We believe in the transformative power of the arts to create positive change. Our own productions, learning hubs and programme of theatre, cabaret and art fire the imagination of all.
Watch a film about our work with young people, artists and communities:
As a national arts and learning centre, we aim to contribute to Welsh culture in all its diversity, to nurture Welsh talent and young people in a range of skills related to the arts and offer a platform for our national artists to tell their story.
As a bilingual nation we celebrate and champion Welsh language artists, presenting and producing performances bilingually.
More than ever, we collaborate with young people, artists, community members, cultural organisations and our audiences to mutually create a home for the arts in Wales which is joyful and relevant to all.
Creative production: We make theatre, festivals, events and digital experiences which entertain, stimulate, and inspire our audiences at home and further afield. In our mission to nurture talent, we also offer a platform to local artists to support their journey in the industry.
We have successfully produced/co-produced numerous shows and are developing a rich slate of productions with diverse artists, writers, and directors all with a strong story to tell.
The Boy with Two Hearts, a story of hope from Afghanistan to Wales, enraptured audiences in Cardiff before transferring to London’s National Theatre to resounding praise. We caught up with brothers Hamed and Hessam Amiri to chat about their journey into the world of theatre production, and getting their family's extraordinary story from page to stage.
Learning programme: We believe culture has the power to raise the aspirations of those who have had more challenges than most and create life-enhancing experiences.
Our learning programme is targeted at 11–25-year-olds and consists of digital learning experiences and practical skills workshops and courses co-created with young people, for young people.
We ensure we give the next generation ownership of these spaces and freedom to tell their story and be creative in the way they choose.
By engaging with the young people we work with, we’ve allowed them to tell us what their creative spaces should be like and what kinds of courses they could explore.
We run our Radio Platfform studios and courses all year round, and have delivered youth theatre, costume creation, graffiti and street art courses amongst many other creative avenues.
Community engagement: Audiences and community are at the heart of what we do; we find new ways to engage with our local and national community but we also embed their diverse voices in the foundation of our programme.
We give communities the opportunity to plan and curate their own events in our public spaces and to perform at signature events like Llais.
We give them a platform to tell stories about themselves, their histories, and cultures. We work to ensure that anyone and everyone can access our shows through community ticketing giving free or subsidised tickets to around a 1,000 community groups and individuals, and 6,500 school children and teachers a year.
We are committed to providing a range of events and experiences. From St David’s Day to our community Iftar event, we want the wonderful diverse makeup of Cardiff and South Wales to feel that Wales Millennium Centre truly is a home for everyone.
We have our Lolfa, a free community space where people can relax, meet friends, find activities for children and make use of our community library and larder. This is also home to poetry and book club nights that are curated by the community, further boosting our offer of free special events and our belief that Wales Millennium Centre is not just a building but a resource to use and share.
Our Cabaret venue is also home to a Purple Plaque for local icon Patti Flynn, one of the most beloved members of the community.
Theatre programme: Our Donald Gordon Theatre welcomes high-quality, award-winning productions fresh from the West End. 105,000 theatre lovers experienced the stunning production of Disney’s The Lion King, whilst 66,000 ticket holders witnessed the phenomenal reimagined version of Les Misérables.
Carefully picking a diverse calendar of five-star musicals (My Fair Lady, Heathers, Six, The Color Purple), plays (The Play That Goes Wrong, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, War Horse) and dance shows (Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Dada Masilo's The Sacrifice, Rambert Dance in Peaky Blinders) means that we provide an artistic lifeline to the people of Wales who can’t travel to theatre cities such as London to see some of the best productions on offer.
Welsh National Opera presents several seasons of outstanding work to over 25,000 ticket buyers a year.
Cabaret: Our programme of comedy, cabaret, drag, music and spoken word brings together experimental and celebrated acts from the very best in contemporary theatre and performance.
We opened our bespoke Cabaret space that provides a home for creatives from Wales and brings performers from all over to the Bay to share their art.
The programme welcomes performers from local, bilingual and LGBTQ+ communities to offer a stage to all.
Immersive experiences: Creative experiences aren’t just about seeing a show, they're also about exploring new forms of storytelling. Bocs, a dedicated space for free immersive experiences and extended reality (XR), is open daily.
An ever-changing line-up of experiences provides visitors with access to award-winning technologies and events. We’ve produced shows and exhibits to compliment our productions such as Ripples of Kindness for The Boy with Two Hearts and The Museum of Nothingness for The Making of a Monster, and we even brought an exhilarating flight simulator to our doorstep.
Public spaces: As well as welcoming our local community to use our space, host events, contribute to exhibitions and perform on our stages, we also curate exciting public art to inspire everyone.
We displayed two magnificent sculptures by UK artist Luke Jerram, Museum of the Moon and Gaia which took over our Glanfa foyer. Last Christmas we hosted Azadi, an exhibition by Welsh, Iranian artist Naz Syed of Ziba Creative that celebrated community and Persian culture and heritage through beautiful pom-poms of unity, gratitude and hope from across the globe. The installation transformed our entire building, and we held a Yalda event in our Glanfa area with live music, a Persian funk music DJ, spoken word, a craftivism workshop, a fashion show and more.
When we transformed our front of house space, we knew we wanted local artists and Welsh creatives to be at the heart of it, and one way we ensured that was by commissioning Llio James, a designer and hand weaver from Ceredigion to create beautiful cushions. Designed in her studio in Splott, Llio produced over 60 beautiful pieces that guests can enjoy, as well as hanging loomed fabric pieces too.