Arts Council of Wales | Step into Early Summer this May and June with Theatr Brycheinog
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Step into Early Summer this May and June with Theatr Brycheinog

May begins the start of a bustling season of activity at Theatr Brycheiniog as Brecon’s canal side venue prepares to welcome visitors from near and far. As the weather gets better, the outdoor furniture returns, giving the opportunity to enjoy a hot drink or a tasty bite to eat out on the picturesque canalside at The Waterfront Cafe. 25 Apr 2018

Step into Early Summer this May and June with Theatr Brycheinog

This season Lesley Garrett joins the Welsh National Opera to celebrate Welsh Suffragettes with a new piece, Rhondda Rips it Up! (16 June). Created by, and starring only women, the story follows Margaret Haig Thomas, the Newport suffragette whose activities paved the way for women’s rights in the personal, professional and political worlds. This classic music hall style production is very tongue-in-cheek and will take audiences on a whirlwind tour of the activist’s mission. Leading lady Margaret Haig Thomas (Lady Rhondda) is played by Madeleine Shaw, and soprano, Lesley Garrett, plays the Master of Ceremonies, Emcee.

Lesley Garrett comments: ‘The show is completely unique. It is not a musical; it is not an opera; it is unlike anything I have ever known. It is full of that vibrant and powerful world-changing energy which was around at that time.’
Other highlights not to be missed include Theatr Brycheiniog’s joint production with Brecon Little Theatre of Alice in Wonderland (1 – 3 June). Written by Julie Jones of The Westenders fame and directed by Rosie Mellerick, this enchantingjourney to Wonderland will introduce you to the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and odious Queen of Hearts. The performance on 1 June is a special Relaxed Performance, to extend a warm welcome to those who may find it difficult to follow the usual conventions of theatre etiquette and would benefit from a more relaxed environment. Craft workshops (28 – 29 May) and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (26 May) will also be running at the theatre in the lead up to the show, offering the opportunity to participate in what will be a fantastic community production for all the family to enjoy.

Extraordinary folk music craftsmen, Show of Hands (30 June) are joined by singer and double bassist Miranda Sykes in Theatr Brycheiniog’s auditorium, as part of the Brecon Folk and More Festival. This concert will be an unmissable celebration of the trio’s enduring impact on roots, acoustic and folk music.

Nestled at the basin of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, and in addition to the stunning setting, Theatr Brycheiniog prides itself on welcoming everyone and being a hub for community activity and tourists alike. From the success of the Friends and Patrons’ Scheme evolves the Corporate Support Club, which sees the theatre celebrating and developing its links with local businesses. Fascinating talks from University of the Third Age and The Arts Society Brecknock continue, and there is also free live music every Saturday, 1-3pm with Live @ The Waterfront. The theatre’s programme of art exhibitions in the stunning Andrew Lamont Gallery brings exciting, diverse and high quality artists’ work to the heart of the Beacons. . With its varied, high quality programme, Theatr Brycheiniog is one of the leading arts venues in Mid-Wales.

May begins with a sci-fi bang with Lightspeed from Pembroke Dock (2 May), which explores what happens when the Millennium Falcon, Star Wars’ best loved spaceship, lands on your doorstep. Graduate students from Tring park School for the Performing Arts take to the stage in Encore Dance (4 May) to perform an eclectic mix of established and newly commissioned dance work. The first family show of the season, Perfect (5 May), is a story of anticipation, disappointment and love which follows a young boy waiting for the birth of his sister. This puppetry and physical theatre piece is a brilliant introduction to disability to those aged 5+. The Remi Harris Trio (6 May) visit Brecon for their rescheduled show, and fans will be blown away by their eclectic mix of gypsy swing, jazz and blues music.

The Westenders have done it yet again with another record breaking sell-out show, One Night Only: Fully Exposed! (12 May). This adult only night featuring a Full Monty finale is raising money for Male Cancer charity, Orchid. Based on the poetry of Dylan Thomas and commissioned by the Brecon Jazz Festival, Do Not Go Gentle (13 May) is a jazz suite from Swansea born composer Huw Warren, which was specially written to mark the iconic poet’s centenary in 2014. International stars, The Searchers (16 May) celebrate their greatest hits, and the month is brought to a close with Cyngerdd Ieuenctid Eisteddfod yr Urdd Brycheiniog a Maesyfed(26 May).
June brings a bestselling Welsh language children’s book to life on stage as Na, Nel! Wwww! (11 June) follows the adventures of a mischievous young girl with an incredible imagination. Students from NPTC Group, Brecon Beacons College and Ysgol Penmaes, come together to present Seren Stars: Pick n Mix all our Favourites (15 June). Award winning travel writer Hugh Thomson (21 June) drops by to discuss his One Man and a Mule adventures whereby he embarked on a ‘South American adventure in England.’ The Welsh Chamber Orchestra (23 June) will take to the stage performing a programme which includes Mozart, Debussy, Tchaikovsky and Bach. Summer big name comedy comes in the form of Tim Key: Megadate (25 June), which promises to blend poeticals, talking, foot-stamping and old school wistfulness amongst other things.

The Andrew Lamont Gallery will host three varied, yet very exciting exhibitions this season. The spectacular Vulgar Earth continues until 20 May, an exhibition that encourages discussion about the direction humanity has taken. Presented by the Lumen Prize for Digital Art will be Microworld: Brecon (28 May – 24 June). This digital art exhibition promises to fill the gallery with computer driver animations, with workshops arranged around the exhibition where young people can learn to program a computer and create their own digital art. Maurice Selden: Rally Photography 1972 -2017 (28 June – 20 August) will celebrate the spectacular career of this renowned motorsport photographer, capturing the thrills, colour and atmosphere of this exciting sport. Following the launch of this exhibition, (28 June) Maurice will take part in a Q&A session in the auditorium, joined by Phil Mills of Viking Motorsports and Welsh rally driver Sara Williams.
Monthly favourites continue this summer, with Comedy Club on the last Friday of every month giving a unique opportunity to enjoy the best up and coming comedians on the circuit in a relaxed and informal setting. May’s line up (25 May) features Suzi Ruffell, Laura Davis and Chris Washington; in June (29 June) Rose Johnson and Will Dugan will be joined by James Acaster as he gives a special extended Edinburgh preview set. The Arts Society Brecknock give a talk on Welsh (and a few English) Cathedrals (1 May), with a subsequent talk on Russian Painting in the 19th Century (June 5).

Theatr Brycheiniog continues to offer a range of classes and activities, including Mid Wales Dance Academy, Chorus Line, Brecon Town Band, University of the Third Age and Pilates. The thriving Youth Theatre is run by professional practitioners and offers the opportunity for young people aged 4 – 25 to develop confidence and performance skills. There are four age groups to choose from, and sessions run weekly, except in the school holidays. This season all Youth Theatre participants are busy working very hard in preparation for their summer showcase in July.

For any details on performances, activities or anything else, please visit or call the Box Office on 01874 611622.

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