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Aftermirth

The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre is excited to launch a new programme of activities for parents, grandparents, guardians and carers that are perfect to bring a baby or toddler along to.

Beginning in early February will be baby friendly cinema screenings For Crying Out Loud. These screenings will take place on a Monday morning at 11am and will be of a newly released film title certificate U, PG or 12A. These screenings are purely for parents and guardians to enjoy with their baby or toddler and so audiences are advised not to worry about crying, fidgeting or disturbing other guests as everyone will be in the same boat.

In order to make these screenings as baby friendly as possible The Riverfront will be adapting the conditions in the cinema; there will be a soft level of lighting, the volume will be lower and there will be soft matting in front of the screen for any toddlers who may not be comfortable remaining seated.

For Crying Out Loud will launch on Monday 10 February with a screening of Little Women.

In addition to baby friendly cinema screenings, Aftermirth, The Riverfront’s month adult comedy club that you can bring your baby continues. Aftermirth in a stand-up comedy show that helps the magical and maddening journey of parenthood through a daytime comedy show featuring up to three top circuit comedians.

Aftermirth is a traditional comedy club that will feature the same mature and sweary content you would expect in any comedy show, the big difference being the club takes place during the daytime and babies are welcome to attend. Due to the content of the stand-up sets, there is an age cap of 18 months for youngsters as some content won’t be appropriate for older toddlers.

Aftermirth returns on Tuesday 18th February, 11am – 1.30pm and continues monthly on the third Tuesday of the month.

Tickets for For Crying Out Loud and Aftermirth are available now from newportlive.co.uk/riverfront, or by calling 01633 656757.

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The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre is proud to present, Microwave, an exciting co-production with Run Amok Theatre Company. A hilarious, heart-breaking and gritty coming of age drama; Microwave will have its world premiere at the Newport venue in March before embarking on a national tour later this spring.

Written by Elinor Cook (writer for BBC’s Bafta Award winning Killing Eve), and directed by Izzy Rabey (trainee director at The Royal Court, London), Microwave boldly explores the anxiety and awkward hilarity of academic and sexual pressures on teenage women today as they try to carve out their own identities.

The piece features themes relevant to young audience members that include academic and extra-curricular pressure and explores the lack of freedom for young people to develop a sense of identity these days as so much emphasis and attention is placed on achievement.

Microwave follows the friendship between 15-year-old Kelly, straight-A student, girlfriend of the hottest boy in the school, captain of the lacrosse team and excelling in a wide-range of extra-curricular activities, and Carly - who is homeless and earning money through sex-work. The piece explores how complicated, obsessive and intense teenage friendships can be as two girls from very different backgrounds who meet on a bench try to work out what their futures have in store for them.

It also explores sex, consent and relationships and the pressures that young men face in terms of behavioural expectations and chivalry. Not only do the young people in Microwave grapple with who they are and what they want from life, but also what they want from their relationships.

On the creation of Microwave, Izzy from Run Amok comments "Microwave's power as a play lies in its ability to speak about the experiences of young people surrounding consent and sexuality in a way that's darkly humorous, surprising and original. Think Netflix's Sex Education on stage. Elinor Cook has managed to create a play which instantly captivates young people, without being patronising or blatantly message-based. We are so excited to present a project which interweaves the Welsh music scene, movement, new writing and community engagement in a completely original way."

Microwave poses a thought-provoking and compelling exploration of ‘how the other half live’ through the lens of teenage female friendship, whilst opening a wider discussion around how we educate and support teenage women in the 21st century. After each performance at The Riverfront there will be a panel discussion with invited guests and the creators of the piece, including Merthyr-based musician Eadyth Crawford who wrote the original music for the show.

Tickets for Microwave at The Riverfront from Tuesday 17 – Thursday 19 March are now on sale. Tickets are available from newportlive.co.uk/riverfront, or by calling 01633 656757.

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The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre’s festive family treat Cinderella which ran from Thursday 28 November to Saturday 4 January was the theatre’s best-selling pantomime beating the previous record set by the 2016/17 production of Cinderella.

Full of big song and dance routines, spectacular scenery, dazzling costumes, lots of jokes from lovable Buttons and lots of jeers from the Ugly Sisters, Cinderella was ‘A fun, anarchic treat that truly captures the spirit of panto’ (The Stage) which sold a record-breaking number of tickets and delighted more than 25,000 families, young people and audience members.

The cast featured some well-known Riverfront Panto faces including Richard Elis as Ugly Sister Candy Hard-Up (who celebrated his 550th panto performance at The Riverfront during the run), Keiron Self as Buttons and Michael Geary as Baron Hardup. Richard Elis and his Ugly Sister-in-crime Geraint Rhys Edwards stole the show with their outlandish costumes, cries of “daddiiieeee” and who can forget that comedy Ballet routine?

Also unforgettable was My Family’s Kieron Self as the lovesick and loyal Buttons. Poor Buttons was covered in custard pie, locked out in the rain and soaked through, yet his devotion to help Cinders get her happily ever after never wavered. As Wales Online commented ‘The cost of the ticket is worth it alone just to see Keiron Self as Buttons. The actor is barely off stage as Cinderella's love-lorn best friend who he plays with plenty of wit, warmth and energy.’

Thanks to the help of her Fairy Godmother (Rachel Waring), Cinderella (Laura Meaton) did get her happily ever after with Prince Charming (Gareth Tempest), and the panto drew to a close with a vibrant and energetic ABBA medley which included a very special sign language rendition of ‘Thank you for the music.’

On the success of Cinderella, The Riverfront and Newport Live’s Creative Producer Olivia Harris comments

“Christmas is always our favourite time of year here at The Riverfront, but this one is certainly going to take some beating! It’s such a privilege to put on a pantomime each year for our audiences and we’re delighted that Cinderella has been so popular. See you next year Newport!”

There is still time to let The Riverfront know what you thought of Cinderella, share your comments and pictures online using #RiverfrontPanto!

Tickets are already on sale for The Riverfront’s 2020 pantomime Robin Hood which will run from Thursday 26 November to Thursday 31 December. With some performances already sold out Cinderella’s record could be quickly beaten. Tickets for Robin Hood are available by calling 01633 656757 or visiting newportlive.co.uk/riverfront.

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The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre’s jam-packed winter season continues this January with a fantastic range of shows and events that will appeal to EVERYbody in Newport and the surrounding areas!

Restarting the season will be a concert from the Welsh National Opera Orchestra, A Journey to Vienna (14 Jan), performing pieces by Offenbach, Mozart, Brahms, Dvorak and Strauss; closely followed by an evening of glitz, glamour and action with the Superstars of Welsh Wrestling (17 Jan).

Celebrate one of rock music’s most successful artists of all time in Some Guys Have all the Luck: The Rod Stewart Story (23 Jan) as well as other live music from the world’s first and best Fleetwood Mac tribute, Fleetwood Bac (24 Jan), and you can leave your 9 to 5 worries at the Riverfront’s door thanks to Islands in the Stream: The Music of Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers (25 Jan).

There is a special evening of dance with Express Yourself: Laberinto, the inaugural work for the first professional contemporary dance company in Lima, Peru (23 Jan), and the month ends on a terrifying high thanks to The Circus of Horrors and their immersive 25-year celebration The Greatest Shocks! The Greatest Show! which promises to be their biggest and most gruesome show yet (29 Jan)

Music once again takes centre stage at The Riverfront in February. Direct from London’s West End comes Fastlove: The Everything She Wants Tourpaying tribute to the music and life of George Michael (7 Feb). Audiences will be transported back to the golden era of music of the 50s and 60s in Lipstick on Your Collar (15 Feb), and Justine Riddoch, the UK’s official number one Tina Turner tribute performs live in Totally Tina (29 Feb).

Fans of comedy have two very exciting evenings, the first featuring Hal Cruttenden, Mike Bubbins and Eleri Morgan in St David’s Hospice Care’s Charity Comedy Night (13 Feb), the second with ‘Queen of Scottish Comedy’ Janey Godley on her Soup Pot Tour (14 Feb).

For families comes a half term treat in the form of Yana and the Yeti, a funny and poignant tale of a child’s determination to be understood and her discovery that friends can come in the most unexpected shapes and sizes (20 Feb). The real-life tragedy of Russian runaways Denis Muravyov and Katya Vlasova will be explored in Music Theatre Wales’ Denis & Katya (27 Feb) which uses text, video, music and theatre to explore how stories are shaped and shared in our age of trolls, conspiracy theories, fake news, and 24/7 digital connection.

There are limited tickets remaining for some of these autumn and winter season events, so book tickets quickly by visiting newportlive.co.uk/riverfront or calling 01633 656757.

Newport County AFC are teaming up again with Newport Live and Alzheimer’s Society Cymru to host the city’s second sponsored walk for dementia.

Last year’s inaugural event saw 350 members of the public joined by the former Mayor Cllr Malcolm Linton, Mayor, MPs, AMs, city councillors, and Newport County AFC players, management and directors to raise vital funds for people living with dementia in the city.

This year’s walk will take place on Sunday, April 5, starting at 11am from The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre.

The gentle 3km walk is open to all ages and abilities and will raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru.

All money raised by the Newport Walk for Dementia will be used for local dementia services. Last year’s event raised in excess of £6,500.

A JustGiving event has been set up to ensure money raised from the walk is used in the Newport area. Fundraisers can use the link to set up their own individual JustGiving page for the event by visiting bit.ly/NewportWalkForDementia.

Money raised through Facebook directly is not guaranteed to be ring-fenced for local use, so organisers are encouraging walkers to only use approved fund-raising tools such as the JustGiving event.

Registration for the 2020 Newport Walk for Dementia opens on Friday, December 20, and walkers can enter online here newportlive.co.uk/riverfront

Newport County AFC’s Director of Equality & Diversity, Colin Faulkner, said: “We’re excited to have teamed up with our partners to make this event happen again. The money raised last year makes a real difference to people affected by dementia in our area.

“We probably all know someone or have lost someone with dementia. Research suggests a correlation between football and an increased chance of getting dementia so it’s important as a club we provide support for those in our community and raise awareness.”

Steve Ward, Chief Executive at Newport Live, said: “After the fantastic success of last year’s walk we are thrilled to be hosting and taking part in Newport’s second Walk for Dementia with Newport County AFC. This important event will raise vital funds for people in Newport living with dementia and supports our aim to inspire our city’s residents to be happier and healthier.”

Paula Langston, Regional Fundraising Manager for Wales for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, said:

“We are thrilled and really excited to retain this fantastic partnership with both Newport County AFC and Newport Live for a second year and will be supporting the Newport Walk with pride and passion.

“Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes. Too many are facing dementia alone and we urgently need to improve care, offer help and understanding and find new treatments for people affected.

“As part of our continued commitment to people living with dementia, funds raised through this partnership will support with the ongoing delivery of Dementia Connect, life changing research and our one to one flagship service called side-by-side, which offers individuals support to continue enjoying their hobbies, pastimes and passions with a volunteer they have been appropriately paired with.

“Alzheimer’s Society Cymru is proud to unite against dementia with Newport County AFC and Newport Live to improve the lives of people affected in the local community. A big thank you to all involved.”

Newport Live have been awarded a SWEET* Outstanding Centre Award for their delivery of qualifications as part of their Alternative Education Programme and the support they have given learners to develop important life, educational, wellbeing, and employability skills.

The Alternative Education Programme is delivered by Newport Live’s Sport and Physical Activity Development Team who also deliver Positive Futures, Health and Wellbeing, and School Sport programmes across Newport and are based at the Connect Centre in Pillgwenlly. The programme continues to grow from strength to strength each year with strong and positive outcomes for young people. The programme works with referred young people from mainstream and other educational settings providing support, guidance and pastoral care for those whom are disengaged.

Newport Live has received the Outstanding Centre Award as they are a provision that embodies everything that the SWEET* brand promotes. They engage learners from a wide range of backgrounds and the work that is provided by the students is always to a high standard. Their quality assurance and internal moderation system is extremely effective, and they use innovative supporting information and workshops to bring the resources to life. This ensures that their learners gain the soft skills that are needed to take them successfully into a future workforce.

Young people on the Newport Live Alternative Education Programme receive personalised learning support and access to a range of opportunities to gain nationally recognised qualifications in Personal and Social Development and employability skills. The young people have access to a wide network of local agencies that support everything from substance misuse to mental health; this provision is enhanced by access to regular sport and physical activity.

Karl Reed, Head of Sport and Physical Activity Development at Newport Live said “We are thrilled to have received this fantastic award to recognize the hard work of the team in delivering our Alternative Education Programme. The programme is adapted to suit the individual needs of each child which is one of the main reasons it is very successful, and we are extremely proud of its results.”

Newport Live’s Sports Development team are based at Connect Centre and facilitate high quality sporting opportunities for children, families, schools, communities, sports clubs, and local groups across Newport. As Newport Live is a non-profit distribution organisation and registered charity, the money they make is reinvested into the services and facilities they offer including supporting the local community through the delivery of these projects and activities.

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Over 500 primary school pupils across Newport have been having fun by taking part in workshops themed around this year’s Riverfront panto Cinderella thanks to support from electricity distribution company Western Power Distribution (WPD).

Working in partnership with Newport Live’s Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre, the education workshops aimed at Year 1–Year 4 pupils have been running since mid-November and will finish in January.

They are designed to challenge imaginations and create some fresh and exiting ideas around subjects such as creative writing, performance, costumes and set design.


Funding from WPD has covered the cost of providing educational work packs aligning to the school’s curriculum, workshop tutors, and craft materials.

Newport Live’s Education and Participation Officer Danielle Rowlands, said: “This has been such a great project, the schools have really loved it.

“A huge thank you to WPD for its support. It’s been an absolutely amazing project to be part of and has really captured their imaginations.It’s been really great to see the children inspired by our pantomime in this way.”

The project artwork created by the children from St Mary’s, Maindee, Glan Usk and St Michael’s Primary Schools will be on display in the Riverfront Theatre’s gallery throughout panto season.

Karen Welch, WPD Corporate Communications Officer, said: “We are delighted to be able to support these workshops, the children have really enjoyed them and created some beautiful artwork.

“Education is vitally important and these workshop are a perfect way to engage and introduce pupils to the world of the performing arts in a fun and interesting way.”

The panto runs until 4 January 2020 at the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre, Newport. To find out more visit www.newportlive.co.uk/riverfront/riverfront or call 01633 656757.

Newport Tennis Centre has been awarded Disability Sport Wales insport Club Ribbon standard.

The programme designed by Disability Sport Wales supports clubs in developing inclusive provision, opportunity and practices which ensures that disabled people gain access to the level of participation and performance they require.

Newport Tennis Centre achievement of Club Ribbon standard reaffirms Newport Live commitment to provide opportunities that supports disabled and non-disabled people within the local community. As part of this commitment, they offer both inclusive sessions that are open to all and impairment specific sessions that are open to both Disabled Junior and Adult players. They ensure our environment is as inclusive of disabled people as possible, they do this through the provision of adapted equipment where needed (e.g. VI tennis balls) and provision of CPD around inclusion.

Steve McGrath, Disability Sport Wales Development Officer for Newport Live said, “The achievement of the insport Club Ribbon standard demonstrates the fantastic ongoing commitment of Newport Tennis Centre to providing a fully inclusive programme which caters for disabled players”.

Luke Difranco, Tennis Manger for Newport Live said “We are really pleased to have successfully achieved the insport Club Ribbon standard. Improvements we have made as part of the process have already seen an increase in the number of disabled players participating within our programme. I would recommend it to all clubs.”

If your club or activity programme is interested in becoming part of the insport club programme please contact Steve McGrath, Newport Live Disability Sport Wales Development Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre’s festive family treat Cinderella opened this week and as promised is full of big song and dance routines, spectacular scenery, dazzling costumes and lots of jokes as Cinders attempts to outwit her evil stepsisters with the help of her devoted best friend Buttons and magical Fairy Godmother.

The cast feature some very well-known Riverfront Panto faces including Gareth Tempest as Prince Charming, Michael Geary as Baron Hardup and Richard Elis as Ugly Sister Candy. This festive period Richard gets a new partner in crime as his sister Flossie is played by Geraint Rhys Edwards; together the pair will surely steal the show as they make things difficult for Cinderella (Laura Meaton), her best friend Buttons (Kieron Self from My Family) and her Fairy Godmother (Rachel Waring).

Alongside the performances this year The Riverfront is offering audiences of all ages the opportunity to meet the cast on stage after selected shows. This exclusive opportunity allows families and groups to upgrade their panto experience and have their photograph taken with selected characters. There are limited slots available for this exclusive opportunity to meet the cast on the Cinderella set so audiences are advised to book early so they don’t miss out.

The Riverfront building is in the Cinderella spirit this year as its gallery space has been transformed into an emporium of full of light up treasures and edible goodies which are available to buy. The space is also decorated with a lot of baddies thanks to a display of ugly sisters artwork created by pupils at St Mary’s and Maindee Primary Schools who were lucky enough to take part in a panto workshop sponsored by Western Power Distribution earlier this month. The Riverfront Café will also be serving a festive afternoon tea on selected dates throughout the festive period, perfect for a pre or post show treat.

As ever, The Riverfront are encouraging its audience to come along dressed up; whether you come as a hero, villain, princess, prince, ugly sister, or anything from the bottom of your fancy dress box, The Riverfront can’t wait to see your panto pictures online with #RiverfrontPanto!

Cinderella runs from Thursday 28 November until Saturday 4 January. Many performances are close to selling out, so book your tickets soon by calling 01633 656757 or visiting tickets.newportlive.co.uk.

Newport Live are to celebrate the re-opening of a much-loved community venue in Pillgwenlly with an Open Day this November!

The open day at the Connect Centre (formerly YMCA Newport) will take place on 30 November from 10am until 2pm. Since YMCA Newport ceased operations in February 2019 this is an opportunity for the public to look around this vital community venue in the heart of Pillgwenlly. All are welcome to the open day to hear about Newport Live’s vision for the building and the programme of sport, physical activity, health and wellbeing, education and art activity being delivered at the venue.

On the day visitors can experience a range of Connect Centre classes that have been created and launched to help people Tone, Dance & Relax, including Box Fit, Pilates, Pound and Kettlebells which will be available at £4 per session. Until 31st December you can try these classes for just £2 per session. The Newport Live Fitness Team will be offering free fitness consultations, heath checks and 1 to 1 training and there will be the opportunity for visitors to learn about Newport Live’s range of fitness memberships.

Connect Centre also houses Newport Live’s award-winning Sports & Physical Activity Development Team who facilitates high quality sporting opportunities for children, families, schools, communities, sports clubs, and local groups across Newport. The Sports Development team, who deliver alternative education programmes from the Centre, will be on hand delivering fun sports activities in the hall.

John Harry, chairman of Newport Live said “The Connect Centre open day is a fantastic opportunity to see the venue and we are thrilled about activities in the venue from supporting young people to sessions improve wellbeing; inspiring the community to reap the lifelong benefits of sport and physical activity. The creation of Connect Centre and the delivery of engaging activities cements Newport Live’s vision to inspire people to be happier and healthier.”

Refreshments will be on offer throughout the day. Visitors will have the opportunity to make their own smoothies using their pedal powered smoothie bikes.

Newport Live is 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 the local community through the delivery of these projects and activities. 

To find out more information about the event see Newport Live’s Facebook page facebook.com/NewportLiveUK or follow at @NewportLiveUK on Twitter for the latest event information and news.