Thanks to the generous sponsorship of electricity distribution business Western Power Distribution (WPD), The Riverfront Theatre and Art’s Centre will be transformed into family hub Splashtonbury at the year’s Big Splash festival over the weekend of Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July!
Considered as a festival-within-a-festival, Splashtonbury features activities for the whole family, from soft play and arts and crafts for the under 5’s with Flying Start and Active Tots, to workshops with Operasonic, to fantastic live music out on the terrace on the Splashtonbury stage. This year this outdoor stage will be taken over by local community artists and groups showcasing their talents in their hometown through the return of Sessions @ The Riverfront!
This year the front of the theatre will be taken over by Mufti Games and their brand new giant boardgame ROMANS! Challenge your inner centurion, play 3000-year-old boardgames and strive for victory in a gladiatorial bout of rock-paper-scissors. Percussion, games and interactive storytelling will be used to recreate the anticipation and excitement of ancient Rome in all its glory!
On Saturday 20, The Riverfront Foyer will become home to Lucie Sheridan and her Rubbish Portrait Booth. Sit in the booth for a maximum of 4 minutes and receive your very own limited edition signed painted portrait… it wont actually be rubbish! On Sunday 21 you will find a live and rolling performance – a current affairs cabaret from Mr & Mrs Clark and Dino Rovaretti as they present The News. The roving reporters will be seeking out any newsworthy stories to present in a way that will make you question whether you really want to know the truth.
The Riverfront Gallery will become home to Big Splash favourites Flossy & Boo for the weekend. You may remember them from last year and their piece Ned and the Whale. This year they bring The Ramshackle’s Brilliant Adventure, a whirlwind theatre adventure following a family of misfits like no other. They missed the talk on how to grow up, on how to sit still, or drink nicely from a cup. Their adventures took them to faraway places, with tangled hair and grubby faces. A trip to Egypt, a picnic on the moon… digging to Australia with a small wooden spoon!
If this wasn’t enough excitement, Splashtonbury sponsored by Western Power distribution will also be visited by a range of roving acts before they make their way into the city centre! Egg People bring a show that is sure to have everyone ‘buzzing’, Waggle Dance which follows a swarm of super friendly bees looking for a new home; a fast change hula hoop show from Interstellar where Wonder Woman attempts to save the world from evil; and Taking Flight’s Anti Fun Ministry will be patrolling and identifying all subcategories of amusement and happiness to stamp out! Deaf artist Jonny Cotsen will be at The Riverfront on Sunday 21 with ‘The Hearing Hearing Aid’ (HHA), which works with creative technology to create an empathetic new piece of work giving the user an opportunity to reflect on how they listen.
The Sparklettes return this year with Sunday Service as The Sisters of Saint Sparkles’ call to prayer, smashes irreverence and fabulous into one almighty hula hooping church service. The Riverfront are thrilled to once again be working with both The Sparklettes and Western Power, a year on from the Hoop Troupe project that resulted in the arts centre’s nomination for an Arts & Business Cymru Award.
WPD’s Karen Welch said: ‘We believe in playing an active role in the communities we serve. The Big Splash is fine example of our commitment to that. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Newport Live and have been involved with festival for five years. Each year it goes from strength to strength, it’s hugely successful and we’re more than happy to support it again this year.
The festival appeals to all ages and initiatives like these are a great way of bringing people together in a fun way within our communities, and we hope everyone will enjoy the festival and have a great time.’