Wales Millennium Centre’s renowned Blysh Festival is back for another summer [16 July - 3 August 2014] with its signature blend of cabaret, circus and street theatre. From free family friendly entertainment during the day, to performances of a more mischievous nature in the evening, this year’s Blysh, complete with exciting new features, looks set to be hotter than ever before.
Bringing the fun and quirky vibe of Blysh to the city centre for the first time, STORE will be kicking off Blysh Festival on 16 July. Having previously appeared in Vienna, Paris and New York, STORE [16 -19 Jul] will be bringing a completely new shopping experience to Cardiff. From as little as 50p, passing shoppers will be able to pay to watch a high quality, live performance from a choice of over fifty.
New for this year’s festival is the Blysh Busk Weekend [2 & 3 Aug] offering buskers the opportunity to perform in four dedicated locations across the bay. Audiences will be able to vote for their favourite act, the winner receiving £1000 and the opportunity to perform on Wales Millennium Centre’s Glanfa stage. [For those interested in performing, more information can be received by emailing email@example.com. Sign up deadline is 1 Jul].
Returning to Blysh for a second year, the striking Spiegeltent, with its ornate and mirrored interiors and intimate seating booths, will offer the perfect venue for the festival’s evening performances. The epitome of Blysh’s risqué side, the sassy, sword-swallowing Mistress of Ceremonies, Miss Behave [18 Jul], will be opening performances in the Spiegeltent with an evening of daring cabaret.
Also performing in the Spiegeltent across the three week festival are AirCraft Circus [19 Jul] with ‘Blysh Night at the Circus’ and Harlequin Theatre present ‘In Full Swing’ [24 July]. Cabaret superstar, Lady Rizo [25 & 26 Jul] will be performing vintage arrangements to pop songs from across the decades, and glamorous bearded drag lady, Timberlina, will be offering up a night of hilarity, impromptu rants and spontaneous dance routines as she presents The Big Bingo Show [30 & 31 Jul] with DJ Hey Baylen. Also taking place in the Spiegeltent is the Silent Disco [19 Jul] and Blysh Roller Disco [1 & 2 Aug].
Embracing the warmer summer weather, this year’s Blysh will once again feature a wide range of free outdoor performances including five new walkabout acts especially commissioned for this year’s Blysh [19, 20, 26 & 27 Jul, 2 & 3 Aug]. The headline event from across this year’s outdoor performances is ‘Grime’ from Ramshakalicious [20 Jul], a large scale show for all the family. Acrobatic troupe, Acrojau, will present their stunning new performance, ‘Frantic’ [19 Jul], an explosive exploration of our relentless devotion to busyness. Returning to Blysh for a second year, Le Navet Bete will perform their ridiculous madcap romp, ‘Extravaganza’ [19 Jul], combining acrobatics, audience interaction and plenty of clowning around, while Mimbre present their beautiful and breath-taking show, ‘Bench’ [27 Jul], an acrobatic reflection on life, who we are and how we connect with others.
Blysh will also have plenty on offer for families too, with plenty of free performances taking place during the day. Using flight simulators, ‘The Flycycle’ and ‘The Submercylce’, Pif Paf Theatre will be taking little ones on an exciting adventure of the imagination high in the sky and deep under water [27 Jul]. Another family highlight is award winning outdoor theatre company, Dizzy O’ Dare, presenting two family friendly shows, ‘The Wonderful World of Mr E’, and ‘The Tiny Travelling Tightwire Show’ [2 and 3 Aug].
A wide range of free performances will also be taking to the Glanfa stage across the festival including Blyshdance with ‘The Bomb in my Pacific’, [18, 19 & 20 Jul] a blend of ballet, contemporary dance and musical theatre choreographed by acclaimed, multi award winning international choreographer, Javier de Frutos, to music from Super Furry Animals’ Cian Ciarán.
An incredible range of musical performances, including a healthy dose of the quirky and bizarre, will keep the Blysh atmosphere feeling frivolous and fun. Highlights include novelty swing band The Hot Potato Syncopators and unique double act Rayguns Look Real Enough [both 26 Jul].
Louise Miles-Crust, Head of Programming at Wales Millennium Centre, said: “Six years on and Blysh continues to grow as Cardiff’s liveliest and quirkiest summer festival. This year’s busy programme has something for all interests and ages, from daring circus acts and hilarious cabaret to innovative street theatre and an eclectic mix of musical performances. I’m especially pleased that this year we are able to extend Blysh Festival into the city centre with STORE, and that local buskers will have the one off opportunity to perform in such a beautiful summer location as the bay. All that’s left to hope for is plenty of sunshine!”
Blysh is kindly supported by Arts Council of Wales | Blysh is part of Cardiff Summer Festival