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This Autumn Newport’s The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre welcome a host of high-quality new drama pieces to the theatre, all of which have either been created by award-winning Welsh companies, are set in Wales or have a Welsh cast. Unmissable dramas this season cover a variety of themes from health and wellbeing to ageing, and from love to nightlife, there is something for every age and every taste!

Written and staring Catherine Dyson, a regular face on The Riverfront stage having previously brought Transporter in 2019, Thunder Road (4 October) is a bold and original dark comedy by RedCape Theatre all about the power of the Heimlich manoeuvre, the call of the open road, and the kind of friendship you would take a bullet for. This ‘fun and feisty, quirky road trip through dreams and friendship, first aid tips and cowboy boots,’ (British Theatre Guide) confronts themes of domestic abuse, the curbing of female ambition and the portrayal of women in crime dramas as faceless victims. The drama follows Maureen and Sylvie as they embark on a First Aid training trip. When things take an unexpected turn in a Travelodge, events spin out of control and they find themselves on a life changing road trip where their friendship is tested to its limits and they must keep moving just to stay alive.

Co-produced between The Riverfront and Four in Four Production, Gods & Kings (9 – 11 October) is an emotionally honest and darkly funny account of what it is like to live a life ruled by mental illness. Set in Newport, the drama tells the true story of Paul who walks into a psychiatrist’s office believing he is either a god or a king and leaves with a diagnosis of bipolar manic depression. This thought provoking, powerful and moving drama also features some light and comic moments as Paul faces a life changing decision: take the pill and live, or don’t take the pill and die. Each performance of Gods & Kings will be British Sign Language interpreted and will be followed by a post-show panel discussion.

In late October The Riverfront welcome Theatr Clwyd’s Pavilion (22 – 25 October). This dark comedy by Wales’ Emily White and directed by Tamara Harvey (Olivier Award winner of Best Comedy for Home, I’m Darling) has chosen Newport to be its only touring venue. Featuring a star-studded Welsh cast including Ifan Huw Dafydd, Victoria John, Kristian Philips, Tim Treloar and Michael Geary (star of The Riverfront panto), the drama is set on a Friday night as The Pavilion is closing for good. Music pounds, lager flows, lust grinds and fists fly. The run-down small town in a forgotten corner of Wales is filled with big personalities and even bigger egos. The show is sure to bring back many a fond memory for audiences reminiscing of their own night’s out.

One-woman dark comedy The Invisible Woman (9 November) written by Ailsa Jenkins and starring Nicola Reynolds (High Hopes, Doctors, The Story of Tracy Beaker) is a drama all about aging ungracefully and searching for significance after becoming invisible to society. A few years ago, Mari realised she'd disappeared. Shocked but undaunted, she's decided to use this misfortune to her advantage. Get ready for red lipstick, rubber bands and retribution as Mari attempts to right the wrongs of her community. Can she make peace with the past to fix her present? Can she make herself visible to those who matter most to her? This will be a hilarious and poignant story that many will identify with.

Straight from the Adelaide Fringe The Riverfront welcomes award-winning Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff) (14 November) in mid-November. Co-produced by Carys Eleri and Wales Millennium Centre, this one-woman science comedy musical explores the neuroscience of love and loneliness. Prepare to experience heartfelt tales of relationship highs, lows and the downright confusing. This personal show is told with plenty of sass, chocolate, hugs and bangin’ tunes and will help you discover how love works within all of us, why it makes us do crazy things and why hugging is the answer.

For tickets for the above drama productions call 01633 656757 or visit newportlive.co.uk/riverfront. There are a limited number of £5 tickets available for these shows for those aged 15 – 25.

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This September Newport’s The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre want to find out their audience’s favourite song. This campaign runs alongside a production of National Theatre Wales’ tender, warm, poignant, moving and very funny Peggy’s Song on Wednesday 25 September.

Peggy’s Song is set in St Bevan’s Hospital during DJ Danny Walkman’s request night show. Danny’s gags and record collection might be criminal, but under it all he has a heart of gold, a quiet sadness and a real care for people. After his show, Danny has a chance encounter with Peggy. A plain- speaking firecracker, she’s been sleeping rough for years and isn’t afraid to call a spade a shovel.

The pair have nothing in common except music. Everyone likes music, don’t they? Everyone’s got a song, and if there’s one thing Danny Walkman is good at, it’s getting people to tell him what their song is. Peggy doesn’t give much away, so it’s a race against time for Danny to get past all her years of bad times to find and play Peggy’s song.

Music is a key theme throughout the play - and the idea of music as therapy to get you through difficult times, and music that moves you as an individual. Taking inspiration from the show, The Riverfront want to find out about their audience’s song choices. What are their favourite songs? Do they have a certain song linked to special memories? If their audience could only listen to one song ever again what would it be?

To let The Riverfront know what your song is, comment on their social media channels, Facebook TheRiverfront, Twitter RiverfrontArts and Instagram RiverfrontArts, or email your song selection to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You will have an opportunity to listen to the completed playlist for yourself in The Riverfront on Wednesday 25 September prior to the start of the show, or if you cant wait that long search for the playlist ‘Peggy’s Song – The Riverfront’ on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6JCiRxcDVOFAXL3XXE625I).

To book your tickets to Peggy’s Song on Wednesday 25 September call 01633 656757 or visit tickets.newportlive.co.uk.

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This September The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre starts a brand-new relationship with Soho Theatre, London’s most vibrant venue for new theatre, comedy and cabaret. Once a month The Riverfront’s Studio Theatre will open its doors and welcome some of the most exciting and fresh comedy stars on the UK and international circuit, hand-picked by Soho Theatre.

The first stars making their Newport debut in September (Friday 20) will be Bourgeois and Maurice with their show Momento Mori. Described as being a ‘philosophicLOL cabaret about the meaning of life,’ the award-winning musical duo will delve deep into a world of hyper glamour and pitch-black comedy song writing. The world may appear to be in a state of chaos but this sequin-clad duo have written many a catchy tune and witty rhyme ready to entertain the people of Newport, so we should all be okay.

In October (Wednesday 23) The Riverfront will welcome Cassie Workman, perhaps the most experienced newcomer to the comedy world given the fact she once performed under a different name. Winner of the ‘Best Newcomer’ award at the Melbourne International Comedy festival, ‘Best Comedy’ at the Adelaide Fringe and ‘Director’s Choice’ at the Sydney Comedy Festival, Cassie has recently returned to the stage after beginning her transition. Her brand-new show Giantess will interweave music, comedy, storytelling and illustration while exploring the anguish of coming to terms with a gender identity that doesn’t match your body. Over the summer this show was nominated for the Melbourne International Comedy Award for Most Outstanding Show.

For November (Friday 15) Soho Theatre will present Kai Samra: Underclass, who audiences may recognise from appearances on ITV2, BBC3 and the BBC Asian Network. This will be the award-winning stand-up comedians hotly tipped debut hour. In the show he will hilariously dissect life as a young working class British Asian in the 21st century, ranging from police stop and searches, to a complete lack of options at fancy dress parties. Prepare to also hear personal stories of homelessness, the gentrification of the arts, and the rise of right-wing politics in his hometown.

The Riverfront’s final show from Soho Theatre in the autumn season will be Stand Up with Janine Harouni (Please Remain Seated)(Friday 6 December). Winner of the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year 2018, Janine’s show is all about standing up for what you believe in, even if you must do it really nicely! Her father is a lifelong New Yorker and son of Middle Eastern immigrants. He's also an avid Donald Trump supporter. Attempting to reconcile those things makes for one tense Sunday dinner, and a very interesting debut show in Newport.

To book tickets for the above events call 01633 656757 or visit tickets.newportlive.co.uk.

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We are down to double figures now as there are less than 100 days to go until The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre’s magical festive pantomime Cinderella opens. As this fun-filled pantomime for all the family draws ever closer The Riverfront were thrilled to welcome some of its principle cast members on to the stage this week for a day of filming, photography and a lot of fun!

Riverfront pantomime regular Richard Elis (Muddles, Sleeping Beauty 2018) met Pobol y Cwm actor Geraint Rhys Edwards, who this Christmas and New Year will perform side by side as Cinders’ Ugly Stepsisters. The comedy and charisma between the pair was instant; audiences will be in for a treat with the mischief the pair are likely to cause!

Cinderella played by Monmouth’s Laura Meaton met her Prince Charming, Newport’s Gareth Tempest who audiences may be remember as Jack from The Riverfront panto Jack & The Beanstalk in 2015. Was it love at first sight? Audiences will have to wait until November to find out! An extra special dose of magic and sparkle was brought to the day by Fairy Godmother (Rachel Waring).

Whilst at The Riverfront, our Prince Charming and Fairy Godmother greeted young fans who were attending the afternoon cinema screening. Cinderella and her Ugly Stepsisters dropped into Tin Shed Theatre Company’s Hatch Summer School and were impressed by the acting and improvisation skills of the young actors in the making.

There is still time for young people aged 9 – 13 to join the fantastic cast of Cinderella and have a festive season to remember as The Riverfront are holding open auditions to find the young company on Sunday 8 September between 10am and 2pm. For more information on auditions, please contact The Riverfront Box Office on 01633 656757 or visit newportlive.co.uk.

Bigger and more magical than ever, The Riverfront’s fun-filled pantomime for all the family will be jam-packed with magic, incredible song and dance numbers, and of course lots of festive sparkle. Tickets for some performances have already sold out so audiences will need to book fast, by calling 01633 656757 or by visiting tickets.newportlive.co.uk.

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The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre, Newport are delighted to welcome a host of famous faces from the stage and screen to their auditoriums this autumn and winter season for several high-quality evenings of entertainment.

In September ‘The Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World’ Showaddywaddy (Sat 21 Sep) will be dropping into Newport for a dynamic and lively show featuring their biggest hits, many of which reached number one in the pop charts of Europe. Showaddywaddy have toured extensively all over the world for the last four decades and have sold more than 20 million records. The Riverfront invite you to join them for a ‘Dancin Party’ this autumn!

September will also see the return of Lesley Garrett (Wed 25 Sep) who last appeared in Newport in 2018 at the premier of Welsh National Opera’s award-winning Rhondda Rips it Up! based on the life of suffragette Margaret Haig Thomas. Britain’s most popular soprano will be returning for a delightful evening of song, reminiscence and chat with pianist Anna Tilbrook. Audiences can expect behind the scenes stories and anecdotes which will give them a unique insight into Lesley’s life and career.

TV legend Count Arthur Strong will make an appearance in October as part of his Is There Anybody Out There? tour (Thu 3 Oct). As well as being the all-round entertainer we all know and love from TV and radio, Count Arthur is also a big fan of astronomy and in this show will answer some big questions such as ‘are we alone in the universe?’ and ‘is there life on Mars bars?’ In his own words, ‘Do not miss this not to be missed type of thing! If I wasn’t in the show I’d definitely be in the audience watching myself intently. Laughing and learning in equal measure.’

Big names from the world of TV also taking to the stage in October are Tommy Cannon (Cannon and Ball) and Crissy Rock (Benidorm and I’m a Celebrity), both of whom feature amongst a star-studded cast in Right Place! Wrong Time!! (Tue 8 Oct). Described as being ‘seriously dead funny,’ the smash hit comedy play is an up-lifting tale guaranteed to make you feel life’s party never ends- it simply moves to another location.

Welsh entrepreneur and entertainer Stifyn Parri visits Newport for two special dates on his Shut Your Mouth | Cau Dy Geg tour, the first a Welsh language show (Wed 16 Oct) and the second an English language show (Fri 18 Oct). The former Brookside and Les Miserable’s star will being a cheeky and charming mix of comic and poignant anecdotes of his showbiz life. From backstage drama, royalty, coming out, behind the camera secrets to celebrity gossip, Stifyn comments ‘I have been lucky enough to have lead an incredibly colourful life packed with celebrities, show-biz weddings, royalty, tantrums, backstage dramas, good times and bad times and I cannot wait to be able to share these stories with the audience.’

A face you will soon see everywhere thanks to it being the cover photo of The Riverfront’s autumn winter brochure is Griff Rhys Jones (Wed 30 Oct.) One half of Smith & Jones, one quarter of Not the Nine O'Clock News and one third of Three Men In a Boat, Griff will presents an evening of hilarious true stories, riffs, observations and details of his recent medical procedures. His All Over the Place show is guaranteed to be packed with wicked insights into the pains of celebrity, the vicissitudes of parenthood and encounters with the great, the good and even the royal.

Award winning singer-songwriter Hazel O’Connor (Sat 2 Nov) will perform at The Riverfront in November with the proceeds of her concert going to Pups & Purrs an animal charity for which she is a patron. Hazel will perform the ageless songs from iconic film Breaking Glass alongside Clare Hirst on saxophone and Sarah Fisher on keyboard.

These exciting shows make up part of a fantastic season of Welsh drama, music, family shows, cinema, workshops and of course The Riverfront’s annual pantomime Cinderella! For tickets to all these fantastic star-studded shows coming up at The Riverfront during their autumn and winter season visit tickets.newportlive.co.uk or call 01633 656757.

Following the closure of the YMCA Newport in February 2019, Newport Live is delighted to announce it has taken over operation of this vital community venue in the heart of Pillgwenlly. The charitable trust, who operate sport, leisure, theatre arts and culture in the city, are due to reopen the building this Autumn with a programme of sport, physical activity, health and wellbeing, music, education and art activity as well as meeting, event and conferencing facilities available for hire.

Newport Live already provides an extensive sport, physical activity, wellbeing, health and fitness programme, a range of sporting activities, professional theatre and arts performances and other activities across their venues. They also work with partners to deliver sport and arts development programmes to facilitate opportunities for children, young people, families, schools, communities and sports clubs across Newport and now across the wider area of Gwent.

The organisation already operates six venues across Newport including Newport Centre, The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre, the Active Living Centre as well as venues at the Newport International Sports Village comprising of the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales, the Regional Swimming Pool and Tennis Centre and Newport Stadium, the YMCA makes this their 7th venue.

Andrew Templeton, Chief Executive of YMCA Cardiff Group said “We are delighted to have secured the future of this building with Newport Live. It was vital for the YMCA that the building retained its community focus and we are looking forward to working in partnership with Newport Live over the coming years to develop this vital community building further. Newport Live has a number of exciting plans in motion and I am sure the local community will welcome the doors reopening again soon.”

John Harrhy, Chairman of Newport Live said “We are delighted to take on this new building and to be able to provide this vital facility and services to communities in Newport and beyond. This is the first time Newport Live has taken on a new venue and we’re looking forward to working with the YMCA Group as well as the opportunities this building presents in helping us to inspire more people to be happier and healthier.”

Newport Live, a non-profit distribution organisation and registered charity, which means the money they make is wholly reinvested into the services and facilities they offer, so all Newport Live customers are supporting their local community through the delivery of these projects and activities. 

For further enquiries about this exciting new development please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01633 656757.

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The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre, Newport are delighted to announce that auditions to find the young company for pantomime Cinderella will take place at The Riverfront on Sunday 8 September between 10am and 2pm with registration between 9.30am and 11am.

This high-quality, professional and family-friendly pantomime will be full of magic, glitz and laughs and will run from Thursday 28 November 2019 until Saturday 4 January 2020. Bigger and more magical than ever, The Riverfront’s fun-filled pantomime for all the family will be jam-packed with magic, incredible song and dance numbers, and of course lots of festive sparkle. Alongside the principle cast, it will feature two teams of children in fun singing and dancing routines, who will be selected through these auditions.

The Riverfront are looking for 16 – 20 children and young people plus some reserve choices, to form two troupes of 8 – 10 who will perform on alternate nights of the pantomime’s run. The Riverfront are keen to see children’s personality as well as their singing, dancing and acting skills, it will not be enough just to be a good dancer!

The auditions will include the young people learning a short dance routine, singing as a group (and possibly individually). Auditionees will also be asked to recite a very short poem or joke of their choice. All young people are invited to come along whether they go to drama school, dance school or a club, study drama in school or if they are complete novices and just fancy having a go.

Auditionees should wear comfortable clothes and footwear suitable for moving and dancing in. Auditionees will not need to prepare anything but might want to bring water and snacks. The Café at The Riverfront will also be open on the day.

This year, The Riverfront have made a small change to the age limit for this year’s young company. The minimum age is 9 on the first day of rehearsal (10 November 2019) and the maximum age is 13 yrs and 11 months on the last day of the run (4 January 2020). The auditions are open to children and young people who live in the boroughs of Newport, Cardiff, Torfaen, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, and Monmouthshire. A list of performances and rehearsal commitments will be available on the day. Selected children must be able to commit to the full period, which will include some term time dates during the rehearsal period.

For more information on auditions, please contact The Riverfront Box Office on 01633 656757 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

AUDITION INFORMATION:

Location:                                             The Riverfront Theatre, Kingsway, Newport NP20 1HG

Date:                                                     Sunday 8th September 2019

Time:                                                     Registration opens 9.30am (last registration will be 11am)

Ages:                                                     9 - 13 years

Auditions 10am – 2pm (auditionees will not be seen without registering)

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The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre were delighted to welcome thousands of people through their doors and into the city centre over Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July as people from Newport and the surrounding areas came along for the 9th annual Big Splash. The city centre came alive with colour, music and laughter as some of the most exciting performers and groups from across the UK transformed Newport into one giant outdoor stage.

Saturday highlights included the opportunity to paint with Newport’s very own Mr & Mrs Clark, with the giant masterpiece created staying on display in Kingsway Centre throughout the summer holidays. Over in the Friars Walk Zone we saw Dizzy O’Dare bounce about inside a giant lime green balloon, and met a very friendly giant tortoise called Zelda. Usk Plaza also hosted Whimsy, a beautiful dance piece and a hilarious performance of The Last Post.

The Band at the End of the World were a big hit on Saturday afternoon as they performed an energetic, lively and at times poignant set at The Red Wave complete with smoke and firecrackers. The inclusion of Cross Keys Brass Band during the second part of their set really tied into Big Splash’s community feel.

Local young people from Newport Youth Service’s group NP20 showcased their talents in the University of South Wales zone supported by Age Cymru and Sports Wales. There was rapping, dance routines, a beautiful rendition of ‘Shallows’ from A Star is Born, not to mention some beautiful graffiti work. On Sunday, this zone became home to a giant spinning platform and a very talented juggling duo.

Commercial Street became home to the very first Big Splash Busk Zone on Saturday presented by Le Pub, sponsored by Newport NOW in partnership with Horizons / Gorwelion and Forte Project. From a giant golden disco truck, to local band Codewalkers, the acts had people dancing in the street and singing along to the music.

The Riverfront AKA Splashtonbury sponsored by Western Power Distribution was invaded by a giant swarm of happy bees on Saturday, who took great pleasure in meeting the Mayor! The Indonesian Multicultural Zone provided beautiful dancing and Gamalan curated by Jera Creative Agency, and the buzzing Splashtonbury Stage was home to beautiful music and instrumental sounds carrying down the river walkway. On Sunday The Sparklettes kicked things off with their Sister Act inspired hula hooping spectacle Sunday Service, before children from Ringland Primary school paraded through the building showcasing the outfits they had created out of recycled materials. There was also so much to do and make at The Riverfront thanks to workshops, arts and crafts, Active Tots, Flying Start and Baby Rave.

The Riverfront, and the Big Splash team would like to thank our funders and supporters, without whom Big Splash wouldn’t be possible. We had an absolutely fantastic weekend, one which we believe was our biggest and best yet! Thank you very much to Newport Live, the Arts Council of Wales, Newport City Council, Friars Walk, Kingsway Centre, Newport NOW, Western Power Distribution, Horizons / Gorwelion, Le Pub, Forte Project, Age Cymru and Sports Wales for your continued support.’ Olivia Harris, Creative Producer.

The 2019 Westfield Health British Transplant Games will take place from the 25-28 July 2019 and are expected to attract more than 850 transplant recipient athletes and more than 1,500 supporters, including donor families, to the city of Newport.

Organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport UK, the aim of the Games is to raise awareness of and increase organ donation. Newport Council, Newport Live, Welsh Government and the Games organisers are working in partnership to make this the best event yet.

Selected fitness classes and sporting activities have been rescheduled/cancelled due to the Britsh Transplant Games utilising various Newport Live facilities from the 25-28 July :

DATE

VENUE

CLASS & TIME

ACTION

Thursday 25th July 

Velodrome

11am Walking Football

Moved outdoors to 3G

Velodrome

2pm Derny Taster

Cancelled

Friday 26th July 

Newport Centre

10am NERS Circuits

Moved to Easyline Gym at Newport Centre

11am NERS Circuits

Moved to Easyline Gym at Newport Centre

11.15am NERS Racquets

Cancelled

Velodrome

4.30pm Learn to Ride

Cancelled

Saturday 27th July

Velodrome

9.30am Soccer Tots

Moved to outdoors Newport Stadium

10.30am Soccer Tots

Moved to outdoors Newport Stadium

9.30am Youth Drop-In

Cancelled

Midday Track Taster

Cancelled

Pool & Tennis Centre

9-11am Smart Track Performance

Cancelled

11am – midday Fast Track Performance

Cancelled

Swim Lessons: 10am Stage 5

Cancelled

11am Stage 5

Cancelled

Midday: Juniors 3& 4

Cancelled

All Evening Waterpolo 4-8pm

Cancelled

Sunday 28th July

Stadium

9.45am Youth Cycling Club

Cancelled

For further information call 01633 656757 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.