A Shopping Trip Like No Other…

Over the weekend of Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 July Newport’s The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre will transform your city centre shopping destinations! Kingsway Centre will be the place to be for fun, laughter and free street entertainment thanks to their continued support and sponsorship of Big Splash as several pop-up and roving performances appear across the Centre over the weekend.

On Saturday, Newport favourites Mr & Mrs Clark will be taking residence in an empty shop unit with their painting and art extravaganza Inviting the Neighbours Around to Paint which was hugely popular at Big Splash 2018. Join them and take part in a spot of creative doodling or profound painting. The blank walls are a sounding board for ideas, shapes, colour, discussion, and most importantly- expression. Inviting The Neighbours Around To Paint is an open invitation to everyone to be creative, so put down your shopping bags and make a mark to create an ever-growing piece of unique artwork.

Other acts dropping into Kingsway on Saturday to take your mind off your shopping list will be the Egg People with their Waggle Dance and Joy Magnet’s B-Boys. You might not expect to bump into a swarm of bees while going about your Saturday business, but that’s exactly what happens in Waggle Dance! Don’t worry, they are very friendly; Queen Beeatrix, The Beezey Rider, BayBee, Granny Bee, Scout Bee and Lord Bumbleton the third are just trying to adapt to life outside the hive. The B-Boys will appear to bring out the funk in you as you shop, complete with giant boombox sound system and massive high tops. If you are lucky you may even be let in on their secret handshake…

On Sunday 21, Kingsway will be invaded by a pair of ‘Krilliant pugilistic crustaceans’, Egg People’s the Boxing Crabs! They’ve got the eye of the tiger but are in a bit of a pinch… They’ve stretched their ‘mussels’ but their ‘crabby’ attitude might see one of them getting battered. Join the ‘shrimply crabtivating’ Boxing Crabs as they train for the biggest fight of their lives, being friends with your biggest rival. Also popping up at Kingsway Centre will be Joy Magnet’s Strong Men! These sporting stars with attitude on powerskip stilts will be bouncing around and reaching impressive heights 1m off the ground. Put down those shopping bags and test your endurance against the circus Strongmen.

‘The team at Kingsway Centre are excited for the return of the ever-popular Big Splash festival this year and we are delighted to be sponsors, hosting some amazing performances and acts over the two days. As a free family event the festival always draws a great crowd and our tenants can’t wait to welcome visitors and performers alike.’ Kingsway Centre’s Operations Manager, Colin Rees.

Western Power Distribution sponsors Family Hub Splashtonbury at this year’s Big Splash!

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.’

Get involved in Big Splash through Festival Makers!

This summer, to get you all in the festival mood Newport’s The Riverfront are running a series of ‘Festival Makers’ workshops in collaboration with Citrus Arts, a South Wales based performance company founded by Welsh artists James and Bridie Doyle-Roberts. Festival Makers aims to get people of all ages into the festival spirit and teach them some fantastic new skills through a series of free workshops in the run up to the Big Splash festival.

The first of these workshops is a Circus Skills Workshop on Sunday 16 June from 10.30am-3.30pm (also Sunday 30 June, 1.30 – 3.30pm and Sunday 14 July, 1.30 – 3.30pm). This workshop enables participants try a range of circus skills from hula hooping to trapezing to tightwire walking. In the workshops there will also be the opportunity to learn some choreography and take part in a special routine over the Big Splash weekend!

There will be a Flag Making Workshop on Tuesday 18 June, 4.00-6.00pm to design and create colourful and vibrant flags inspired by nature that will be on display at The Riverfront over the Big Splash weekend. This workshop will cover basic skills in screen printing, stencil making and sewing.

For those who may be interested in a career in running events or event security there are the Stewarding Training and High Expectations to High Vis workshops.

Stewarding Training (Saturday 22nd June, 9.30am – 4.30pm) is an entry level accredited course which will give you all the skills you need to steward events. This qualification provides the knowledge of how to prepare for events, control entry and exit of customers, identify and deal with crowd problems and respond to emergencies and provide a good level of customer service. Subjects covered include preparation for spectator events, control of spectators at events, assessment of crowds and responses to potential crowd problems and response to injuries, illnesses and other emergencies.

High Expectations to High Vis (Tuesday 25 June from 5.00-8.00pm) is a workshop that looks at planning a public arts event, including the practicalities and possible pitfalls. This session covers case studies of arts festivals and gives understanding the of considerations for audience behaviour, audience expectation and experience, as well as considerations for Health & Safety and risk assessment.

Further Festival Makers workshops include a Willow Art Workshop (Sunday 30 June, 10.30am-12.30pm) allowing participants to create a shooting star or even a galaxy for display at the Big Splash festival, a Screen Printing Workshop (Sunday 14 July, 10.30am-12.30pm) where you can create your own design to be used as festival décor on flags, bunting and banners, and a Combined Willow Art & Screen Printing Workshop (Sunday 7 July, 10.30am-3.30pm).

All Festival Makers workshops will be held at The Riverfront in the run up to Big Splash, and have been made possible thanks to funding from Fusion and Resilient Communities

To book a place on any of the workshops, or for more information please email Sally-Anne Evans on sally-anne.evans@newportlive.co.uk.

Want to perform at Big Splash?

Image credit: Kirsten McTernan

We are currently on the look out for fantastic community groups to perform at Big Splash.

We want to showcase as many groups as possible, and give them the opportunity to perform at one of Wales’ biggest street theatre festivals.

Whether you are a busker, a breakdancer,  singer or stand up, solo performer or part of a group; we want you in our community zone Splashtonbury.

Get in touch with Sally-anne.evans@newportlive.co.uk to register your interest!

Slots go quickly so please get in touch by June 24th

Help us make a Big Splash in Newport this July!

Big Splash is one of Newport’s largest free, family events, run by The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre thanks to the support of local sponsors and volunteers. This year the festival takes place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July and will be jam packed with performances and shows across the city centre, from Friars Walk to Commercial Street to The Riverfront.

In order to make the festival a success once again The Riverfront are looking to recruit a team of enthusiastic and dependable people who can support the festival by volunteering a few hours over the two days. Depending on experience, skills and interests, volunteers will get involved in assisting with performances and set up, stewarding, distributing programmes, collecting audience feedback, helping the public with any queries and making the festival accessible to all.

If you are aged 18 and over, enjoy meeting new people, are confident in talking to the public, are enthusiastic about Big Splash and the arts and are proud and positive about the city of Newport, you are just who The Riverfront are looking for!

If you are interested in donning a Big Splash yellow t-shirt this summer (that you can keep!) and being part of bringing this fun and exciting event to the streets of Newport, you can find more information and an application form on the Big Splash website https://bigsplashnewport.com/whats-on/volunteer/. Alternatively pop into The Riverfront for a chat with a member of the team. Applications must be submitted by Sunday 23 June. Full training will be provided for successful applicants prior to the festival.

Sblash Mawr yn dychwelyd i Gasnewydd dros yr haf!

Bydd yr ŵyl theatr stryd awyr agored boblogaidd i deuluoedd, Sblash Mawr, unwaith eto’n dychwelyd i strydoedd Casnewydd ym mis Gorffennaf i syfrdanu, difyrru a diddanu pobl leol ac ymwelwyr o’r cyffiniau! Yn un o’r gwyliau am ddim mwyaf o’i bath yng Nghymru, bydd y Sblash Mawr a drefnir gan Glan yr Afon yn meddiannu canol y ddinas o ddydd Sadwrn 20 tan dydd Sul 21 Gorffennaf 2019 ar gyfer penwythnos llawn digwyddiadau a pherfformiadau am ddim i deuluoedd a phlant mawr.

Gyda chymorth ariannol gan Casnewydd Fyw a Chyngor Celfyddydau Cymru yn ogystal â nawdd gan Friars Walk, Canolfan Ffordd y Brenin, Newport Now a Western Power Distribution, bydd y Sblash Mawr yn difyrru miloedd o bobl gyda theatr stryd a cherddoriaeth fyw yn ogystal â gweithgareddau i’r teulu cyfan, a’r cyfan am ddim.

Mae Ardal Gwella Busnes Newport Now yn noddi’r Sblash Mawr am y drydedd flwyddyn yn olynol gyda pharth yn Commercial Street a’r Stryd Fawr, gan sicrhau bod yr ŵyl yn cynnwys ardaloedd siopa traddodiadol  canol y ddinas.

Meddai Kevin Ward, rheolwr yr AGB, ‘Rydym wrth ein boddau o fod yn rhan o’r Sblash Mawr eto. Mae wedi dod yn un o’r prif ddigwyddiadau yng nghalendr canol y ddinas ac yn denu cwsmeriaid mawr eu hangen i’r Ardal Gwella Busnes i wylio’r perfformiadau stryd penigamp.’

Meddai Simon Pullen, Cyfarwyddwr Canolfan Friars Walk, ‘Rydym wrth ein boddau o fod yn rhan o’r Sblash Mawr unwaith eto – bydd Parth Friars Walk yn dychwelyd gyda theatr stryd fywiog a hwyl i’r teulu cyfan. Mae’n bleser mawr i fod yn rhan o ddigwyddiad mor arbennig sy’n ychwanegu egni rhyfeddol at ganol y ddinas.’

Bydd perfformiadau unwaith eto yn ymddangos mewn chwe pharth Sblash Mawr, gan droi canol y ddinas yn un llwyfan awyr agored fawr. Rhai uchafbwyntiau o’r ŵyl y llynedd oedd perfformiadau gan ffefrynnau Casnewydd, Mr a Mrs Clark, y perfformwyr theatr stryd Le Navet Bete, y band samba Barracwda a’r cwmni theatr Flossy and Boo. Mae’r fflachgriw cylchynnau hwla ‘Hoop Troop’, a gynhaliwyd ar ddydd Sadwrn yr ŵyl y llynedd ar y cyd â Western Power, ynghyd â The Sparklettes hefyd newydd eu henwebu ar gyfer Gwobr Celfyddydau a Busnes Cymru!

Disgwylir i Sblash Mawr 2019 fod yn fwy ac yn well nag erioed, gyda mwy o berfformwyr syrcas, comedi colbio, theatr stryd a pherfformiadau ar gerdded sy’n adloniant perffaith i deuluoedd! Y llynedd daeth mwy na 24,500 o ymwelwyr i’r ŵyl ac mae trefnwyr yr ŵyl yn hyderus y bydd rhaglen eleni yn denu, yn difyrru ac yn gwefreiddio hyd yn oed mwy o bobl yng nghanol Casnewydd.

 ‘Yng ngŵyl y Sblash Mawr y llynedd, meddiannwyd dinas Casnewydd am un penwythnos yn unig gan forfilod anferth, ungyrn ar feiciau un olwyn a changarŵs neidiol ymhlith rhyfeddodau eraill. Eleni gall pobl ddisgwyl i hyd yn oed mwy o gymeriadau anhygoel feddiannu strydoedd y ddinas, yn ogystal â rhai syrpeisys wrth gwrs!’ Olivia Harris, Cynhyrchydd Creadigol Theatr a Chanolfan Gelfyddydau Glan-yr-Afon a’r Sblash Mawr.

Gallwch gael yr wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am yr ŵyl ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol – Twitter @BigSplashFest a Facebook,  facebook.com/bigsplashnewport – lle caiff y perfformwyr cyntaf eu cyhoeddi yn fuan iawn!

The Big Splash Returns!

Much-loved outdoor family street theatre festival Big Splash will once again return to the streets of Newport this July to amaze, amuse and entertain local people and visitors from the surrounding areas! As one of the biggest free festivals of its kind in Wales, Big Splash organised by The Riverfront will be taking over the city centre from Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 July 2019 for a weekend jam-packed with free events and performances for families and big kids.

Thanks to funding from Newport Live and the Arts Council of Wales as well as sponsorship from Friars Walk, Kingsway Centre, Newport Now and Western Power Distribution, Big Splash is set to entertain thousands of people with free live street theatre, music and activities for all the family.

The Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID) is sponsoring Big Splash for the third successive year with a zone in Commercial Street and High Street, ensuring the festival includes the traditional shopping areas of the city centre.

BID manager Kevin Ward said: ‘We’re delighted to be involved with the Big Splash again. It has become one of the key events in the city centre calendar and brings much-needed footfall into the BID area to watch the fantastic street performances.’

Friars Walk Centre Director, Simon Pullen, said: ‘We’re really pleased to be involved with Big Splash once again – the Friars Walk Zone will be returning featuring vibrant street theatre and hands-on fun for all the family. It’s a real pleasure to be involved in such an amazing event which adds a wonderful energy to the city centre.’

Performances will once again pop up in six Big Splash zones, turning the city centre into one large outdoor stage. Highlights from last year’s festival included performances from Newport favourites Mr & Mrs Clark, street theatre act Le Navet Bete, samba band Barracwda and theatre company Flossy and Boo. Hula Hoop flash mob ‘Hoop Troupe’ which took place on the Saturday of last year’s festival in collaboration with Western Power and The Sparklettes has also just been nominated for an Arts & Business Cymru Award!

Big Splash 2019 is expected to be bigger and better than ever, with more circus, slapstick, street theatre and walkabout performances perfect for family entertainment! Last year visitors to the festival exceeded 24,500, and the festival’s organisers are confident that this year’s programme will attract, entertain and delight even more people in the heart of Newport.

‘Last year’s Big Splash Festival saw the city of Newport taken over for one weekend only by giant whales, unicycling unicorns and bouncing kangaroos to name but a few. This year people can expect even more crazy characters taking over the streets of the city, and a few surprises of course!’ Olivia Harris, Creative Producer for The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre and Big Splash.

To stay updated with Big Splash 2019, keep an eye on social media, Twitter @BigSplashFest and Facebook facebook.com/bigsplashnewport; the first act announcements will be made very soon!

Theatr Glan yr Afon yn cael ei henwebu am wobr yn sgil ei gwaith gyda Gŵyl y Sblash Fawr.

Roedd Theatr a Chanolfan Celfyddydau Glan yr Afon wrth ei bodd o ddysgu yr wythnos diwethaf ei bod wedi cael ei henwebu ar gyfer Gwobr Celfyddydau, Busnes a Hunaniaeth Brand a noddir gan Hern & Crabtree yng Ngwobrau Celfyddydau a Busnes Cymru 2019. Mae’r Gwobrau hyn, sydd wedi cael eu cynnal am dros chwarter canrif, yn annog, yn cydnabod ac yn dathlu partneriaethau rhagorol rhwng y sector preifat a’r celfyddydau.

Cafodd Theatr Glan yr Afon ei henwebu yn sgil ei phartneriaeth â Western Power Distribution (WPD) ar gyfer Gŵyl y Sblash Fawr, sef gŵyl theatr stryd a chelfyddydau awyr agored am ddim boblogaidd iawn Casnewydd, a ddenodd tua 24,000 o bobl i’r ddinas yn 2018. Creodd y bartneriaeth ‘Hoop Troupe’ a roddodd gyfle i bobl hŷn ddod ynghyd i gymdeithasu, cael hwyl a dysgu sgiliau newydd drwy amrywiaeth o weithdai a gafodd eu cynnal yn Theatr Glan yr Afon cyn y Sblash Fawr.

Gweithiodd y project gyda grwpiau cymunedol i fenywod lleol, gan gynnwys Age Cymru Gwent, Age Alive a Coffee & Laughs, a gafodd ei arwain gan ymarferydd proffesiynol cylchau hwla a’r syrcas lleol. Arweiniodd hyn at ‘fflachdorf’ o gylchau hwla ar fore Sadwrn 21 Gorffennaf 2018, lle cafwyd arddangosiad o sgiliau newydd y grŵp.

Roedd y project hwn, a gychwynnodd i hyrwyddo cynhwysiant cymdeithasol drwy gymryd rhan mewn gweithgaredd cynhwysol llawn hwyl, yn llwyddiant ysgubol gyda thros 120 o bobl yn cymryd rhan yn y Hoop Troupe drwy gydol oes y project. Yn dilyn rhaglen o weithdai wythnosol llwyddiannus yn Theatr Glan yr Afon, cymerodd dros 50 o bobl ran yn fflachdorf y Sblash Fawr, cyn gwahodd pobl o bob oedran a oedd yn eu gwylio yn y dorf i ymuno â’r hwyl.

Ar ôl cael gwybod am yr enwebiad, dywedodd Olivia Harris, Cynhyrchydd Creadigol, ‘Rydym wrth ein bodd bod y project Hoop Troupe wedi cael ei gynnwys ar y rhestr fer am wobr Celfyddydau a Busnes, i gydnabod gwaith ein cymuned gyda WPD, sy’n gefnogwyr y Sblash Fawr ers tro ac yn gyfaill Casnewydd Fyw. Llwyddodd y project i ddod â phobl hŷn ynghyd o bob rhan o’r ddinas, a dysgu sgil corfforol newydd iddynt mewn modd hwyl a chymdeithasol, gan greu cyfle cyffrous i berfformio hefyd. Ni fyddai projectau fel hyn yn bosibl heb gymorth WPD, ac rydym yn falch iawn bod y bartneriaeth hon wedi cael ei chydnabod.’

Dywedodd Karen Welch, Swyddog Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol WPD, ‘Rydym yn credu ei bod hi’n gyfrifoldeb ar sefydliadau mawr fel ein sefydliad ni i chwarae rhan lawn a rhagweithiol yn y cymunedau maent yn eu gwasanaethu. Rydym wrth ein boddau o gael gweithio mewn partneriaeth â Chasnewydd Fyw.  Rydym yn ymrwymedig i gefnogi amrywiaeth o brojectau, yn enwedig y rhai sy’n ymwneud ag addysg, diogelwch a’r amgylchedd. Rydym yn falch iawn o gael ein henwebu, ac mae hi bob amser yn dda cael cydnabyddiaeth fel hyn.’

Bydd Glan yr Afon yn darganfod a ydyw wedi bod yn fuddugol mewn seremoni gwobrwyo yng Nghanolfan Mileniwm Cymru, ddydd Iau 11 Gorffennaf.

The Riverfront Receives Award Nomination for Big Splash Festival Work

The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre were delighted to discover last week that they had been nominated for the Arts, Business & Brand Identity Award sponsored by Hern & Crabtree in the 2019 A&B Cymru Awards. The Awards, which have been running for over a quarter of a century, encourage, acknowledge and celebrate exemplary partnerships between the private sector and the arts.

The Riverfront received their nomination for their partnership with Western Power Distribution (WPD) for the Big Splash Festival, Newport’s much loved free outdoor arts and street theatre festival which in 2018 brought around 24,000 people into the city. The partnership created ‘Hoop Troupe,’ an opportunity for older people to come together to socialise, have fun and learn new skills through numerous workshops which took place at the Riverfront leading up to the Big Splash.

The project worked with local women’s community groups including Age Cymru Gwent, Age Alive and Coffee & Laughs, which was led by a local professional hula hoop and circus practitioner. This culminated in a hoop ‘flash mob’ on the morning of Saturday 21st July 2018 where the group showcased their new skills.

Started as a project to promote social inclusion through participation in a fun and inclusive activity, the project was a massive success with the Hoop Troupe seeing over 120 participate throughout the life of the project. Following a successful weekly workshop programme at The Riverfront, over 50 people took part in the Big Splash flash mob, before people of all ages watching in the crowd were invited to join them and join the fun.

After learning of the nomination, Olivia Harris, Creative Producersaid ‘We are delighted that the Hoop Troupe project has been shortlisted for an Arts & Business award, in recognition of our community work with WPD,  a long-standing supporter of The Big Splash and friend of Newport Live. The project successfully brought older people together from across the city, taught them a new physical skill in a fun and social way and created an exciting performance opportunity too. Projects like this couldn’t happen without the support of WPD, and we are thrilled that this collaboration has been recognised.’

WPD’s Corporate Communications Officer Karen Welch said ‘We believe it is the responsibility of large organisations like ours to play a full and active role in the communities they serve. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Newport Live.  We are committed to supporting a range of projects especially those that relate to education, safety and the environment. We are delighted to be nominated, and it is always good to receive recognition like this.’

The Riverfront will discover if they have won the award at a ceremony at the Wales Millennium Centre on Thursday 11 July.

Road Closure on 22nd July

As the festival will be taking place on Commercial Street, a temporary road closure is on place on Saturday 22nd July at the following locations and times:

Under the Town Police Clauses Act 1847- Section 21,  between the hours of 09.00 and 18.30 Commercial Street, Charles Street (from the bollards leading down onto Commercial Street) and Corn Street will be closed to traffic.

Thank you for your support and we hope that you enjoy the event!