As we enter July preparations are well and truly underway for The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre’s Big Splash 2019 and the people of Newport are in for a treat! The free family festival will take over the streets of Newport on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July with acts, groups and music curated exclusively for your enjoyment.
John Frost Square and Usk Plaza become a giant stage for the big, the bonkers and the brilliant as part of Friars Walk Zone sponsored by Newport shopping centre Friars Walk. Here is a sneak peek at some of the very exciting acts that will be entertaining you over the Big Splash weekend.
Whimsy by Krystal Lowe is a beautiful dance-theatre story piece about of a girl who sees beauty in everything around her from the shinning sun to the bright green moss but wonders how she can compare. Through an imaginative adventure she comes to see the beauty in herself.
Music fans won’t want to miss Bootworks Theatre’s The JukeBoxes! Two beautiful 1950’s Jukeboxes sit side-by-side spring to life to re-create classic pop music videos in a lip-syncing musical medley. Using props, masks, puppets and a terrible selection of wigs, the kitsch duo animate some of our favourite celebrity popstars from past and present. Come along and sing and dance along with the show!
What the Tortoise Taught Us by the Flying Buttresses brings the Big Splash life lessons from the wisest creature on the planet, a giant tortoise no less! Meet Zelva, the beautiful giant tortoise. Walk side by side with this awesome reptile, feed her, stroke her and be inspired by a close-up encounter with one of nature’s most shy creatures. Lettuce hope she comes out of her shell!
The Last Post is here! But who is it for? And what is inside? Find out in Kristoffer Hubball’s brand new piece, commissioned by The Riverfront especially for the festival, and be part of history as humanities last ever letter is delivered. Performed by two clowns, The Last Post is a surreal, playful, interactive theatrical experience, exploring what it means to communicate at a time when the world needs friendship the most. All ages will love it!
How about some terrible dancing? Dick Danger will be dancing like no-one is watching….and it’s possible that those who are actually watching may just wish they weren’t in Dad Dancing by Bongo Bolero. There will be juggling, cheesy gags and a precarious chair stack to be conquered!
Friars Walk Zone will also have giant balloon sculptures set to an 80s soundtrack from Dizzy O’Dare and The Giant Balloon Show, a quick change hula hooping extravaganza in Wonder Woman by Interstellar Productions, and youngsters from Newport’s very own cheerleading, dance and performance academy, Defying Gravity, will showcase their talents. This zone certainly has something for everyone!
Simon Pullen, centre director at Friars Walk, said: ‘It’s a real privilege to be working with The Riverfront and Newport Live and sponsoring this wonderful family-festival. Both here at Usk Plaza and up on John Frost Square, Big Splash will be returning even bigger and better to Friars Walk Zone to celebrate the best in art, dance, music and theatre.
The event brings an amazing energy to the city every year and we can’t wait for it to return later this month. Jam-packed full of free events and performances, it’s going to be a weekend to remember for our local community and a great way to kick-start the summer holidays.’