Thank you for helping us make a Big Splash in Newport this year!

The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre were delighted to welcome thousands of people through their doors and into the city centre over Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July as people from Newport and the surrounding areas came along for the 9th annual Big Splash. The city centre came alive with colour, music and laughter as some of the most exciting performers and groups from across the UK transformed Newport into one giant outdoor stage.

Saturday highlights included the opportunity to paint with Newport’s very own Mr & Mrs Clark, with the giant masterpiece created staying on display in Kingsway Centre throughout the summer holidays. Over in the Friars Walk Zone we saw Dizzy O’Dare bounce about inside a giant lime green balloon, and met a very friendly giant tortoise called Zelda. Usk Plaza also hosted Whimsy, a beautiful dance piece and a hilarious performance of The Last Post.

The Band at the End of the World were a big hit on Saturday afternoon as they performed an energetic, lively and at times poignant set at The Red Wave complete with smoke and firecrackers. The inclusion of Cross Keys Brass Band during the second part of their set really tied into Big Splash’s community feel.

Local young people from Newport Youth Service’s group NP20 showcased their talents in the University of South Wales zone supported by Age Cymru and Sports Wales. There was rapping, dance routines, a beautiful rendition of ‘Shallows’ from A Star is Born, not to mention some beautiful graffiti work. On Sunday, this zone became home to a giant spinning platform and a very talented juggling duo.

Commercial Street became home to the very first Big Splash Busk Zone on Saturday presented by Le Pub, sponsored by Newport NOW in partnership with Horizons / Gorwelion and Forte Project. From a giant golden disco truck, to local band Codewalkers, the acts had people dancing in the street and singing along to the music.

The Riverfront AKA Splashtonbury sponsored by Western Power Distribution was invaded by a giant swarm of happy bees on Saturday, who took great pleasure in meeting the Mayor! The Indonesian Multicultural Zone provided beautiful dancing and Gamalan curated by Jera Creative Agency, and the buzzing Splashtonbury Stage was home to beautiful music and instrumental sounds carrying down the river walkway. On Sunday The Sparklettes kicked things off with their Sister Act inspired hula hooping spectacle Sunday Service, before children from Ringland Primary school paraded through the building showcasing the outfits they had created out of recycled materials. There was also so much to do and make at The Riverfront thanks to workshops, arts and crafts, Active Tots, Flying Start and Baby Rave.

The Riverfront, and the Big Splash team would like to thank our funders and supporters, without whom Big Splash wouldn’t be possible. We had an absolutely fantastic weekend, one which we believe was our biggest and best yet! Thank you very much to Newport Live, the Arts Council of Wales, Newport City Council, Friars Walk, Kingsway Centre, Newport NOW, Western Power Distribution, Horizons / Gorwelion, Le Pub, Forte Project, Age Cymru and Sports Wales for your continued support.’ Olivia Harris, Creative Producer.

Dancing Dads, Giant Tortoises and The Last Post Letter on Earth: All Coming to Big Splash 2019!

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.’

Witness Commercial Street transform into The Big Splash Busk!

There not long to wait now until the streets of Newport are transformed for The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre’s two-day extravaganza Big Splash. In an exciting development for 2019, on Saturday 20 July Commercial Street will come alive as musicians, performers and artists from across the city come together to perform as part of a giant busking festival.

The Big Splash Busk will be curated by Newport venue Le Pub and the zone is sponsored by the Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Horizons / Gorwelion and Forté Project.

From family discos to ukulele bands to singer-songwriters, Commercial street is where the party will be at on Saturday from 12-5pm.  The bottom of Charles Street will be taken over by a truck-based disco, which is guaranteed to get the party started and get you dancing. Other acts not to be missed include Jon Francis Lloyd, Natty Paynter, Francesca’s World Salad, Ginger Mouche and of course the Le Pub Ukelele Band!

The party continues for grown-ups into the evening as Le Pub presents ‘Big Splash After Hours,’ headlined by Newport’s own The Nightmares, and featuring Chroma, Rosehip Teahouse and Codewalkers.

Kevin Ward, Manager of Newport Now BID, comments: ‘This is the third year of the Newport Now Zone, which is aimed at ensuring the Big Splash increases footfall in the traditional areas of the city centre. We work closely with Newport Live to produce something different every year and we’re really excited to be funding the busking festival this year. Le Pub is one of more than 400 BID members in the city centre and it’s great to have Sam and her team on board to curate what we are sure will be a fantastic day of music.’

Samantha Dabb, Venue Manager at Le Pub comments ‘We are absolutely delighted we have been chosen to curate a whole day and night of music for Big Splash. We’ve handpicked every artist and we can’t wait to share them with the people of Newport. We’ve worked closely with Forté Project and The Gorwellian Horizons Project on this and are very excited to showcase their amazing work and artists.’

A Taste of Indonesia Comes to Big Splash!

Over the weekend of the 20 & 21 July the city of Newport will come alive with music, theatre and laughs as The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre’s Big Splash returns for its 9th year. Over the festival weekend The Riverfront is transformed into Splashtonbury Family Hub with workshops, performances, acoustic stage and make and take activities for all ages. Who needs Glastonbury when you’ve got Splashtonbury! 

To mark the 70th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Indonesia and the United Kingdom, this year The Riverfront will also be hosting an Indonesian Multicultural Zone.

This special event will bring enchanting sounds of the gamelans to The Riverfront with spectacular traditional dancing and the opportunity to learn to play traditional musical instruments. Traditional arts and crafts will be on display and visitors can take part in Batik workshops to create something very special to take home with them. There will be storytelling though puppetry, film and Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language), and Indonesian food and coffee will be available.

Sally Evans, Arts Development Officer at The Riverfront commented ’This is such a fantastic addition to Big Splash. We are lucky to have been selected to host this international group, who are travelling especially from Indonesia to perform with us.  They will be here for the whole weekend and we are really excited to experience the various arts forms they have to offer.’

It’s been made possible thanks to Jera Creative Agency through the Indonesia Market Focus at the London Book Fair 2019 Fringe Event program, funded by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Indonesia and in collaboration with the Culture Caravan program of The Office of Education and Culture Attache, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, London and the Indonesian Student Communities in Bristol and Wales. 

Professor E. Aminudin Aziz from the Education and Culture Attache said ‘This is a great opportunity to strengthen the ties between Indonesia and Wales through educational and cultural activities. We present various kinds of performances to show the richness as well as the uniqueness of our cultures.’

Cynthia Langeveldt from Jera Creative Agency is also extremely pleased once again to curate and celebrate Indonesia’s multicultural creatives. “It has always been my dream to showcase the incredible collaborations we have developed with Indonesia to Wales and thanks to Newport Live, my dream has been realised. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of The Big Splash Event as we celebrate Wales and Indonesia’s multicultural wealth.”

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.

Trampolines, telling stories and more…

This week’s Big Splash line-up announcement features acts to thrill, enthrall and terrify the young and young-at-heart alike.

Be thrilled by Max Calaf Seve – a trampolining superstar who will push the boundaries of circus theatre and will leave your spirits soaring in his performance, ‘Anyday’ – and Able Mable – a whip-wielding, magic-creating showgirl with a flair for the dramatic and ridiculous.

Be enthralled by storytelling with a difference inside Talking Birds’ The Whale – where there are plenty of surprises for intrepid sailors – and Kapow Dance’s Grow – a playful and touching celebration of the power of nature.

Lastly, be terrified by Dizzy O’Dare’s Baba Yaga’s House – a unique and bizarre walkabout act inspired by centuries-old Slavic fairytales.

Watch this space for your downloadable programme and map coming very soon!



Bingo, Barracwda and a bridezilla

Your next Big Splash line-up announcement is here! Join us at Newport’s free family street theatre festival for bingo with a difference, a Brazil-inspired carnival band, and a madcap street theatre performance revolving around a jilted bride.

Wild ‘n’ Beets presents Bingo Lingo, a re-invention of the great British tradition in which your comperes, Beryl and Cyril, play on oversized bingo cards and fuse disability politics with a cheeky end-of-the-pier humour.

Cardiff-based Barracwda have been lighting up festivals around the country with their unique brand of Afro-Brazilian percussion, and now they’re bringing their fresh beats to Big Splash.

Lastly, meet Honour and Cherish: Taking Flight‘s jilted bridezilla and her long-suffering mother, who will be roaming the streets of Newport looking for absolutely anyone to take her daughter’s hand in marriage.

More line-up announcements and a full timetable of when and where you can see all Big Splash 2018 acts will be coming soon. Watch this space!


Virtual reality, magical storytelling, and a very strong lady

What do these three things all have in common? They’re all now part of Big Splash 2018!


Come on an adventure through virtual reality with Thrill Laboratory’s VR Playground. In the latest ride experiment designed by aeronautical engineer Professor Brendan Walker, you’ll propel yourself through swirling metropolises, leap across skyscrapers and escape the deep abyss – all by playing on the swings!

Meanwhile, the world of the Strong Lady is filled with dazzling contrasts: muscle and grace, beauty and brute strength, lifting the hearts of the audience and… well… lifting the audiences themselves! A genuine strong woman, Betty Brawn will delight, impress and amaze.

Then, be spellbound by the mystical tale of Ned and the Whale, as told by Flossy and Boo. Encounter strange lands, soar the sky and help timid Ned find his courage, in this magical, musical journey of a boy and his whale.

More line-up announcements and a full timetable of when and where you can see all Big Splash 2018 acts will be coming soon. Watch this space!


Beth sydd gan y tri pheth hyn yn gyffredin? Maen nhw bellach i gyd yn rhan o Sblash Mawr 2018!

Dewch ar antur trwy realiti rhithwir gyda Man Chwarae Realiti Rhithwir Thrill Laboratory.  Yn yr arbrawf reid diweddaraf a ddyluniwyd gan y peiriannydd awyrennau, Yr Athro Brendan Walker, byddwch yn eich gwthio’ch hun drwy ddinasoedd enfawr sy’n chwyrlïo, neidio rhwng nendyrau a dianc rhag yr affwys dwfn – i gyd gan chwarae ar siglen!

Yn y cyfamser, mae byd y Fenyw Gref wedi’i lenwi gan wrthgyferbyniadau disglair: cyhyrau ac urddas, harddwch a bôn braich, yn codi calonnau’r gynulleidfa a…wel…codi’r cynulleidfaoedd eu hunain! A hithau’n fenyw gref go iawn, bydd Betty Brawn yn swyno, yn creu argraff ac yn eich syfrdanu.

Wedyn, cewch eich cyfareddu gan chwedl gyfriniol Ned a’r Morfil fel yr adroddir gan Flossy and Boo. Dewch o hyd i wledydd rhyfedd, esgynnwch i’r wybren a helpu Ned, sy’n swil, i fod yn ddewr ar daith swynol, gerddorol bachgen a’i forfil.

Bydd mwy o gyhoeddiadau am yr hyn fydd ar gael ac amserlen lawn o ble a phryd y gallwch weld holl berfformwyr Sblash Mawr 2018 maes o law.  Gwyliwch amdano!

First Acts Announced for Big Splash 2018

Featuring giant kangaroos, outdoor community art and Monty-Python-esque madcap mayhem, our first line-up announcement for Big Splash 2018 packs a punch.

Ever wanted to see giant kangaroos bouncing around Newport city centre? Who wouldn’t? Effortlessly bouncing on amazingly crafted stilts, Joy Magnet’s cheeky kangaroos will be a phenomenal sight to see; they’re always Roo’d but never offensive.

Meanwhile, the irreverent Le Navet Bête return to Newport with their downright bonkers Extravaganza. Rammed full of acrobatics, improvisation, live music, audience interaction, circus influences, and even a flaming unicycle, this ridiculous, madcap romp has entertained audiences of all ages all over the world.

There’ll be something fishy going on with Fair Play’s superbly silly Fairly Fresh Fish Co., which will give audiences the opportunity to see an octopus come to life, prawns dancing, and a worrying seafood smoothie.

Newport’s own Mr and Mrs Clark will be bringing art practice to street level with Inviting The Neighbours Around To Paint. Let the blank walls be a sounding board for your ideas; put down your shopping bags, let go of those everyday stresses, and come and make a mark on an ever-growing piece of unique artwork.

Lastly, Molly Orange presents a new circus sitcom set in a failing old-fashioned boozer, in which our PUB landlord and landlady have a big decision to make: go hipster or go hungry. Featuring acrobatics, juggling, the odd pint of Guinness and a fiery finale, PUB is a farcical look at how gentrification hits its communities hard.

More line-up announcements and a full timetable of when and where you can see all Big Splash 2018 acts will be coming soon. Watch this space!


Gyda changarŵs mawr, celf gymunedol awyr agored a chyffro fydd yn eich atgoffa o Monty Python, dyma ein cyhoeddiad cyntaf am bwy fydd yn perfformio yn Sblash Mawr 2018.

Ydych chi wedi bod eisiau gweld cangarŵs mawr yn neidio o amgylch canol dinas Casnewydd? Pam lai?! Yn neidio’n ddi-ymdrech ar stiltiau ardderchog, bydd cangarŵs direidus Joy Magnet werth eu gweld; maent yn Rŵ-d o hyd, ond byth yn sarhaus.

Yn y cyfamser, bydd Le Navet Bête yn dychwelyd i Gasnewydd gyda’i sioe sy’n hollol wyllt! Yn llawn campau acrobatig, celf fyrfyfyr, cerddoriaeth fyw, rhyngweithio â’r gynulleidfa, dylanwadau syrcas ac hyd yn oed beic un olwyn, mae’r wledd wyllt hon wedi diddanu cynulleidfaoedd o bob oedran ledled y byd i gyd.

Bydd rhywbeth rhyfedd yn mynd ymlaen gyda Fairly Fresh Fish Co. gwirion Fair Play, fydd yn rhoi cyfle i gynulleidfaoedd i weld octopws yn dod yn fyw, corgimychiaid yn dawnsio a smwddi bwyd môr diddorol…

Bydd Mr a Mrs Clark Casnewydd yn dod ag arferion celf i’r stryd gyda Inviting The Neighbours Around To Paint. Gadewch i’r waliau gwag ysgogi eich syniadau; felly rhowch y bagiau siopau i’r naill ochr, anghofiwch am bryderon bach bob dydd a dewch i wneud marc i greu darn o gelf unigryw sy’n tyfu’n fythol.

Yn olaf, bydd Molly Orange yn cyflwyno sitcom syrcas newydd mewn tafarn hen ffasiwn hwn, mae’r tafarnwr a’i wraig yn wynebu penderfyniad mawr: troi’n hipsters neu lwgu! Gyda champau acrobatig, jyglo, ambell beint o Guinness a ffeinal chyffrous, bydd PUB yn cymryd golwg gwirion ar sut mae boneddigeiddio yn effeithio ar gymunedau.

Bydd mwy o gyhoeddiadau am yr hyn fydd ar gael ac amserlen lawn o ble a phryd y gallwch weld holl berfformwyr Sblash Mawr 2018 maes o law. Gwyliwch amdano!