words: CAITLIN ANDERSON
St Fagan’s National History Museum is host to the fantastic Everyman Open Air Theatre Festival this week and throughout July (Until Sat 4 Aug, tickets: individually priced). With an array of outdoor theatre events, the theatre fest offers a stimulating day out for families and theatre lovers. The lineup includes theatre renditions of Fawlty Towers, Twelfth Night and Pinocchio. This week it’s the turn of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.
Enjoy a free gig at Sherman Cymru this Thursday (Thurs 19, 8pm, tickets: free) with Paper Aeroplanes and guitarist Joel Harries. Paper Aeroplanes have received a hell of a lot of praise lately on BBC Radio from the likes of Lauren Laverne and Cerys Mathews. With their recent level of critical acclaim, this free gig would be stupid to miss.
Jamie Smith’s Mabon will be performing at Ponty’s Big Weekend Fringe Event (Thursday 19, 8pm, tickets: £10-£13). Experience Mabon’s critically acclaimed fusion of Celtic world music before Olly Murs and co take to the stage at the weekend.
The highly anticipated Doctor Who Experience opens its doors this Friday, with the promise of a truly unique experience in which you can go on an interactive journey with the Doctor from the point of view of his companion. You get to travel through time and space and even fly the tardis (Cardiff Bay, Fri 20 July, Tickets: £9-£13).
This weekend, Pontypridd hosts the popular Ponty’s Big Weekend (Fri 20-Sun 22, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, tickets: £20/£15/free) with chart-topping headliner’s Jessie J (Fri 20) and Olly Murs (Sat 21). The event seems to get bigger and better every year, attracting well-known pop acts to the Welsh valleys. With Jessie J at the peak of her career, it’s a pleasant surprise that tickets for the Friday are a mere £20. Other acts include Barbadian pop group Cover Drive and X Factor singer Dianna Vickers.
Torchbearers (Wales Millennium Centre, Fri 20-Sat 21, Tickets: £10-£22) is the culmination of an ambitious four-year project, commissioned by the Valleys Kids charity. It brings local performers and professional artists together on an international and inter-generational level. Award winning writer Laurence Allan aims to create lasting links between the valleys and townships in South Africa as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
If Ponty’s Big Weekend isn’t your cup of tea, try something a bit different and go and see the Welsh math rock band Truckers Of Husk at Clwb Ifor Bach this Saturday (Sat 21, 8pm, tickets: £6).
Barry Island’s Big Weekenders kicks off this weekend (Sat 21-Sun 22, 11am-4pm, Barry seafront) with a spectacular Street Dance Weekender. It marks the beginning of Barry Island’s summer holiday celebrations with a fun-filled lineup of themed weekends including an Olympic and street sports-themed weekend to come. All the events are free so a great budget family day out.
A Night At The Proms (Sat 21-Sat 28 July, Tickets: prices vary), the Welsh version of the renowned classical season, is gracing the iconic St David’s Hall this month for a week-long musical celebration. It will incorporate a number of free daytime proms, and the festival also includes a selection of performances aimed at families and children. The concert series begins this Saturday with an enigmatic family show from the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra.
Do your bit to help keep British record emporiums open at Spillers Fifth Annual T-shirt Shoot. Turn up on the museum steps around 5pm wearing your t-shirt (or buy one there), pose for a group photo that will be featured in the Spillers 2013 calendar, and purchase it on release later in the year to contribute to keeping a beloved yet vulnerable Cardiff record store up and running (Front steps, National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff, Sun 22, Admission: Free).