Swansea Grand Theatre has been the beating heart of Swansea’s cultural life for almost 125 years and despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, it’s returned to centre stage stronger than ever.
Swansea Council has implemented a new approach to programming and partnership working, reaching across the theatre and Brangwyn Hall, standing these venues in good stead for the future. Under the leadership of the new manager for the theatre and Brangwyn Hall, Grant McFarlane, in conjunction with Cultural Services’ management team, the venues will be directed through this next phase amidst the changing landscape of the city centre’s regeneration. Grant is perfectly positioned for this role with a background in technical and production management and senior theatre management roles, the most recent being for Cardiff Council.
One of the new partnerships Grant will be overseeing is the Grand Ambition project, a collaboration between the Council and Swansea based actors and performing arts specialists, to create a new ‘in-house production’ strategy. Grand Ambition will seek to support local talent development to create new theatre with ‘a Swansea Lens’, working with staff and other partners to ensure our commitment to diversity and equality of opportunity in the arts is sustained. The company has been created by the combined talents of actor, writer & director Richard Mylan, singer, songwriter & musician Steve Balsamo, actor, writer and drama practitioner Michelle McTernan and actor, writer & director Christian Patterson. Richard Mylan commented:
“I know I speak for all of us at Grand Ambition when I say how immensely proud we are of this incredibly exciting partnership with Swansea Grand Theatre and Swansea Council. We set out to be vibrant, forward thinking and driven by the people of Swansea and their stories, whilst utilising the wealth of talent we have on our doorstep. Swansea Council, and subsequently all the staff here at the theatre, have been committed to our vision for the future cultural landscape from day 1. The unconditional support has been overwhelming. We cannot wait bring our brand of diverse content to our stages both at Swansea Grand Theatre and the Brangwyn Hall.”
The theatre is also home to the multi-cultural hub and Swansea Council, in partnership with Race Council Cymru which oversees the hub, aims to increase opportunities for cultural collaboration for diverse communities throughout the city. Professor Uzo Iwobi OBE, Chief Executive and Founder of the Race Council Cymru said;
“The Multicultural hub is led by Race Council Cymru and 23 Culturally Diverse communities working together to deliver an extraordinary programme of Creative Arts , community engagement and essential services all under one roof. This is one of five multicultural hubs and leads the way in developing a diverse contemporary creative programme and building an Anti-Racist Wales.”
Cabinet Minister for Regeneration, Robert Francis-Davies commented;
“These are exciting times for our city. Swansea Grand Theatre has always played a key role and with these new partnerships it will continue to be at the centre of Swansea’s cultural life, offering lots of opportunities for creativity for all of our communities.”