Don’t miss the Performances for the Curious Spring 2019 season with immersive theatre, Welsh language productions and an existential digital experience in a coffee shop.
Performances for the Curious is back for a third season at Wales Millennium Centre this spring, with thought-provoking theatre, immersive experiences and joy-fuelled performance. The new season offers a wide selection of Welsh talent alongside distinctive touring productions – including a double bill from Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, the Welsh language national theatre of Wales, and a season-closer from poet, author and spoken word artist, Hollie McNish.
Audiences can feed their curiosity with over 30 performances in the season encompassing live music, new theatre, family experiences, cabaret, comedy, drag, photography, poetry and more. Performances for the Curious runs from 15 March to 17 May in a range of venues – including Wales Millennium Centre’s 200-seat Weston Studio theatre, its lively cabaret bar – ffresh, its public spaces and, for the first time, Quantum Coffee Roasters in Cardiff Bay.
Spotlight on the Weston Studio
Opening the Weston Studio theatre programme is Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Merched Caerdydd / Nos Sadwrn o Hyd (10-13 April). Merched Caerdydd is a new work by Catrin Dafydd and Nos Sadwrn o Hyd is a translation by Roger Williams of his own popular play Saturday Night Forever. Presented as a double-bill from the Welsh language national theatre of Wales, the plays were part of 2018’s National Eisteddfod programme and are suitable for Welsh learners. Both follow the stories of diverse characters who live in our capital city, and are works by popular authors who understand Cardiff’s people and communities to a tee.
The British Paraorchestra bring their immersive dance and live music show, The Nature of Why to Wales for the first time (9-11 May) – an epic performance brimming with emotion and physical beauty, where the artists weave among the audience. Commissioned by Unlimited, the show features a cinematic live score from Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, an ensemble of musicians from the British Paraorchestra and four extraordinary dancers.
Performances for the Curious also hosts another week of Scratch Performances this spring (13-17 May), supporting new writing, artist development and innovation at the Centre.
Local artists have the space to develop ideas, while audiences can try something new without risk, with a Pay What You Feel ticket. Pay What You Feel is a new ticketing inititaive, where audiences can book a free ticket, and are invited to make a donation on the night, if they can, to support the artists and the further development of their work.
Sarah Leigh, General Manager: Arts and Creative at Wales Millennium Centre said:
“Since launching Performances for the Curious last spring, the Centre has hosted twelve scratch events – some of which have already led to further collaborations. We’re passionate about supporting artists at all stages in their career and it’s great to welcome scratch performances into a season which also features fully developed touring work. All ideas start somewhere – and we’re proud that some great ideas are developing here.”
‘After Dark’ in ffresh
Venture into the weekend with ‘After Dark’ performances in ffresh every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout the season. From 8pm the Centre’s cabaret bar will come alive with artists such as Noel Sullivan (19 April), Wales’ leading Lady Gaga tribute artist Donna Marie (20 April), local soul-reggae singer Aleighcia Scott (26 April) and poet and writer Hollie McNish (15 May). For those who prefer the afterlife, the late great ghost whisperer, Séayoncé (13 April), hosts a dragtastic seance, conjuring celebs from the spirit world.
Familiar hosts making a welcome return to ffresh are House of Broadway, Ffresh Burlesque, Mary Bijou, Machynlleth Comedy Festival Preview, Cabarela, and drag phenomenon Connie Orff (10 May) with new show You’re A Vision – a multilingual journey through decades of Eurovision, the continent’s favourite cultural contest.
Performances for the Curious features two productions aimed at younger audiences and familes. You’ve Got Dragons (16-20 April) from Taking Flight Theatre Company, which is based on the book by Kathryn Cave, is a delightful and highly visual tale of a child’s journey to come to terms with their personal dragons. Aimed at age 3+, though everyone is welcome, each performance has interwoven BSL, captions & Live Audio Description.
‘Dragon Taming’ Workshops will also run alongside the performances, aimed at children and their families to provide simple techniques to build resilience in mental health.
And Little Meerkats, Big Panic (22-23 April) from Collar & Cuffs is an award-winning multi-sensory musical adventure in the Kalahari Desert in the company of Little Meerkat.
Based on the storybook by parenting and trauma expert, Jane Evans, this little tale helps everyone to see, hear, smell, taste and feel what’s going on in their brains and bodies when emotions become overwhelming. These relaxed performances are suitable for 0-7s and children with special needs.
Families are also welcome to drop in to the Centre throughout the school holiday, with free daily creative activities on offer (13-21 April).
Discover more in the Bay
For the first time, Wales Millennium Centre is hosting a site-specific piece at Quantum Coffee Roasters in Cardiff Bay. User Not Found (29-30 April) by Dante or Die is a unique digital experience and story of contemporary grief, interrogating our need for connection.
Audiences will be provided with a smartphone and headphones and immersed in one man’s story as he’s faced with keeping or deleting his partner’s online existence after his death. All performances are captioned and suitable for D/deaf audiences.
For more information on the Performances for the Curious Spring 2019 season at Wales Millennium Centre from 15 March to 17 May, visit www.wmc.org.uk/curious
See more great events in Cardiff: What’s On Cardiff