It’s a bumper month for family-friendly theatre productions and other live performances, with everything from big musicals, ballets, adaptations of much-loved books, TV favourites and even Disney on Ice coming to South Wales in the coming weeks. Many of these take place in half term, many are selling out fast. Have a look and see if anything takes your fancy.
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My full February half-term listings will be published very soon…. watch this space!
Wales Millennium Centre
Tuesday 31 January-Saturday 4 February
Age guidance: 5+; 2 hours 20 including an interval
Celebrating 10 years since its premiere at Sadlers Wells – when it became the fastest-selling production in the company’s history – Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty continues to enchant audiences throughout the UK and across the globe. Enter a wondrous world of magical fairies and vampires, where the timeless tale of good vs evil is turned upside-down, creating a supernatural love story that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder. Will Princess Aurora ever find her true love again?
Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl
Friday 10 February, 6.30pm
Ballet Theatre UK presents one of the most enchanting love stories of all time. When Belle’s father is imprisoned in a mysterious castle, her attempt to rescue him sees her captured by the Beast, a grisly and fearsome monster. Little does she know that he is a Prince cursed by a magical enchantress. The only way the Beast may become human again is if he learns to love and be loved in return. Set to a stunning classical score this production will showcase new choreography by artistic director, Christopher Moore, as well as new sets and costumes created especially for this production.
Limited availability; selling fast.
New Theatre, Cardiff
Tuesday 14 February-Saturday 4 March
Age guidance 5+, running time 2 hours 35 including interval
The feel-good smash-hit musical is back in Cardiff for three weeks – and it’s selling fast with very limited availability on some dates. Set on a Greek island paradise, Mamma Mia is a story of love, friendship and identity, cleverly told through the timeless songs of ABBA. Sophie’s quest to discover the father she’s never known brings her mother face to face with three men from her distant romantic past on the eve of a wedding they’ll never forget.
Memo Arts Centre, Barry
Saturday 18 February, 2pm
Age guidance: 5+; 60 minutes with no interval
Adults £12, concessions £11, family of four £38
Take a tour of the world’s most bewildering building with comedy heavyweights The Noise Next Door. Who knows what lurks in the curious corridors and bizarre boudoirs of this ancient manor house? You do! What you say goes in this hour of anarchic entertainment that is fun for literally everyone. A little bit spooky, a little bit stupid and a whole lot of funny.
The Noise Next Door are thirteen-time sell-out veterans of The Edinburgh Fringe and have appeared on ‘The One Show’ (BBC One) and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ (ITV1). They have also appeared alongside the likes of Michael McIntyre, Katherine Ryan, Romesh Ranganathan and Harry Hill.
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Sunday 19 February, 3pm; running time 1 hour 10, no interval
Adults £15, children £7.50, family of four £30, family of 5 £35, under 2s lap ticket £2
Welsh National Opera present a family-friendly introduction to classical music, this tike with a dinosaur theme. The family show is interactive, entertaining and educational, as WNO presents some favourite pieces of music from stage and screen. Set sail on the high seas with Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman; escape to the mountains with Grieg’s instantly recognisable Hall of the Mountain King and walk alongside dinosaurs with John Williams’s epic Jurassic Park Theme. Audiences can also get up close and personal with Steve Pickett’s Dinosaur Rumpus, based on Tony Mitton’s ever-popular children’s book, Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus, featuring vivid video projections and original narration by presenter Tom Redmond.
A number of free activities, including a treasure hunt, face painting and more, are available in Wales Millennium Centre’s foyer from 1pm.
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
Monday 20 February, 1.30pm and 4pm; Tuesday 21 February 11am and 1.30pm
Age guidance: 1-5; 45 minutes with no interval
Egg and Spoon is a perfect gentle introduction to the magic of theatre for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Children are not expected to sit still; all performances are classed as Relaxed. An interactive romp through the seasons where you come in and out of a magic circle and get to open all the gifts of nature. Percy and April will get audiences settled on comfortable cushions and introduce you to Birdy, still hiding in his glowing egg. You’ll have to wait until Spring if you want to see him so it’s time to begin a hands-on journey through the year. Audiences will run through the rain and the falling leaves and sleep under the snow till the sun wakes us up for the butterfly party.
Memo Arts Centre, Barry
Monday 20, Tuesday 21, Wednesday 23 February, 9.30am, 11am, 1.45pm
£4, £13 for a family of 4
45 minutes; suitable for under 5s
A 45-minute interactive performance for under 5s. Barod! will have little ones singing new bi-lingual new songs, in an interactive show with a sprinkling of silliness that explores colours, numbers, sounds using singing, dance and musical instruments. Aisling and Helen are off to visit their friend who loves rainbows. Can you help them collect all the colours of the rainbow?
Blackwood Miners’ Institute
Tuesday 21 February, 11am and 2pm
Adults £11, concessions £9, family of four £32
Age 3+; 50 minutes
Gather round for the Moon’s magical story about a tap dancer he has been watching at night. Marina Skippett creeps out of her house every night to shuffle and stomp on the boardwalk to the sounds of the sea. She can’t tap dance at home any more since her evil, tractor-sized Aunty banned it! But then, one moonlit night, Marina meets a mysterious, watery boy swimming in the sea and her life is never the same again! Features puppets, live music and tap dancing in a show for all ages.
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
Wednesday 22 February, 1.30pm, Thursday 23 February 4.30pm
Wednesday 22 February 11am, Thursday 23 February 1.30pm
Age guidance 2-8; 60 minutes with no interval
A funny, magical and musical adventure that will be on tour in the new year with a new cast Anni Dafydd and Gwern Phillips.
An interactive drama for younger children from acclaimed theatre company Arad Goch. This is a lively and musical drama, sometimes funny and at other times dealing with the emotions of the children with themes regarding friendship, working together and caring – and encouraging the children to be creative in their own way.
Separate performances are available in Welsh (suitable for new Welsh speakers) and English with elements of British Sign Language.
St David’s Hall, Cardiff
Wednesday 22 February, 4.30pm, Thursday 23 February, 10.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm
Age guidance 3+; running time 1 hour
Adults £16, children £14
Based on the much-loved book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Zog is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet…a duel with knight, Sir Gadabout the Great. The smash-hit stage adaptation from Freckle Productions (the team behind Zog and the Flying Doctors and Stick Man) is back and promises to be bigger, brighter and more roar-some than ever before. With lively songs from Joe Stilgoe and directed by Emma Kilbey, this is a magical production for all ages.
Wednesday 22 February, 1.30pm and 4.30pm; Thursday 23 February 10.30am and 1.30pm
Age guidance 3+; 60 minutes
Based on the best-selling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, jump on board the broom with the witch and her cat in Tall Stories’ fun-filled adaptation of Room on the Broom.
The witch and her cat are travelling on their broomstick when they pick up some hitch-hikers – a friendly dog, a beautiful green bird and a frantic frog. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and – CRACK – it snaps in two… just as the hungry dragon appears! Will there ever be room on the broom for everyone?
Cardiff International Arena
Thursday 23-Sunday 26 February, 10.30am, 2.30pm and 6.30pm
Disney On Ice presents Discover the Magic is an adventure filled with world-class skating, high-flying acrobatics and unexpected stunts. Explore the colourful spirit realm of Coco, sail away with Moana, see Belle in the sky as the enchanted chandelier comes to life, and sing along with Elsa. Join the celebration and make magical memories with Aladdin, Toy Story, The Little Mermaid and many more of your Disney friends, at Disney On Ice presents Discover the Magic.
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Thursday 23 February, Friday 10, Tuesday 14 and Saturday 18 March, 7.30pm
Welsh National Opera present this tale of Cymru, coal and choral singing Set in a 1950s Welsh Valleys’ community, Blaze of Glory! follows the fortunes of a small group of miners who embark upon a musical escapade by reforming their male voice choir to raise spirits following a mining disaster. Blaze of Glory! celebrates the land of song and how community spirit can triumph over adversity. Traditional Welsh harmonies blend with the a cappella sounds of the 1950s, operetta, gospel and big band as our intrepid band of gleemen Lindy hop their way to glory.
(No age guidance supplied but suitable for families with older children and school groups.)
Memo Arts Centre, Barry
Friday 24 February, 2pm
Adults £10, concessions £8, family of four £32
Age guidance: 6+
A LIVE Cinema-Theatre show. Follow CBeebies’ Patrick Lynch as he uses a pioneering mix of live cinema and theatre to take you on a thrilling ride across the magical world of ancient Greece. With miniature sets he directs the lights, camera and action in front of your eyes to show the famous battles, floating islands, one-eyed giants and angry Gods that make up Ulysses’s 20 year struggle to get back home. The use of multiple cameras magnifies the table-top puppetry in widescreen down to the smallest detail, turning a storm-in-a-teacup into an Aegean tempest, laying out the fundamental fable hidden in this classic of world literature and proving that no matter how far you roam, there’s no place like Homer.
The Riverfront, Newport
Friday 24 February, 11.30am, 2.30pm, 4.30pm
Running time 65 minutes
When all of his friends go away, Norman Price decides to find adventure in Pontypandy and become the star of a visiting circus. But with a tiger on the loose and faulty lights, the adventure soon turns to danger. Can Fireman Sam come to the rescue and save the circus? Join Sam, Penny, Elvis, Station Officer Steele and Norman in an all singing, dancing, action-packed show.