Openings, reopenings, announcements, returns, beginnings, projects, schemes, things happening this very week and others that are several months away. Here’s where they are, as the name suggests, rounded up.
The widespread reopening of places are continuing apace as we hit late summer, such as the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven. The multi-use arts centre is to formally get back to business on Wed 1 Sept, it was recently announced, with the first month focusing on cinema screenings and live broadcasts of concert performances – in-person events will return to the Torch in October. The venue will set its prices lower than usual for September, too, with movie tickets all £5 and live broadcast screenings £10, and socially distanced capacity will be in place.
Cardiff Bay-located national flagship venue, the Wales Millennium Centre, is to be fully opened again on Thurs 9 Sept. Parts of its large interior have already been open during August, with bar/restaurant area Ffresh hosting a programme of cabaret events (as reviewed here for example), however its largest room the Donald Gordon Theatre will be the setting as Welsh National Opera launch their autumn season with their latest production, The Barber Of Seville. This event, and those after it, will be sold without social distancing restraints on ticketing, although various COVID-related safety measures will remain in place around the building.
September will see three spaces in south Wales utilised by the Theatr Iolo company, who present their show Baby, Bird & Bee – created and debuted last year, it’s aimed at children aged between six and 18 months (indeed, being in this age bracket is a requirement of entry for kids). A one-woman show starring performer Krystal S. Lowe, it celebrates the wonders of the natural world and lasts around 25 minutes, with an optional extra 20 where babies can dance to music and generally hang out post-show. Catch it in Grange Pavilion, Cardiff on Sat 4, Sun 5, Tue 7 and Wed 8 Sept; The Riverfront, Newport from Fri 10-Sun 12 Sept; and Insole Court, Cardiff from Wed 15-Sun 19 Sept.
Phill and Deb Lewis, highly regarded pizza makers with Dusty’s (formerly Dusty Knuckle) as well as being behind small plates spot Nook, are to open their latest project, Kindle, on Thurs 2 Sept. Boosted with £43,000 of crowdfunding in 2019, and located in what was once the Bute Park warden’s house near Cathedral Road in Cardiff, Kindle had a brief quasi-opening during the 2020 Six Nations but was prevented from further development for much of the pandemic. Its initial menu, however, emphasises sharing plates “for casual and sociable dining”, as well as seasonal ingredients, with head chef Tom Powell’s CV including The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny.
Normally jointly located in Aberystwyth and Cardiff, though earlier this year doing their biz virtually with a successful programme of online streaming, the Wales One World (WOW) Film Festival is launching a spinoff event, Ecosinema, for September. It’s set to feature a programme of films with supplementary talks/panel discussions, with a running theme of water and awareness of its environmental necessity. One film, The Fairytale Of Water, is a new Welsh production whose theme is the ancient flood myths claiming that the journey between Cardigan Bay and Ireland was once land-based. Ecosinema is in Aberystwyth Arts Centre from Thurs 16-Sat 18 Sept, then available to stream online from Sun 19-Sun 26 Sept.
Cardiff-based poet Rachel Carney has, over spring and summer, been heading up creative writing workshops where participants have studied images of artwork held in the city’s National Museum, and then been tasked to write poetry responding to it. The project, titled Art & Words, has now entered its second phase, with Carney posting the poems on Museum Wales’ Instagram account and prompting followers to try their hand at writing something themselves. Carney writes that she hopes to discover “whether this kind of thing might enable art museums to create a more inclusive, more diverse interpretive space, where every creative response is seen as a valid and valuable contribution to something much larger”.
Cardiff autumn staple the Sŵn Festival is to take place across four venues on Womanby Street in the city centre – Clwb Ifor Bach, The Moon, Tiny Rebel and Fuel – and, for 2021, be even more laser-focused on hot new music. The great majority of the 56 names currently on the bill haven’t been active for more than a few years, but include several chatter-generating selections within that. From the Welsh or Wales-based contingent, Alice Low, Ëadyth, Teddy Hunter and XL Life are names worthy of attention, while from further afield Deep Tan, Hamish Hawk, Real Lies and Sinead O’Brien are among the highlights. Sŵn runs from Fri 15-Sun 17 Oct, with three-day tickets priced at £40.
Long-running Welsh music charity Community Music Wales is to enlist people who have ideas for music-based projects and are keen to be trained to deliver them in a professional environment. Cornerstones will run with the help of Arts Council Wales and the Youth Incubator Fund, and is looking to take on 13 candidates in total, three of who will be under 25 years old. They will receive, say CMW, “comprehensive training in project management and participatory practice, extensive mentor support, networking opportunities and financial funding” while working as part of the organisation’s team. Wed 1 Sept is the closing date for applications.
Thurs 25 Nov will see the opening of a “festive illumination experience” in Cardiff city centre, boasting all manner of laser shows and public art for attendees up until New Year’s Eve. Christmas In Bute Park has been devised by promoters From The Fields and large-scale display specialists Ithica Studios, consists of a 1.4km-long route through the park, and is expected to attract nearly 100,000 people over its duration. The funfair and food stalls you may already associate with Christmas in the Welsh capital will be part of the setup, too.
The recently-announced In It Together Festival is being trailed as a 40,000 capacity “multi-genre music and entertainment experience”, on from Fri 3-Sun 5 June 2022. As of yet there’s no clear indication what any of the multiple featured genres will be, let alone the lineup, but In It Together is the brainchild of people behind dance/pop-urban type fests Inside Out, Colour Clash and Party At The Park, plus the current incarnation of Swansea’s Escape. They also emphasise their intent to promote homegrown acts with a Welsh Artist Spotlight Scheme, with one of eight stages given over to that. It’ll be at Newlands Farm in Margan, near Port Talbot.
APPLICATIONS for autumn term are now closed: If you’re 18-30 years old, you live in Wales, and you want to get ahead in the creative and cultural industries, register your interest for winter term.