Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news


A FIVE-STAR FESTIVAL LINE-UP at the WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE TWO of the most critically acclaimed shows from the Edinburgh Festival, the sensual singer Camille O’Sullivan and the Guy Masterson’s black comedy Scaramouche Jones, debut at the Wales Millennium Centre as part of the first Blysh Festival of carnival and vaudeville delights (July 17 to 26).

Blysh’s programme of events at the Centre’s Weston Studio is also a chance to sneak a peek at some of the acts who are destined to become the “must-sees” of this year’s Edinburgh Festival.

Performances by Circomedia, the breathtaking graduates of the Centre for Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance, Bourgeois and Maurice, the darlings of London’s neo-cabaret circuit and Metra Theatre, performing Chekov’s 3 Sisters on a boat, make it one of the most eclectic new festivals of the summer.

Described as a “cross between Sally Bowles, PJ Harvey and Patti Smith” Camille O’Sullivan (pictured) is a scarlet-lipped French-Irish actress and chanteuse who has made cabaret cool with her wine-soaked, steamy interpretations of Jacques Brel classics and the songs of Nick Cave, Tom Waits and David Bowie. A trained architect, Camille followed her dream of being a cabaret singer after a near-fatal car crash in 1999. She co-starred as the vaudeville star Jane in the film Mrs Henderson Presents opposite Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins.
In 2007 she played performed 18 sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival, receiving five-star reviews, and she returns to Edinburgh for another 20 performances of her new show Dark Angel, which she will be previewing in Cardiff on Wednesday, July 23.

“…it's as though her breath is soaked in paraffin; one spark, and the whole room would ignite.” Daily Telegraph

Award winner Guy Masterson directs Justin Butcher who performs his solo show Scaramouche Jones at the Weston Studio on Saturday, July 18. Masterson, who has a 15-year-career acting and directing in the US, UK and Australia, wrote the play for himself in 2000. However it was made famous by Pete Postlethwaite's internationally acclaimed West End performance. One of the hits of the Edinburgh Festival 2008, Masterson now takes the solo role of the ancient clown Scaramouche Jones as he breaks down to reveal the tragedies and ecstasies of his life before giving his final performance.

After a sell-out run at London’s Soho Theatre, London’s cult cabaret duo Bourgeois and Maurice, bring their caustic new show Social Work to the festival’s opening night on July 17. The duo already includes Keira Knightley and Rupert Friend among their celebrity fans and is about to make their mark on the Edinburgh Festival with their witty original songs and costumes to-die-for.

"Unmissable...Bourgeois & Maurice are 21st Century Cabaret stars like no other. Be wide-eyed. Be scared. Be envious. Be there." Time Out

You Take My Breath Away (Friday 24 and Saturday 25) is a kaleidoscopic performance of trapeze, acrobatics and juggling served up with a dash of comedy, theatre and masks. Performed by Circomedia, the company made up of degree students from Europe’s leading circus and physical theatre school based in Bristol, the tour stops off at the Glastonbury Festival before the Wales Millennium Centre.

On July 21 Mr and Mrs Clark, the cabaret alter ego of South Wales artists Marega Palser and Gareth Clark stage their new show Bezerkus, which takes a satirical look at the circus side show acts from a bygone era.

Meanwhile out in Cardiff Bay there’s an artistic, aquatic adventure taking place on board Metra Theatre’s boat. The students from London’s Metropolitan University will be performing Chekov’s 3 Sisters to a select audience of only six people, on board their theatre boat which they will be taking to Edinburgh.

The festival’s finale is a masked carnival by Secret Carnival (July 26), the Cardiff-based party people. Their night of sideshows and full blown festival fun features DJ Matt the Hat, Lilywhitesass Dancers, Mrs Bens Costume Shop, Tarot Readers and some very special surprise guests.

To book tickets for shows, visit or call the ticket office on 08700 40 2000. There is also a special ticket offer - buy tickets for two shows – and get a third FREE!

As well as the programme of cabaret, the Blysh Festival will also feature a daily programme of free family entertainment and street theatre from international performers such as human balloon Bruce Airhead, top clown Fraser Hooper, circus workshops by Cardiff’s Nofitstate Circus and live bands culminating in the spectacular aerial show Wow on the Waterfront and the premier of Dragon, a new family carnival performance by award-winning SWICA (South Wales Intercultural Community Arts.

For full listings of the Blysh Festival visit
Wales Millennium Centre  
web site

Thursday, June 25, 2009back



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