LET’S begin with a quick congratulations: In April Llanelli Youth Theatre won an award for ‘Excellence in Heritage’ at the Carmarthenshire Celebration of Culture Awards 2019 for their WWI centenary events. Congrats to all involved for a fantastic “living theatre” display last November. If you are a member of any groups on Facebook focusing on theatre or the arts in Carmarthenshire or “Like” any pages you may have seen (dependent, naturally, on newsfeed algorithms) that they are also having a fundraising drive (fronted by John Owen Jones, an alumni of the group) to try and fundraise to help contribute to essential running costs (including hiring rehearsal spaces; insurance; performing rights; set, costume and prop construction and hire; technical equipment and theatre hire). LYT are a very active company, formed 35 years ago and are very well regarded for the training they give young people in all aspects of theatre and every performance I have seen of theirs is well attended – yet they need extra funding help.

Theatre is an expensive business – and I’m not talking about ticket prices (though Carmarthenshire is lucky to have relatively affordable ticket prices compared to other places), but the cost of putting on a quality piece of theatre.

Take the most popular form of theatre – the musical. If you’re an amateur theatre group putting on a musical you’ve got to pay for performance rights, script hire, music book hire, costume hire, set hire, prop hire/purchase, rehearsal space hire, venue hire, technical costs, insurance costs, promotional/marketing materials, musician fees and also give a cut of your ticket income to the licenser of the performance! You’re probably talking at least £10k to put on that big show stopper. So a lot of companies are becoming very nervous about putting on a big musical – it only takes one flop or poorly timed production to bankrupt you.

So let’s try and support our local theatre groups – in fundraisers, by going along to shows, and any other way possible. There are less and less grants and funding available (and it will surely only get worse before it gets better) and costs are increasing.

So with that in mind, let’s see what’s on this month:

On 5th June Glasgow’s acclaimed Company of Wolves re-imagines the myth of Achilles in a heart-stopping solo performance by Ewan Downie in Stiwdio Stepney, Ffwrnes.

13th-15th June at the Miners, Ammanford Community Theatre are back with their latest World Premiere Comedy, The Top Table.

14th June is the is the ultimate celebration of Musical Theatre with the Les Musicals Live Concert Tour at Ffwrnes.

17th June at Ffwrnes for Refugee week the Orphaned Limbs Collective present ‘When in Roam’, a multi-arts exciting work which explores the theme of home and belonging using humour and poignant storytelling.

18th June is “Theatr Gen Creu ar Daith: Pwy ‘Sgrifennodd Honna?” a series of Welsh Language rehearsed readings by local playwrights at Stiwdio Stepney, Ffwrnes.

Finally on 21st & 22nd June at Ffwrnes is the Play for Fun Group presenting local playwright Colin Issac’s latest comedy “Like a Thief in the Night”

Images: House – promo image from “When in Roam”

Llanelli Youth Theatre being presented with their Excellence in Heritage award

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