The 13th Brecon Baroque Festival. Maestro
I am particularly looking forward to the 13th Brecon Baroque Festival. Maestro violinist Rachel Podger, a Brecon resident, will present her annual baroque extravaganza in such wonderful venues as Theatr Brycheiniog and Brecon Cathedral from 18th-22nd October 2018. YTou can visit the dedicated website to read reviews of the 2017 Festival at http://www.breconbaroquefestival.com/
Matilda, Wicked, Wales Millenium Centre
A trip to Chicago
Looking forward to seeing the big hitters this year at the WMC: Matilda (which I’ve already seen in the West End) and Wicked (which I saw at the WMC on the 2013 tour).
My major highlight this year will be an extended trip to Chicago. I’m hoping to see some new comic talent at ‘Second City’ theatre – the place that launched the career of great comics John Belushi and Tina Fey. I’ll also be paying a visit to some of Chicago’s best Blues venues – Kingston Mines and Buddy Guy’s legends. These are places where you can re-live the glory and timelessness of songs from legends like Muddy Waters and BB King and really get to appreciate the genre, which has fallen out of popularity over the years. It’s also one of the few opportunities you’ll have in life to witness 3 blues bands in one venue, order catfish from a little hatch and pop a tip in a little hat that passes around the tables – from artists who have actually played with these greats. A true Chicago experience!
Tremor Sherman Theatre.
I’m looking forward to this exciting new work from Brad Birch, Tremor at Sherman Theatre directed by David Mercatali, Birch is always an engaging and challenging writer. This work promises to be an exciting edition to 2018 theatre and one to give audiences much to talk about.
Red Bastard : Lie With Me
This year I am looking forward to Red Bastard : Lie With Me at London’s Vault Festival. Since my performance training many years ago, Red Bastard had been introduced to me as a example of Bouffon theatre in my studies and from then on has always intrigued me. I have always wanted to see him perform, and now is my time to live out that dream.
Grav, Torch Theatre
‘There’s plenty of great theatre in 2018, both local & national, from star-studded Shakespeare to Hamilton to The Madness of George III with Mark Gatiss. But my personal highlight is a short tour in Jan -Feb of ‘Grav’, the one-man show about Ray Gravell. A simple, extraordinary play about a simple, extraordinary man.’
Barbara Hughes Moore
Dublin Carol, The MotherF***** in the Hat and Tremor, Sherman Theatre
Young Frankenstein, The Musical
In 2018, as always, I’m looking forward to the new slate of shows at the Sherman Theatre. Ever innovative and always daring, their spring ’18 lineup includes plays by Conor McPherson, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Brad Birch. I’m excited to finally be seeing the Young Frankenstein musical in London in January 2018 – as a super-fan of the original Wilder/ Brooks 1974 comedy-horror magnum opus, I’m intrigued (and a little anxious) to see how it translates to an on-stage musical. And as for cinema, no upcoming film excites me more than Black Panther in February 2018. Having cried and cheered throughout Ryan Coogler’s masterpiece Creed, I’m tremendously excited to see his vision of one of Marvel’s finest superheroes. Personal hopes include world peace and finishing my PhD thesis.
Ten Plagues, Sherman Theatre
I’m really looking forward to Mark Ravenhill and Conor Mitchell’s upcoming piece of music theatre entitled Ten Plagues, which will be shown at the Sherman Theatre on the 13th of March. It sounds really fascinating–it’s set during the height of the Great Plague in 1665, yet parallels will be drawn between this particular epidemic and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. I’m really interested by any work of art which thematically connects distant historical periods, as it encourages us to view contemporary struggles in an entirely different light. Hopefully this play will be as gripping and as thought-provoking as I’m expecting it to be!
Karis Clarke Price
Great Expectations, Of Mice and Men and A Midsummer Nights Dream and The Great Gatsby, Theatr Clwyd.
I am very excited about Theatr Clwyd’s Spring program bursting with classics such as Great Expectations, Of Mice and Men and A Midsummer Nights Dream! After watching the BBC’s A Christmas Carol goes wrong I am looking forward to the slap dash comedy of The Play That Goes Wrong. However my main must see is the eagerly awaited The Great Gatsby. I have seen on social media announcements that Theatre Clwyd will be adapting an old manor house in the local area and a community cast has been assembled to bring to life the razzmatazz of the roaring twenties offering an interactive audience experience, what’s not to love!?
Cinema wise I can not wait for Marvels Infinity War and on the small screen it has to be will the Dr make it as a lady?
Sunset Boulevard, Wales Millennium Centre
It has to be Sunset Boulevard at the Wales Millennium Centre! I’m so excited at the thought of seeing this production starring Welsh actress Ria Jones. Ria has already received great reviews for her portrayal of the ageing Hollywood star Norma Desmond. We need more shows like this one!
Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella and The Last Ship both at The Wales Millennium Centre
What the Ladybird Heard, New Theatre, Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales, Sherman Theatre and Milkshake Live , St David’s Hall
Working with Get the Chance is great because it actually prompts me to look at what is coming-up on the varied arts scene in Cardiff. A couple of productions in particular at the Wales Millennium Centre have caught my eye. The first is Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella. I have been lucky enough to see two of Matthew Bourne’s previous productions, and his all male Swan Lake still ranks in the top 3 live performances I have ever seen in my life. To me it was perfection – strong, masculine dance style, humour, incredible costumes and of course the wonderful classic score that everyone knows at least some of. I am less familiar with the music of Cinderella, but the story still holds magic from my childhood and everything Matthew Bourne does is worth watching – so consider giving this a try.
The other production at Wales Millennium Centre that intrigues me is ‘The Last Ship’ this is because I had never heard of it but notice that the music and lyrics are by Sting. To the best of my knowledge this is the first musical written by Sting – an artist whose music I have loved since his first singles with the Police and through-out his whole solo career. The story is based on his childhood experiences of growing-up in the shadow of a ship building yard at the time when the industry was struggling and ship yards were closing.
I also enjoy taking my 4 year old son to the theatre, and so other performances I am considering are: ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ at the New Theatre. This is currently his favourite Julia Donaldson book and inspired his current obsession with becoming a policeman. Previous stage adaptations of Julia Donaldson’s books have proved a big hit with him and his friends so this promises to be a great way to spend an afternoon this coming half-term holiday. Another Julia Donaldson favourite, Tiddler and other Terrific Tales is on over two days at the Sherman this half-term giving you the opportunity to see both of these wonderful stories brought to life.
Other stage productions to appeal to the younger audience include: Milkshake Live at St Davids Hall- a veritable feast of all your children’s favourite characters from TV, and guaranteed to include at least one of their favourites but sadly it’s scheduled for the same day as What the Ladybird Heard – so you’ll have to choose between them!
Amelia Seren Roberts
Object Performance continues @ Primary with ‘Thusly’ by Sophie Yung.
Where: Primary, Seely Road, Nottingham.
When: Preview: Thurs 18 January 2018, 6-9pm, Exhibition: 19 January-24 February 2018.
Find out more: http://www.weareprimary.org/2018/01/sophie-jung/ & http://www.weareprimary.org/2017/03/object-performance/
Concluding the Object Performance series at Primary in Nottingham, Sophie Jung will present a new installation employing both sculpture and video.
“This programme aims to consider what an expanded form of sculpture might be today, where objects, images, text, performance and sound are interwoven.
Each of these commissions explores the ways in which objects can be activated, whether as prop, performer or instrument, with the seven performances continuing to expand how we see, use and relate to the objects, things and materials in the world around us”.
Other artists that’ve shown at Primary as part of the Object Performance series include Sahej Rahal, Remko Scha, Jan Vorisek, Guillaume Pilet, Andrea Neumann & Anna Susanna Woof, and William Hunt.
I’ve made it along to most of the events and commissions presented in the series so far and am yet to be disappointed. Expanded interpretations of sculpture recently exhibited at Primary have proven to be exciting and strange. It’s often best to visit during Primary Lates, an evening event where all of the galleries and associated galleries at Primary open simultaneously – yaaas for time-strapped art-goers. Grab a Black Iris brew if it’s not too late//
Ye Funa: From Hand to Hand @ Nottingham Contemporary
When: 17 Feb 2018 – 04 Mar 2018. Exhibition Launch: Fri 16 Feb
Where: Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross, Nottingham.
Find out more: http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/art/ye-funa-hand-hand
“Ye Funa’s practice is concerned with the boundaries between daily life and contemporary art. Her work explores the effects of new media and globalisation on cultural identity and gender. For our exhibition, Ye will produce a new episode in her online Peep-Stream series, addressing society’s current desire to display ourselves through selfies, webchats and social media. Ping-Pong Stream, an interactive live streamed performance, will focus on China’s waning interest in ping pong in favour of celebrity sports of basketball and football.
The final video will be embedded in an immersive installation that converts the Project Space into a nail salon. Here, nails become the exhibition space through which Ye artificially reforms the natural extremities of the body”.
This exhibition sounds like my cup of tea. From the press release it comes across as if it’s going to be relatable, relevant and not take itself too seriously. The opening nights of shows at the Contemporary are always packed so it’s probably best to pop down to the show a second or third time if you want to absorb any of it. Though there’s usually a free drink on the night of the launch if you manage to turn up on time (thnx).
Coming Out: sexuality, Gender and Identity @ Birmingham Art Gallery
When: 2 Dec – 15 Apr 2018.
Where: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham.
“This major exhibition will feature over 80 modern and contemporary artworks by internationally renowned artists who explore themes of gender, sexuality and identity in art”.
I’m cheating with this one, I’ve already seen it once but I’m definitely going to get down there to see it a second time before it disappears in April (that sounds so final – there’s probably a book??).
Marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts in England and Wales this exhibition maybe feels like a cabinet of curiosities of/for the queer (a dress worn by Grayson Perry stands in a glass vitrine and the list of artists involved reads like a queer phonebook) but the general hum of the gallery is positive and feels very much like a cosy book that you keep returning to, finding some exciting little sentence you hadn’t quite grasped the time before. I want to spend more of my time here – like this.
“Visitors will see works by Andy Warhol, Sarah Lucas, Grayson Perry, David Hockney, Francis Bacon, Steve McQueen, Derek Jarman, Sunil Gupta, Chila Kumari Burman, Linder, Richard Hamilton, Gillian Wearing, Eric Bainbridge, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Robert Colquhoun, Kate Davis, Jez Dolan, Mario Dubsky, Harry Diamond, Mark Francis, Anya Gallaccio, Colin Hall, Andrea Hamilton, Margaret Harrison, David Hurn, Bob Jardine, Isaac Julien, Karen Knorr, Hilary Lloyd, Robert MacBryde, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, Hadrian Pigott, Charlotte Prodger, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, James Richards, Derek Ridgers, David Robilliard, Maud Sulter, Keith Vaughan, John Walter, Annie Wright and Vanley Burke”.
2018 is the year to ‘come out’ to anyone you haven’t already divulged to at 3am in a loo <3
Film Free and Easy @ Primary.
Where: Primary, Seely Road, Nottingham.
When: Thurs 4 May, 19:00-22:00 or Sat 26 November 20:00 – 00:00.
“Film Free and Easy happens three or four times a year. It is an event devised by artists to explore new ways of showing moving-image works based on the audience bringing along the material that will be shown. Every Film Free and Easy night is a unique mixture of projections, installations and performances shared by an audience who enjoy the unexpected and the surprise of discovery”.
Get down to this if you can. It’s always a good night and the works are more often than not surprising and clever – plus you’ll probably recognise the artists in the audience (those living and partying locally). Everyone tends to end up in the Organ Grinder (pub) following the event which is a fab opportunity to buy an artist a pint.
Dog Man Star @ MPND, Loughborough
Where: Modern Painters, New Decorators, Unit 33, Carillon Court Shopping Centre, Loughborough, LE11 3XA.
When: Opens: Sat 20 Jan 11am-2pm. Exhibition: 20 Jan – 3 March, Wed-Sat 11am-5pm.
Internet: https://www.facebook.com/events/1980986932225938/ @mpndprojects.
An exhibition of works by Jackie Berridge and Sam Francis Read hosted by Modern Painters, New Decorators.
“Jackie Berridge and Sam Francis Read are both artists based in the East Midlands who make paintings, drawings and prints which reference fables, fantasy media and iconography – combining anthropomorphic characters with an often-dark sense of humour. Behind the façade of the narratives and characters they use, both artists are interested in human behaviour, social isolation and the group dynamics that can occur anywhere from the playground to the boardroom”.
I’m already familiar with the work of both of these artists having seen Jackie’s work at the Nottingham Castle Open and Sam’s at HUTT (and having exhibited with him, Craig David Parr and Alice Hicken at 2 Queens). I flippin love them both. This exhibition is going to be fun and both artists are skilled makers/story-tellers.
“Modern Painters, New Decorators is a not-for-profit art organisation running art projects and building creative communities in Loughborough, East Midlands”. <<<< Support this art spaceeee.
Follow all of these on Instagram if you can — I <3 everything they post: @samfrancisread @j4ckieberridge @mpndprojects
Everything Went Heavier 2018 @ Rough Trade, Nottingham.
When: Sat 10 March. Doors open at 1pm / Curfew 12am.
Where: Rough Trade, Nottingham.
“This is a special one-off benefit gig for Chris Kaye (Witch Hunter Records/Bumsnogger) and his wife Tracy. Tracy has been diagnosed with a rare form of bowel cancer called Signet ring cell Carcinoma and is currently undergoing treatment. We hope that we can raise some funds through the power of heavy metal to help them and their growing family at this difficult time”.
A welcome break from the well-behaved and too-often hushed/polite arena of contemporary art this all-dayer will knock your socks off and it’s for a great cause. I’m pretty sure the Doom Metal heavy ‘Everything Went Heavier’ will in practice be the antithesis of “doom and gloom”. We’re a cheerful bunch at shrunken heart <3 Expect a marathon of distortion and limited choreography.
Lineup Includes: CHARGER, WITCHSORROW, IRON WITCH, LET IT DIE, BARRABUS, WIDOWS, LIMB, MAGE, WOLFBEAST DESTROYER, UNDERDARK, KING OF PIGS, ANTRE…
Have a good one.
The Assassination of Katie Hopkins: A New Musical, Theatr Clwyd
The piece of theatre I’m most looking forward to in 2018 is…….
The Assassination of Katie Hopkins: A New Musical , Theatr Clwyd
Perhaps one of the more intriguing titles of 2018… The title alone has peaked my interest sufficiently. The fact that it’s a musical is simply a bonus. There’s not much to go on plot-wise as it will be the world premiere. But it has the ‘Made by Theatr Clwyd’ stamp on it, whose seal is always a mark of high-quality entertainment in my view.
Jon Boden, Pontio
‘I am particularly looking forward to catching Jon Boden at Pontio in Bangor, North Wales in April. Sheffield born former frontman of Bellowhead (whom I was lucky enough to see on their farewell tour in 2016), Boden has now gone on to carve out a successful solo career and is touring throughout the UK this year.’
Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Wales Millennium Centre
I’m seeing Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella on April 7th and after seeing The Red Shoes, I’m immensely looking forward to it. My introduction to ballet is slow and purposeful (I didn’t much understand The Red Shoes at first without explanation, so a fairytale I know well will be easier to follow, I believe) but I’m getting there at a pace I enjoy and being brought the opportunity to by people I love.