Make A Big Splash With Newport’s Free Summer Festival!

A Hot Air Balloon, Some Grumpy Unicorns and a Giant Hippo are all set to appear at The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre’s Big Splash Festival this summer!

After an absence of two years, Newport Live and The Riverfront’s Big Splash festival returns to the city streets with a bang on Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 July with a jam-packed programme celebrating favourite acts from past festivals as well as some brand-new surprises.

The free family street theatre festival will once again cater to all ages with street theatre, busking, community performances, workshops and arts and craft activities, specially curated to entertain, amaze and amuse local people and visitors to the area.

Returning this summer are a series of much-loved acts from Big Splash 2019 including showgirl Able Mabel, who audiences may remember for her attempts to escape from handcuffs which resulted in her losing her costume instead!

Cartoon couple Gary & Pel will return with their Honeymoon Balloon; they have two tickets to paradise and are about to embark on their first ever luxury hot air balloon vacation.

Giant kangaroos on amazing bouncing stilts will also be back to roam the city streets as Roo’d bring their cheeky blend of outback macho and inner-city punk savvy.

Theatr Iolo return with their beautiful family production Hoof which follows three little deer who make an unexpected discovery when they stumble across an old, abandoned theatre in the woods. Hoof is a very special show for The Riverfront as it first appearance last summer, just under a year ago, marked the return of live theatre to the venue after its prolonged covid closure.

Animal fans of all ages won’t be disappointed in the Big Splash line up this year as a range of performances feature ‘animals’ in the starring role. Anarchic, wild and… educational Falconry Dismay will showcase the extraordinary talents of three performers dressed as majestic birds of prey and their expert handler. A pair of gym junkie grasshoppers invite audiences to take part in some hare-brained events in Great Insect Games and keep an eye out for part animal and part mechanical Hieronymus the hippo who is feeling under the weather in Hippochondriac.

The Riverfront will also showcase and celebrate the work of a range of other Welsh arts organisations at the festival. Hijinx Theatre will be proving that unicorns are in fact real, but maybe not as friendly as we all thought thanks to our inability to take them seriously in Grumpy Unicorns. Duo Flossy & Boo will be teaching audiences How to Defeat Monsters (and Get Away with It) in an educational and incredibly entertaining new show, and Taking Flight Theatre Co are ready to welcome you to the Department of Strange Events as they need help to solve The Curious Case of Aberlliw.

In addition to these performances there will be many more popping up across the city in a range of zones over the weekend including at The Riverfront itself, along the river walkway to the University of South Wales building, in John Frost Square, in Usk Plaza and along Commercial Street.

Big Splash 2022 is made possible thanks to the generous support, funding and sponsorship of Arts Council Wales, Newport City Council, Newport Now BID, Friars Walk, Le Pub, University of South Wales, Articulture, Loyal Free, Newport Bus and Alacrity Foundation.

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