What a year, 2018

What a year, 2018

With 2018 drawing to an end we thought we'd close the final curtain with a look back over what's been an incredible year.

January

Take That's new musical, The Band arrived and the audience had a nice surprise when Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald appeared on stage with the cast. Needless to say our social media went through the roof.

February

We always do our best to fire people's imaginations and February was no exception. We built a universe...the Big Build was back and Glanfa was transformed, as more than 2000 people came together to create an alternative universe, complete with colourful planets and alien life forms.

March

Spring saw the launch of our new Performances for the Curious season that featured the work of 48 Welsh performers from a variety of backgrounds. One of the season highlights was Fleabag starring Maddie Rice; a theatre adaptation of the BAFTA award-winning BBC TV series.

April

April saw the arrival of Matthew Bourne's production of Cinderella; set in 1940's London during the Blitz it captivated audiences with a visually stunning production and a sumptuous soundtrack by Prokofiev.

May

Our annual urban arts festival Breakin' the Bay teamed up with Festival of Voice to give young people the opportunity to curate, book, contract, promote, and run their very own music event in one of Cardiff’s most iconic music venues and helped produce a sold-out gig at Clwb Ifor Bach.

June

Now in it's second year Festival of Voice continued to expand in both reach and ambition as one of Europe's fastest-growing international arts festivals.

This year there was a huge range of diverse performances from the likes of Patti Smith, Elvis Costello, Nadine Shah, Gruff Rhys and the BBC Concert Orchestra, Tank and the Bangas, Le Gateau Chocolat, Reykjavikurdaetur and many more.

July

Warhorse continued to dazzle and delight audiences in Wales as the record-breaking musical returned to the Centre at the beginning of the Summer with incredible puppetry and effects that had audiences wondering whether or not the horses on stage were actually real.

August

Eisteddfod, Donald Gordon Theatre
Eisteddfod, Donald Gordon Theatre

During the long, hot Summer of 2018 we hosted the National Eisteddfod of Wales and the crowds turned out in force - helped by the amazing weather and school holidays - for a fantastic inclusive festival of Welsh culture, song and dance that saw up to 25,000 people passing through our doors each day.

Also in July, Lovecraft, our co-production written by and starring Carys Eleri went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before heading down under to Adelaide.

September

September was all about the Welsh National Opera as they unleashed their Autumn opera season.

Tolstoy's epic, War and Peace took to the stage and we also saw the revival of the world's best-loved opera, La traviata and La Cenerentola - Rossini’s retelling of  Cinderella - complete with outrageous wigs and a sparkling musical score.

October

October brought Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo to the Bay. For the last 40 years, the all-male comedy ballet company known as The Trocks has delighted audiences with sassy spoofs and hilarious homages to classical ballet.

November

November was a Wicked month as we all turned green for a couple of weeks with witches, amazing stage scenery and crowds pouring in for both matinee and evening performances as Wicked continued to cast it's spell over audiences.

Performances for the Curious returned for its second season with plenty of Drag, cabaret, musicals, jazz and contemporary theatre including The Last Five Years, Icons, Tuck and more.

December

Christmas at the Centre is always a special time and this year we've been lucky enough to have the hit musical, Matilda in the Donald Gordon Theatre to wow families of all ages right the way through to 12 January 2019.

Le Gateau Chocolat was also in residence, bringing us Duckie, a re-imagining of the children's classic The Ugly Duckling as well Icons, his live musical extravaganza for grown-ups.

It was also big month for Radio Platfform as we opened a second radio studio, began broadcasting live from the Centre and launched our fundraising campaign, Pump Up The Volume to raise £15,000 for young people at the Cardiff-based charity, Grassroots to take part in our six-week radio production course.

2019 will be even better. Take a look at what's coming up...