Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news

New Spring season for studio theatre that thinks big     

New Spring season for studio theatre that thinks big An exciting new line-up of ‘up close and personal’ theatre, comedy, dance and music opens at the Weston Studio this March. Expect the unexpected.

The Weston, as it’s affectionately known by fans, brings big names to a small theatre. The studio has a growing reputation for staging offbeat and funky shows in the intimacy of a small-scale venue. This year, top talents from the Edinburgh Festival make their mark.

Among the season’s highlights, Plested and Brown make a return visit with their farcical comedy, Health and Stacey (19 March 2009), followed by the wordless comedy of a man, his fiancée and his reflection in Behind the Mirror (1 April) and the hilariously funny sketch show, Idiots of Ants (2 April).

First up is Wales’ national Welsh language theatre company which brings a slice of home-grown absurd theatre to the Weston Studio with a brand new production of Bobi a Sami (6 & 7 March), a brilliant short play by the late Wil Sam Jones. Featuring two characters that’ll make your sides creak with laughter, Theatr Genedlaethol explores the themes of pity, sympathy and man’s need for shelter, comfort and love.
Music Theatre Wales presents a bilingual double-bill exploring the idea of temptation. A Welsh language version of Stravinsky’s classic work The Soldier’s Tale is co-directed by choreographer Cai Tomos and Michael McCarthy and features choreography by Tomos. Crime Fiction (in English) is a new mini-opera by Welsh composer Huw Watkins exploring the act of murder through the mind of the writer (Both shows: 28 March)
And if you love the fresh and quirky side of theatre, check out Rogue Theatre’s gothic cabaret piece, Pathway to the Red Sun (17 March), as well as Strangeface’s The Last Resort (31 March), told through amazing mask and puppetry work

Look out for Bare Bones 6 (16 March) featuring some of today’s most revered choreographers, not to mention a ghoulish music and dance performance by The Cholmondeleys & The Featherstonehaughs (3 April) and a children’s dance show, The Argonauts, by local company Bombastic, headed by choreographer Sean Tuan John (8 March).
Music fans can savour three of Wales’ TV, radio and stage stars, Patti Flynn, Humie Webbe and Jacky Webbe. On International Women’s Day, they pay tribute to three of the great jazz ladies of the 20th Century - Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday and Sarah Vaughan – in Bay Divas Sing… Jazz, Blues & Swing! (29 March)

As a ‘theatre within a theatre’, the Weston cuts out the distance between stage and stalls, bringing an audience closer to the passion and energy of performance. Nestling on the first floor inside Wales Millennium Centre, the studio brings home the rawness of acting, choreography and movement. The Weston offers the freedom to drink, so audiences can come in from the cold, grab a drink and get comfortable.

Louise Miles-Crust, the Weston Studio’s artistic programme manager, said: “The Weston is all about quality and high production values. We go on reputation (endorsements from established venues), and we look for the most interesting, funky productions from Wales, the rest of the UK and further afield. The Weston showcases a variety of performances, including the excitement and cutting edge of London studio performances brought to local audiences.

“We want audiences to expect the unexpected, and experience a wide variety of theatrical art forms. A massive amount of work goes into programming the studio. We make it our business to get out and see the best performances throughout the UK and beyond to make sure we bring the best to Wales. The result is a programme of performances we feel proud of and that we feel people will enjoy.”

Gareth Lloyd Roberts, show programmer at the Weston, added: “Idiots of Ants and Behind the Mirror are two of the funniest shows you are likely to see in Cardiff this spring; These fantastically anarchic, wonderful shows will have you snort-laughing uncontrollably; the kind of snorting that would normally make you feel completely embarrassed until you realise the rest of the audience have turned into little piggies too. Truly fabulous!”

For full Weston Studio listings see: http://www.wmc.org.uk/index.cfm?alias=westontudi

To book tickets for shows, visit wmc.org.uk or call the box office on 08700 40 2000
Wales Millennium Centre  
web site
: www.wmc.org.uk/index.cfm?alias=westontudi

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