Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news


Wales Millennium Centre (WMC), undoubtedly one of the most vibrant arts developments in Europe today, is celebrating its first birthday on Saturday 26 November.

To mark this special occasion, a range of free activities will take place on the Tesco Stage in the foyer which will include performances by WMC’s resident companies; the Welsh National Opera, Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Ty Cerdd (full list of day’s activities below).

WMC – a project supported by Lottery grant from the Millennium Commission and a direct grant from the Welsh Assembly Government – has come a long way since it opened its door last year and has provided the people of Wales and beyond with a range of outstanding musical theatre, opera, dance, physical theatre and ballet performances from across the globe.

Wales Millennium Centre’s Chief Executive Judith Isherwood explains:

“We have had an exciting year, one which has provided people in Wales and over the border with an array of productions ranging from the Kirov Ballet to Cameron Mackintosh’s musical Miss Saigon. Offering high quality productions at reasonable prices has opened the door to the whole nation and I am confident we will achieve our target of 350,000 tickets by the end of the year.”

She adds, “We are extending our birthday invitation to everyone and anyone who wishes to join us in the celebrations. We have a varied list of activities lined-up for the whole day and the Ivor Novello concert as the grand finale in the evening. People are more than welcome to join us at any point for what promises to be an enjoyable and exciting day.”

An evening to celebrate the legendary Welsh composer, playwright, actor and songwriter, Ivor Novello, will take centre stage at 7.30pm. With tickets still available, ‘Glamorous Night’ will feature sopranos Marilyn Hill Smith and Shan Cothi, tenor Rhys Meirion, violin soloist Gillian Findlay, as well as popular vocalist Noel Sullivan. They will be accompanied by Sinfonia Britannia and its Emmy Award winning music director George Daugherty.

WMC is an ideal place to journey through the rich and diverse world of the arts at your own pace. From watching an international spectacle in the Donald Gordon Theatre, to seeing home-grown talent present their work in the relaxed atmosphere of the ‘Glanfa’ foyer performance area.

Offering a broad range of varied arts and performance events, from dance and ballet to opera, musical theatre and contemporary circus, recent performances have included Thoroughly Modern Millie and the Australian Ballet’s critically acclaimed production of Swan Lake.

Instantly recognisable, the award winning Wales Millennium Centre building has become a national icon both in terms of culture and architecture. WMC has already won several architecture awards including the National Eisteddfod Gold Medal for Architecture 2005, the European Convention for Structural Steelwork Award 2005 for creative and outstanding use of steel in architecture & construction and the MIPIM (International Property Conference) Award for Excellence.

For further information and tickets for Ivor Novello or any other show at WMC, contact the ticket and information office on 08700 40 2000 or see the information and secure e-booking system on



10.30am: Saturday Morning Music for Children Students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama introduce music and instruments to young children (Ages 3 to 7 years). Concert lasts until 11.15am

11.15am: Cake Cutting A large cake will be cut, so come along to join in singing “Happy Birthday” with Welsh soprano Shan Cothi

12pm: Cytgan Made up almost entirely of former choristers from the National Youth Choir of Wales, Cytgan is a small un-conducted Welsh chamber group who simply love singing. They present a programme of varied choral music featuring many Welsh works, both contemporary and folk. (In association with T_ Cerdd)

1pm: Welsh Brass Consort A programme of music for brass performed by players from the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.

2pm:The Most Beautiful Man from the Sea – the first showing of this film on the Icon wall in the Glanfa. Originally commissioned by WNO as part of the community oratorio The Most Beautiful Man from the Sea Richard Aylwin created this moving piece in collaboration with Touch Trust.
Wales Millennium Centre has commissioned this presentation with Gwyneth Lewis' poetic text to reach a wider public and celebrate their first birthday on 26th November 2005.

2.30pm Urdd Gobaith Cymru Wales’ leading youth organization hosts the best of young Welsh performing talent.

4pm: Academi Event. Academi hosts performances by some of Wales’ best new writers.

6pm: Saturday Night Jazz - Byron Jones Big Band Join us for this great swing band with superb arrangements.

7pm: Sound Inventors: A Concert of Music by Young Composers The culmination of a project run by SPNM in collaboration with Welsh National Opera. The concert will be approx 1 hour and will be a programme of new music written by young composers and performed by a professional quartet. The event takes place in the Weston Studio. Please contact Claire Lewis by 5pm on Friday 25th November, on 02920 635064 if you wish to attend.

7 – 9pm Richard Cox: Unfinished Business – the official opening of WMC’s latest art exhibition. Richard Cox is one of Wales’ most significant artists of the last 30 years and this exhibition spans from large, formal abstract paintings to detailed, highly intricate drawings. Please contact Dan Allen on 01443 654180 if you want to attend.

7.30pm Nubrico at Diversion Dance House Nubrico Youth Dance is Rubicon's flagship youth dance group for people aged 16-18 years. They are renowned for their vibrant, exciting and energetic dances. Their programme will include solo, duet and group works all of which have been created by the group members themselves under the guidance of their Dance Development Leader Tracey Brown. Please contact Rubicon on 029 2049 1477 for tickets and details.

7.30pm: Glamorous Night: the Music of Ivor Novello. Celebrate the genius and magic of Wales’ native son Ivor Novello in the beautiful Donald Gordon theatre. For tickets, phone 08700 402000

About WMC

WMC is supported by a grant of up to £37 million from the Welsh Assembly Government, a £30.7 million Lottery grant from the Millennium Commission and a £9.8 million grant from the Arts Council of Wales Capital Lottery Fund. £10 million was kindly donated by successful South African businessman, Donald Gordon. The main auditorium is named after him for his generous support.

WMC is undoubtedly amongst the most vibrant arts developments in Europe today and is quickly taking its place alongside the leading performing arts venues of the world.

WMC is a furnace of creativity, where creative work is conceived, developed and produced on a daily basis by the diverse resident arts companies that have their home in the Centre. In addition to creating their own work, they contribute to all aspects of the Centre’s program.
Wales Millennium Centre  
web site
Esther Eckley
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Saturday, November 12, 2005back



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