Summer at Wales Millennium Centre
Finding something to do with the family over the long summer holidays is always tricky, but Wales Millennium Centre is here to help. With an exciting, fun-filled range of family-friendly activities and shows on offer right across the summer, there’s something to suit all ages and taste buds.
For those who like the unusual and eccentric, Blysh festival [19 Jul – 4 Aug], returning to the Centre for its 5th birthday, offers an eclectic mix of circus, cabaret and street art guaranteed to fascinate, inspire and entertain this summer. While some performances do come with an 18 + age restriction, there’s still plenty of acts which the whole family will love, including the Incredible Hula Boy [21 Jul] and Dan the Hat [26 Jul] with his impressive repertoire of circus tricks.
One hundred per cent perfect for the little ones is the all singing, all dancing, Igam Ogam Stage Show [1-3 Aug] a fun and colourful co-production between the Centre and Coreo Cymru, touring across Wales throughout July and August. Also great for 2-8 year olds is the Milipwts’ Den, a brand new addition to the Centre which is bound to capture those young imaginations. Or for those with a taste for Wales’ finest food and craft offerings, the Summer Fayre [6 & 7 Jul] is bound to please. There’s also the Family Summer Weekend [17&18 Aug], a fun, activity-packed weekend offering puppet making workshops, face painting, pre-school music workshops and much more.
First to hit the Donald Gordon stage this summer is Lionboy [3-6 Jul], an exciting tale about an eleven year old boy on a perilous mission to rescue his kidnapped parents. Luckily, he has a very special and unusual talent to help him – an ability to speak to cats.
Also running from 3-6 July is Vangst, presented by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru in association with Wales Millennium Centre. Vangst is a moving, ever evolving piece of physical theatre, presenting the deepest fears and desires collected from passers-by across Europe.
Between the 16 & 20 July, Gilbert and Sullivan’s ever-popular The Pirates of Penzance takes to the stage. While kids will enjoy the tale of pirates, there are plenty of jokes to appeal to the adults, with the humour brought bang up to date with a Python-esque twinkle. A spectacular script, a spectacular musical score and now a spectacular new show, The Pirates of Penzance is sure to delight (not suitable for under 5s).
Another brilliant show which children will love is Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show [9-11 Aug]. Join Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald as they hit the road in their magical bus on a search for new acts for their talent show. Meeting and singing along with Cinderella, Buzz Lightyear, Tigger and many other Disney characters along the way, children will be mesmerized as the giant video screens transport them from hillside to desert to deep under the sea. Also not to be missed is the sensational Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat [13-17 Aug] visiting the Centre for the very first time and starring Ian ‘H’ Watkins – fresh from the hit television series Steps: On the Road Again. A range of exciting, innovative and interactive performances will also be running throughout the Family Summer Weekend [17&18 Aug].
A fantastic opportunity for budding young film enthusiasts is the week long Through the Lens film-making course. Run by industry professionals, the course will teach valuable skills and offers the chance to create a short film over the week. [English course: 12-16 Aug; Welsh course: 19-23 Aug. Booking essential].
The Milipwts’ Den, open and free to visit throughout the summer, is a comfy, fun and friendly space where children can discover, learn, create and explore. Join characters – Ogi, Dyfi, Lecsi and Ponti in a range of activities, from dancing to drawing, dressing up to word games, and learn more about the Centre and the wonderful world of the theatre.
For relaxing and refuelling, the Centre’s family-friendly café, Hufen, (with bottle warming facilities and children’s menu) will be serving great food and drink everyday throughout the summer (12-5 Mon-Fri, 11-5 Sat-Sun). Ffresh Bar and Restaurant will also be offering seasonal menus using local produce seven days a week, with child-friendly options available.
What’s more, between 27 July and 1 September, you’ll be able to combine your visit to the Centre with some time spent enjoying Cardiff Bay’s Urban Beach. New for this summer, Roald Dahl Plass, situated just in front of the Centre, will be transformed with the addition of a giant, child-friendly beach, a shallow water play area, live music and entertainment from local music and dance groups, and even traditional seaside rides and stalls.
Other events taking place in the Bay this summer include Cardiff’s Food and Drink Festival [12-14 Jul] which is guaranteed to please with its stunning showcase of Wales’ finest food offerings. The 11 August will see Cardiff’s annual classic car and boat rally, and theCardiff Harbour Festival will be taking place over the August bank holiday [24-26 Aug] promising free activities, a continental market, the British Fishcraft Championships and the highly popular extreme sailing series.
With so much on offer to captivate, inspire and entertain the whole family, this Summer at the Centre looks set to be a special one.
For further information or to book tickets, log on to www.wmc.org.uk/WhatsOn/Summer/ or phone 029 2063 6464.