Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Preview of Llawn04 Llandudno Arts Weekend

Llandudno Art Festival – Llawn04 – returns this September, a whole weekend of free events along the promenade and across various venues and spaces in the North Wales seaside resort.

There'll be performance, street games, music, robot-making, dance, visual art, film and the unexpected, all inspired by this year's theme of Hide/ Seek.

It opens with a few treats on Friday, September 23rd and then there's a weekend full of events on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th. Days and exact timings will be announced in August, but for now you can browse all the activity that will be coming and start to plan what you'd like to see.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Whatever Happened to LaLa Shockette? (Pontio, Bangor)

Way back in 1979, when punk and disco were the musical movements dominating nightclubs and Top of the Pops, a small nightspot called the Blitz Club opened up in London's Covent Garden. It's well known how instrumental the Blitz was in shaping the direction British music took over the following few years, inventing the subculture that became known as New Romanticism.

It's also well documented that a pre-fame Boy George worked on the coat-check stand at the Blitz, but nobody ever wonders who took his job on when he handed in his notice and swanned off to seek stardom and fame with Culture Club. Well, Whatever Happened to LaLa Shockette answers that question, as well as many other questions you'd never thought of asking, and would be surprised by the answers to.

It's a cabaret extravaganza dreamed up by Welsh actress and singer Lowri-Ann Richards, who as well as being recognisable from various Welsh language soaps such as Pobol y Cwm and Rownd a Rownd, was also at the very epicentre of the New Romantic explosion more than 35 years ago. You probably won't have heard of her - as Lowri-Ann or her pop alter ego LaLa Shockette - but she was most definitely there, as her slideshow of celebrity snaps attests.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Preview: Wales at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016

This feature was first published by Arts Scene in Wales on July 13th, 2016

Wales is sending a formidable army of unique and talented productions to this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, ranging from Roald Dahl to Carry On, from children's theatre to stand-up.

There are over 30 shows on the Fringe billing from Wales-based companies and artists, so let's take a whistlestop tour through the list of theatre, comedy and music to see what Cymru is offering Alba this August.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Block (Pontio, Bangor)

Pic: Dan Tucker

There's something uniquely exhilarating about seeing spectacle through a child's eyes. Children are transparent, they don't hide their thoughts and feelings. So when they think something's good, you know about it. The audience for Block at Pontio on Sunday afternoon was almost entirely made up of young families, with most of the onlookers under the age of 10. And the wonder, excitement and fun these children were having watching this mix of dance and circus was electric.

Block is a collaboration between Wales's own circus performance outfit NoFit State and Leamington Spa-based dance theatre company Motionhouse, and fuses the aesthetics and disciplines of both into one thrilling 45-minute show.

It's designed to be performed in the open air, taking as its theme the city and its changing face. Using 20 oversized prop blocks, the seven performers portray various inner city and urban scenarios which connect with the human experience. The city can be many things: threatening, daunting, dangerous, exciting, celebratory, busy, empty. You name it.