical night out.

Another highly acclaimed drama featuring a stellar cast, including Nicholas Lyndhurst and Julian Glover, is The Dresser by Ronald Harwood. This evocative, perceptive and hilarious portrait of backstage life with an ageing actor is inspired by Harwood’s experience of working as a dresser himself. The Dresser comes to the New Theatre from 14 February.

Following on from last year’s success with Tom’s Midnight Garden, the Birmingham Stage Company promises family fun with the world’s first major stage production of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story, The Jungle Book from Tuesday 22 February. Featuring all new songs, it tells the story of Mowgli, a young boy who is raised in the jungle by a family of wolves and his extraordinary adventure with Baloo and Bagheera.

From Monday 28 February Patsy Palmer stars in Richard Harris’ hilarious comedy, Stepping Out, the story of 7 ladies of assorted ages, ambitions and sizes in a weekly tap dancing class…plus one man who doesn’t want to be noticed! EastEnders star Patsy Palmer heads the cast in a major revival that is guaranteed to put a spring into your step!

Following on from the hugely successful production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the New in 2004, Clwyd Theatr Cymru returns with a compelling production of Shakespeare’s Troilus & Cressida from Tuesday 8 March. Directed by Terry Hands, the Trojan War is the setting for this epic.

Russ Abbot stars in Oscar Wilde’s murderously funny comedy, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime from Monday 14 March. This entertaining stage adaptation tells of young Lord Arthur, a pillar of Victorian society on the verge of marriage. A brief departure from convention leads him to the abode of a chilling clairvoyant who gravely pronounces that before he can marry he must commit murder!

Cardiff’s own Orbit Theatre takes a journey down the yellow brick road to meet the wonderful Wizard of Oz this Easter. Join Dorothy and her dog, Toto, as they encounter the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and a whole host of topsy-turvy characters. It’s adventure and excitement all the way to the Emerald City as this family favourite provides the perfect holiday treat from Tuesday 22 March.

The Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre makes a welcome return to the New Theatre with an inspiring and varied programme of shows.

From Thursday 31 March Diversions, the Dance Company of Wales, returns to the New Theatre with an exciting international triple bill of powerful, beautiful and inspiring dance. Diversions presents pieces from Belgian choreographer, Stijn Celis, Diversions Director, Roy Campbell-Moore and the revival of the popular 1989 production of Oakfield Ridge by American choreographer, David Dorfman.

The BBC Radio 2 Voice of Musical Theatre makes a welcome return from Sunday 3 April as young professional singers from around the world travel to Cardiff to compete for a place in the Gala Final, a substantial cash prize and BBC broadcast engagements. The competition’s first winner in 2000 was Laura Michelle Kelly who is currently in the title role of Mary Poppins and other participants have carved successful careers in both the West End and abroad.

From Monday 11 April, Jonathan Wilkes stars in The Who’s exhilarating rock musical Tommy. This exciting, high-energy show tells the story of a deaf, dumb and blind boy who endures a life of abuse and ridicule until the day he happens to play a pinball machine and suddenly breaks free – becoming the ‘Pinball Wizard’ and international superstar!

The West End’s best-selling smash hit comedy Round the Horne…Revisited brings a week of rip-roaring fun to Cardiff from Tuesday 26 April. The riotous theatre version of the classic 60’s radio show is faithfully adapted for stage by Brian Cooke, the last remaining writer of the original shows. The show includes the raucous songs of Rambling Syd Rumpo, some brand new antics from Julian & Sandy, and the absolute best of the original scripts and parodies.

From Monday 2 May the New Theatre presents another spectacular evening of dance with the ever popular Magic of the Dance. This thrilling combination of tap dance and explosive special effects has everything for a fabulous night out including comedy, magic, romance and a gripping storyline, with a narration by acclaimed actor Christopher Lee. Winning glowing reviews around the globe, this energetic and powerful show is a must-see!

Continuing the high quality drama this season is the gothic tale of undying love and sexual repression, Dracula from Tuesday 10 May. This terrifying story tells of an epic battle between good and evil, darkness and light, and is one that spans generations. This modern adaptation by award-winning writer Bryony Lavery promises to scare, entertain and enthrall with spectacle, sound and breathtaking magic.

It’s time to boogie again when the smash-hit musical Boogie Nights 2 bursts into Cardiff, this time leaving the 70s behind and dancing into the decade taste forgot – the 80s! David Essex stars in this fabulous musical bursting with over 80 pulsating hits by Wham!, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Madonna, Human League, Kylie and many more. Flares are swapped with leg warmers and platforms for stilettos to relive the 80s at the New Theatre from Monday 16 May.

Northern Ballet Theatre transports us to the decadent society of Parisian highlife in the 1800’s with Verdi’s La Traviata from Tuesday 24 May. The story follows the young and naive nobleman, Armand, as he falls deeply in love with the beautiful courtesan, Marguerite. With Verdi’s wonderfully moving score and the stunning sets, this promises to be the romantic dance event of the season.

The summer brings a host of star names to the New Theatre starting with the classic screwball comedy Arsenic and Old Lace from Tuesday 31 May starring Sylvester McCoy, Angela Thorne and Brigit Forsyth. There is more comedy as Wales’ Premier Entertainer Mike Doyle delivers a night of pure musical excellence and laughter on Sunday 5 June. From Saturday 11 June BBC Cardiff Singer of the World comes to the New Theatre for the second time. Finally, direct from a sell-out London season, Cole Porter’s classic musical High Society, starring Liza Goddard, comes to Cardiff from Monday 20 June.

Spring and summer performances interpreted in British Sign Language are THE WITCHES (Saturday 12 February 2.30pm), THE WIZARD OF OZ (Saturday 26 March 2.30pm) and BOOGIE NIGHTS 2 (Saturday 21 May 5.00pm). On Saturday 19 February at 2.30pm THE DRESSER will carry a live Audio Description for visually impaired theatre-goers as will TROILUS & CRESSIDA (Saturday 12 March 2.30pm), TOMMY (Saturday 23 April 4.00pm) and HIGH SOCIETY (Saturday 25 June 2.30pm). These performances are interpreted or described by Erika James.

Tickets for all these shows are on sale now from the New Theatre Box Office on Cardiff (029) 2087 8889 or online at

Issued 10/01/05

Further information and electronic images from:
Liz Brillante, Marketing Department, New Theatre, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3LN
Telephone 029 2087 8797, E-mail
web site

Wednesday, January 19, 2005back

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