This Autumn Newport’s Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre presents a host of high-quality new drama pieces to the theatre, all of which have either been created by award-winning Welsh companies, are set in Wales or have a Welsh cast. Unmissable dramas this season cover a variety of themes from health and wellbeing to ageing, from love to nightlife, there is something for every age and every taste!
Thunder Road (October 4, 2019)
Written and staring Catherine Dyson, a regular face on The Riverfront stage having previously brought Transporter in 2019, Thunder Road (pictured above) is a bold and original dark comedy by RedCape Theatre all about the power of the Heimlich manoeuvre, the call of the open road, and the kind of friendship you would take a bullet for. This ‘fun and feisty, quirky road trip through dreams and friendship, first aid tips and cowboy boots,’ (British Theatre Guide) confronts themes of domestic abuse, the curbing of female ambition and the portrayal of women in crime dramas as faceless victims. The drama follows Maureen and Sylvie as they embark on a First Aid training trip. When things take an unexpected turn in a Travelodge, events spin out of control and they find themselves on a life changing road trip where their friendship is tested to its limits and they must keep moving just to stay alive.
Gods & Kings (9 – 11 October)
Co-produced between The Riverfront and Four in Four Production, Gods & Kings is an emotionally honest and darkly funny account of what it is like to live a life ruled by mental illness. Set in Newport, the drama tells the true story of Paul who walks into a psychiatrist’s office believing he is either a god or a king and leaves with a diagnosis of bipolar manic depression. This thought provoking, powerful and moving drama also features some light and comic moments as Paul faces a life changing decision: take the pill and live, or don’t take the pill and die. Each performance of Gods & Kings will be British Sign Language interpreted and will be followed by a post-show panel discussion.
Pavilion (22 – 25 October)
In late October The Riverfront welcome Theatr Clwyd’s Pavilion . This dark comedy by Wales’ Emily White and directed by Tamara Harvey (Olivier Award winner of Best Comedy for Home, I’m Darling) has chosen Newport to be its only touring venue. Featuring a star-studded Welsh cast including Ifan Huw Dafydd, Victoria John, Kristian Philips, Tim Treloar and Michael Geary (star of last years Riverfront panto), the drama is set on a Friday night as The Pavilion is closing for good. Music pounds, lager flows, lust grinds and fists fly. The run-down small town in a forgotten corner of Wales is filled with big personalities and even bigger egos. The show is sure to bring back many a fond memory for audiences reminiscing of their own night’s out.
The Invisible Woman (9 November)
One-woman dark comedy The Invisible Woman written by Ailsa Jenkins and starring Nicola Reynolds (High Hopes, Doctors, The Story of Tracy Beaker) is a drama all about aging ungracefully and searching for significance after becoming invisible to society. A few years ago, Mari realised she’d disappeared. Shocked but undaunted, she’s decided to use this misfortune to her advantage. Get ready for red lipstick, rubber bands and retribution as Mari attempts to right the wrongs of her community. Can she make peace with the past to fix her present? Can she make herself visible to those who matter most to her? This will be a hilarious and poignant story that many will identify with.
Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff) (14 November)
Straight from the Adelaide Fringe, The Riverfront welcomes award-winning Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff) in mid-November. Co-produced by Carys Eleri and Wales Millennium Centre, this one-woman science comedy musical explores the neuroscience of love and loneliness. Prepare to experience heartfelt tales of relationship highs, lows and the downright confusing. This personal show is told with plenty of sass, chocolate, hugs and bangin’ tunes and will help you discover how love works within all of us, why it makes us do crazy things and why hugging is the answer.
For tickets for the above drama productions call 01633 656757 or visit newportlive.co.uk/riverfront. There are a limited number of £5 tickets available for these shows for those aged 15 – 25.