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Welsh female theatremakers take centre stage in the 2018 Festival of Voice

Seren Vickers in rehearsals for Highway One. Photo: Kirsten McTernan Seren Vickers in rehearsals for Highway One. Photo: Kirsten McTernan

Following a hugely successful launch in 2016, Festival of Voice returns to Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre for its much-anticipated second instalment, which will focus on a thrilling generation of Welsh female theatremakers and musicians.

Song and spoken word will come together excitingly in Cardiff over 11 days in June with distinctive local talents Gagglebabble, August 012, Katell Keineg, Carys Eleri and others sharing the stage with the legendary Patti Smith, world music doyenne Angelique Kidjo and the bard of protest, Billy Bragg.

Francois Pandolfo, a performer in Double Vision. Photo: Kirsten McTernan

Double Vision (June 7-17) is a new thriller co-produced by multi-award-winning theatre company Gagglebabble and the Wales Millennium Centre. Cardiff-based Gagglebabble has scored a run of successes with entertaining, genre-breaking theatre experiences such as Sinner’s Club and The Bloody Ballad.

Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock and Ernest Lehman’s unfinished screenplay The Blind Man (intended as a follow-up to North by Northwest), Double Vision is a multi-sensory, inclusive experience. Expect to be disorientated. Expect to question everything. A story of friendship, perception and betrayal that will take you on a journey through the darkness of the human psyche, blending Gagglebabble’s signature dark humour with an electrifying score by Lucy Rivers and performed by a live band, fronted by Lisa Jen from Welsh folk band, 9Bach.

Carys Eleri, writer and creator of Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff). Photo: Rag House Studio

Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff) (June 5-16) is a fabulous, fun one-woman science-comedy-music show created and performed by Welsh actress Carys Eleri.

Vivacious, hilarious and talented, BAFTA Cymru nominee Eleri brings her much-loved Welsh charm (and lashings of oxytocin!) to the Festival of Voice in this intelligent, brutally honest and witty show about the neuroscience of love and loneliness. Drawing from her own experiences, Eleri combines smart, funny songs with heartfelt tales, taking you on a journey to discover how love works, why it makes us do crazy things and why hugging is the answer. She’ll also be taking the show to Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.

Tom Mumford, a performer in Highway One. Photo: Kirsten McTernanT

Highway One (June 6-10) is co-produced by August 012 and Wales Millennium Centre with Katell Keineg. Led by Mathilde Lopez, August 012 produces vigorous and ambitious, internationally focused contemporary work developed, shaped and questioned by the way we live here and now in Wales. Keineg has been a part of the music scene since the 1990s, creating work with Iggy Pop, Sinead O’Connor and Jeff Buckley along with her own distinctive music.

Featuring live performances from Keineg incorporating songs from her forthcoming album, Highway One is a touching and absurdly funny tale. Mari is trying to make sense of her life when a centaur, Medea, and a dead Italian filmmaker turn up and take her on a journey to the Oracle. The pilgrims encounter the usual – and unusual – tribulations of travel in their search for meaning; the ancient and the modern, the sacred and the mundane, the real and the fictional.


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