Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news


Things are certainly heating up at the New Theatre over the next few months, with steamy drama, sizzling musicals and enough light entertainment to wile away those long summer nights! An exciting programme of drama includes ARSENIC & OLD LACE starring Angela Thorne and Sylvester McCoy, FRAMED! with Thomas Craig and EastEnders’ Lucy Benjamin, Frederick Knott’s WAIT UNTIL DARK starring Susie Amy from Footballers’ Wives and then Edward Woodward in Wilkie Collins’ THE HAUNTED HOTEL. Martin Shaw graces our stage in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS and Tom Conti stars as Henry in Tom Stoppard’s THE REAL THING. For those who fancy some first-class comedy, MIKE DOYLE, Wales’ Premier Entertainer, arrives in June, followed by Frank Vickery in TONTO EVANS and Stephen Frost and assorted friends in THE IMPROVISERS, featuring a surprise celebrity guest. Feet will be tapping along to classic songs in a range of musicals, including Cole Porter’s sparkling HIGH SOCIETY, the carnival of pop that is LOVE SHACK featuring stars from Steps, S Club 7 and Hear’Say, and the Harry Secombe Musical Youth Theatre’s production of SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. Later in the year we will see Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic THE MIKADO, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and Orbit Theatre’s GODSPELL. Looking ahead to the autumn, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I in November rounds off this incredible selection of hit musicals. Opera lovers will have a treat when Music Theatre Wales performs Michael Tippett’s passionate opera THE KNOT GARDEN, and the New Theatre will continue its fine tradition of inspiring young dancers when it presents SWARM in partnership with Diversions. BBC CARDIFF SINGER OF THE WORLD returns in June for another exciting competition. There is also plenty for children, with the magical musical THE GRUFFALO, Jacqueline Wilson’s enthralling MIDNIGHT and TERRIBLE TALES, based on Terry Deary’s best-selling books. And not forgetting this year’s spectacular pantomime - PETER PAN!

The season opens on Tuesday 31 May with Joseph Kesselring’s ARSENIC & OLD LACE starring Angela Thorne (To The Manor Born) and Sylvester McCoy (Dr Who). This hugely entertaining comedy about murder and mayhem involves two “kindly” elderly sisters and their strange array of gentlemen callers.

On Sunday 5 June, we have a night of hilarious comedy with the amazing voice of Wales’ Premier Entertainer – MIKE DOYLE. For one night only the award-winning comic, West End star & BBC TV sensation delivers a night of pure musical excellence and belly-aching laughter that will refresh parts you never knew you had!

For the second time the BBC CARDIFF SINGER OF THE WORLD’S Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize will take place at the New Theatre from Saturday 11 to Tuesday 14 June. It is worth £5000 to the winner, who will also be offered a Rosenblatt Recital at St John’s, London. The final will be held at St. David’s Hall on 17 June. Tickets are also available to view master-classes, featuring contestants who have not reached the final, which will take place on Saturday 18 June.

The flowers have arrived, champagne’s on ice and the paparazzi are assembling for HIGH SOCIETY from Monday 20 to Saturday 25 June. Adapted from one of Hollywood’s best-loved movies and starring Liza Goddard as Margaret Lord, Cole Porter’s classic musical is a giddy blend of corking songs, fizzing one-liners and champagne-fuelled farce, with hit songs like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Swell Party.

Television favourites Thomas Craig (Coronation Street), Lucy Benjamin (EastEnders) and Vincenzo Pellegrino (Casualty) star in FRAMED! from Tuesday 28 June to Saturday 2 July. A couple’s romantic weekend trip to a remote Norfolk cottage goes darkly wrong when past crimes come back to haunt them. This taut, edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller comes with a sharp warning – trust no one!

The first of this season’s productions for children, THE GRUFFALO, opens on Wednesday 29 June. The hit musical adaptation of the award-winning picture book tells the story of Mouse and his adventures through the deep, dark wood where he comes face to face with the legendary Gruffalo! This big scary monster of a show comes fresh from sell-out performances at the Royal National Theatre.

On Friday 8 and Saturday 9 July, Music Theatre Wales and Royal Opera House present THE KNOT GARDEN by Michael Tippett, one of the 20th Century’s finest composers. Thea and Faber’s marriage is on the rocks and they invite an analyst, Mangus, to help resolve their difficulties. Under his watchful gaze, their garden becomes a space of exploration and discovery, of insights, insecurities and revelations. With its colorful and energetic score and visually stunning design, this is a must for all opera fans.

In another change of pace, the musical LOVE SHACK bursts into the New Theatre from Monday 11 to Saturday 16 July. Packed with 35 classic songs and featuring pop superstars Faye Tozer (Steps), Jon Lee (S Club 7) and Cardiff’s Noel Sullivan (Hear’Say), LOVE SHACK tells the hilarious story of Sam & Joanne’s stag and hen nights. It includes the hit songs It’s Raining Men, Go West, Love Shack and many more!

Frank Vickery’s scorching new comedy TONTO EVANS runs from Tuesday 19 to Saturday 23 July. Tonto is a curmudgeon who suddenly receives a large sum of money and realises that this is his chance to fulfil his lifelong ambition of visiting the Wild West. Frank wrote and stars in the show, which is packed with enough one-liners to have you rolling in the aisles with laughter!

THE IMPROVISERS, starring Stephen Frost, Jim Sweeney, Steve Steen, Andy Smart and Richard Vranch, roll into Cardiff for one hilarious night on Monday 25 July. The stars of the hit TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? and a celebrity guest present their own improvisation show. This is surely the best collection of improv stars ever assembled: live, unscripted and unleashed! You shout it out, and they’ll act it out!

From Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 July, the young stars of Harry Secombe Musical Youth Theatre will take to the stage at the New Theatre with their production of SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. Based on the classic MGM film, this sensational musical will be performed by a cast of 60 local youngsters. Set in the late 1920s, as silent movies gave way to talkies, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN tells the love story of leading man Don Lockwood and Kathy Seldon, a young aspiring actress with a voice that will make her a star.
An enchanting stage adaptation of MIDNIGHT, from Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6 August, is guaranteed to be popular amongst Jacqueline Wilson’s loyal fans. Perfect for 9 to 14 year olds, MIDNIGHT is about a young girl, Violet, and all the things that we wish for when we are thirteen. After the runaway success of Double Act in 2003, early booking is recommended for this latest Jacqueline Wilson story to hit the New Theatre stage.

Future Dance Cardiff, a collaboration between the New Theatre and Diversions, will see an evening of dance on Saturday 13 August. SWARM, featuring some of South Wales’ most talented young dancers, combines innovative choreography and vibrant live music. It is the result of the New Theatre Youth Dance Summer School, an intensive week of dance directed by Diversions’ Company Director, Roy Campbell-Moore.

Frederic Knott’s chilling tale WAIT UNTIL DARK will be captivating audiences from Tuesday 6 to Saturday 10 September. Susie Amy, famous for her role as Chardonnay in ITV’s Footballers’ Wives, plays Suzy Henderson in this dark tale of one blind woman’s struggle against the criminal underworld. Susie is joined on stage by screen veterans Derren Nesbitt (Where Eagles Dare) and Michael Melia (EastEnders).

Internationally acclaimed actor Edward Woodward (The Equalizer, Common as Muck) and Michele Dotrice (Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em) appear this September in Wilkie Collins’ THE HAUNTED HOTEL. In Cardiff from Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 September, this gripping story concerns a theatrical impresario who summons a troop of actors to an empty Victorian theatre in order to enact a ghost story for a private performance.

Looking ahead to the autumn season, Gilbert & Sullivan’s timeless show THE MIKADO is at New Theatre from Tuesday 20 to Saturday 24 September, along with the glorious, Oscar-winning costumes from Mike Leigh’s acclaimed film Topsy Turvy. The production will transform the New Theatre stage into the magnificent Japanese court of Titipu in this musical tale of love, marriage, executioners and heroes.

From Tuesday 27 September to Saturday 1 October, we shall be home to a ground-breaking production of Terry Deary’s TERRIBLE TALES. Terry first became famous for his best-selling books Horrible Histories, but now his works are transformed into a hit show that combines live action with 3D video. TERRIBLE TALES OF TUDORS and TERRIBLE TALES OF VICTORIANS will be performed in rep throughout the week.

Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash-hit musical JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT has enjoyed standing ovations around the country. Now it is returning to Cardiff from Monday 3 to Saturday 8 October. This biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours features such unforgettable songs as Any Dream Will Do and One More Angel.

Martin Shaw was recently voted the most popular actor currently starring on British television. From Monday 10 to Saturday 15 October he is also starring on the New Theatre stage in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. This beautifully crafted play by Robert Bolt tells the moving story of Thomas More and his choice between abandoning his own integrity and facing death at the hands of the despotic Henry VIII.

Martin Shaw is followed in October by another stage and screen star, Tom Conti, in Tom Stoppard’s THE REAL THING. This intelligent, passionate play, by the writer of Arcadia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Shakespeare in Love, explores the realities of love and adultery and how they compare to the plays written by the main character, Henry. THE REAL THING runs from Monday 17 to Saturday 22 October.

Cardiff’s own Orbit Theatre is back from Tuesday 25 to Saturday 29 October in GODSPELL, one of the liveliest, funniest and most moving musicals of all time. Based on the Gospel according to St Matthew, this is a colourful and exciting look at Christ’s time with His Disciples with an uplifting and energetic original score.

THE KING AND I by Rodgers & Hammerstein has delighted millions of theatregoers over the years and from Tuesday 15 to Saturday 26 November it is set to do so again at the New Theatre. As well as stunning sets, lavish costumes and a heart-warming story, THE KING AND I has one of the finest scores ever written, including such songs as Shall We Dance?, Getting To Know You and Something Wonderful.

And last but certainly not least, this Christmas’ pantomime is the magical adventure PETER PAN. From Saturday 17 December 2005 to Saturday 28 January 2006, J. M. Barrie’s timeless story of the boy who never grew up will be thrilling adults and children alike. Although not in the brochure, we are delighted to announce that stage and screen star Paul Nicholas will be playing the wicked Captain Hook, with entertainer Mike Doyle and Capital Gold’s Tony Wright appearing as pirates.

Summer and autumn performances interpreted in British Sign Language are FRAMED! (Saturday 2 July, 2.30pm), TONTO EVANS (Friday 22 July, 7.30pm), JOSEPH (Saturday 8 October, 2.00pm) and PETER PAN (Saturday 21 January 2006, 2.30pm, Sunday 22 January 2006, 1.00pm and Tuesday 24 January 2006, 7.00pm). On Saturday 25 June at 2.30pm HIGH SOCIETY will carry a live Audio Description for visually impaired theatre-goers, as will WAIT UNTIL DARK (Saturday 10 September, 2.30pm), THE REAL THING (Saturday 22 October, 2.30pm), GODSPELL (Saturday 29 October, 5.00pm), THE KING AND I (Saturday 26 November, 2.30pm) and PETER PAN (Friday 27 January 2006 at 7.00pm, Saturday 28 January 2006 at 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

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

Monday, May 23, 2005back

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