Thursday, 20 December 2012

THE STAGE | Panto Round Up 2012

The rest of those The Stage panto reviews...

Sleeping Beauty
Published Friday 14 December 2012 at 10:58 by Susie Wild

"As usual the New Theatre bang out the bling and special effects in their big budget, long-running pantomime. This season’s festive fairytale Sleeping Beauty is packed full of fireworks, twinkle-twinkle starry nights, flying bicycles, tarzan-rope swinging, curtain-clinging, Batman and Robin and four can-canning penguins."

Published Friday 14 December 2012 at 11:02 by Susie Wild

"Babes in the Wood meets Robin Hood in this traditional, touring Owen Money panto vehicle. Based on an old English ballad, the story sees the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham plot to have his niece Samantha and nephew Simon killed, resulting in the two children being abandoned deep within Sherwood Forest where the Big Bad Wolf lives. But all is not doom and gloom as slapstick comedy, bad Christmas cracker jokes, considered costumes and strong songs ensure the kids are kept laughing."

Robin Hood
Published Friday 14 December 2012 at 11:04 by Susie Wild

"Robin Hood (Torchwood’s Daniel Llewelyn-Williams) and his band of merry men and women arrive in Newport for a tolerable panto season turn of duels, campfire sing songs and forest romance. Last year’s Buttons (Keiron Self) plays the likeable Much, inviting us all to join his fantastic gang."

Published Monday 17 December 2012 at 12:33 by Susie Wild

"Swansea Grand Theatre is celebrating its 100th pantomime this year, and a glance around its Arts Wing exhibition of posters and photographs through the decades shows some top household names playing villains, dames and fairytale princesses - worth a look."

The Snow Tiger
Published Monday 17 December 2012 at 10:32 by Susie Wild

"In a small village beside a frozen lake lives a little boy called Usko who loves to be told his favourite story about the snow tiger, who lives on the mountain, and his daughter Little Bear - the loveliest, happiest little tiger that ever there was."

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Peter Pan

Published Thursday 6 December 2012 at 14:51 by Susie Wild
Sherman’s modernised story focuses on the experience of Wendy, a teenage girl growing up painfully fast. Rebecca Newham makes a confident stage debut complimented by a well-voiced cast and original songs with a Disney film feel.
A scene from Peter Pan at the Sherman Cymru, Cardiff
A scene from Peter Pan at the Sherman Cymru, CardiffPhoto: Farrows Creative
Taunted by her brothers for owning her first bra, Wendy is left alone on Christmas Eve while her dad sneaks off to the pub. Feeling old enough to begin to understand the bigger questions in life but given none of the answers at home, she is whisked away to Neverland by mischeivous charmer Peter Pan (Joshua Considine). There she shifts identity from sweet mother homemaker for Adam Ant and the Lost Boys in part one, to rock chick pirate Black Heart, fighting out her teenage angst as the Captain’s right hook woman in part two.
Stereotypes are subverted to good effect at the start, as Michael (Meilir Rhys Williams) is overjoyed to have a male fairy for their tree, and Tink is described as androdgenous. Lucy Osborne’s ribbon forest is a delight, as are the multimedia effects which have us ‘flying’ with Peter and Wendy over cities, and through constellations. A charming - if rather dark and adult - show which could do with more humour throughout to keep the youngest viewers enthralled.

Production information

Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, December 5-January 5
Rob Evans
Rois�n McBrinn
Sherman Cymru
Cast includes:
Joshua Considine, Russell Gomer, Rebecca Newman, Meilir Rhys Williams, Daniel Graham, Adam Scales, Kyle Rees
Running time:
2hr 20mins
Production information can change over the run of the show.

Read the review on The Stage website:

Monday, 3 December 2012


I am going to seven pantomimes and festive shows for The Stage this year. Here is my review of Pantomime Number One


Published Monday 3 December 2012 at 11:37 by Susie Wild
Aberdare’s Aladdin combines Eastern magic, mummies and genies with plenty of rub-a-dub-dub. Last year’s ugly sister Frank Vickers once again dames up wonderfully as Widow Twankey, with more costume changes than the Oscars - highlights including a camel and ingenious variations on rotary washing lines thanks to the BA (Hons) costume staff and students from Coleg Morgannwg.
Also trying to have a rub, but this time of the magic lamp, not the royal laundry, is Baker Boys’ Richard Corgan, making his evil panto debut by playing Abanazar as a Shakespearean villain - cue lots of silly jokes based on mispronouncing his name - ‘Av a banana’, ‘Abergavenny’ and so on.
Lower budget than the big city pantos, this production’s sets are less flashy, but a stronger adaptation of the script to localise the plot provides plenty of laughs, while stage fireworks and a flying magic carpet ensure there is much to entertain small kids and their big kid parents.
Eye candy for mums and grans comes in the boy band forms of Tom Richards - a former X Factor contestant who plays the glittery-chested Genie of the Lamp - and Maxwell James (The Adventures of Sancho Panza) as Aladdin, who both prove more than competent on vocals.
Natalie Morgan’s bossy Princess Jasmine provides lovely vocals some of the time, while Amy Coombes slightly over-eggs the Genie of the Ring. Zoe Davies and Richie Gooding are tongue-in-cheek comic caricatures as the police double act PC Ping and PC Pong, and Gavin Nelson jests as Wishee Washee with some hit-and-miss b-boy interludes.

See it on The Stage website:

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cardiff Literary Salon | 11 December 2012 | Carrie Etter & Bob Walton

Cardiff Literary Salon Returns on 11th December 2012

Literary Salon

Sherman Cymru plays host to the Cardiff Literary Salon

Tuesday 11 December  - 7.30pm
Special Guest: Carrie Etter
American expat Carrie Etter has published two collections, The Tethers (winner, London New Poetry Award; Seren, 2009) and Divining for Starters (Shearsman, 2011), and edited Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman, 2010). Her poems have recently appeared in New Welsh Review, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, and The Rialto, among other journals.

 For more information on the event visit the Facebook event page:

You should also join the Facebook Group for Cardiff Literary Salon:

Monday, 12 November 2012


Susie Wild says an emotional void has taken Wales out of the Valleys
November 8th, 2012
All would be well if, if, ifCry the green bells of CardiffWhy so worried, sisters, whySang the silver bells of WyeAnd what will you give meSay the sad bells of Rhymney
From The Bells of Rhymney by Idris Davies
By now you have probably seen or heard about MTV’s latest Reality TV show The Valleys. Filmed in Wales, it is a spin off from Geordie Shore, MTV UK’s commercial hit show which was based in Newcastle. Following a similar format MTV producers chose volatile wannabe halfwits trying to make it in ‘the industry’, this time plucking nine young people from the ‘obscurity’ of the south Wales valleys and placing them in a share house in the bright lights of Cardiff. Although the show is unscripted, unlike TOWIE and Made in Chelsea, it still sets up scenarios and heavily edits footage to cause the participants to get it on or kick off with little regard for the communities and reputations of the places it discusses on camera.
The Valleys’ emblems are lazily obvious Welsh stereotypes – sheep, leeks – shoved on billboards, and later tattooed on the girls’ nether regions in a charming display of commaraderie. Seeming to prefer unreality for their reality shows, the MTV team created their own Welsh myths – press releases depicting the valleys as rural backwaters, talking about the ‘tranquility of valleys life’ and our ‘hamlet towns’ (but meaning the contestants home towns of Swansea, Bridgend, Tredegar and Pontypool). Towns that they imply are uncrossable distances from the metropolis of Cardiff, rather than the short bus or train hops they really are:
“Deep in the heart of South Wales, in the quiet and picturesque rolling countryside known as The Valleys, nine youngsters are currently stuck in humdrum and unexciting jobs, but dream of a life of stardom, limousines, flashing paparazzi bulbs and adoring fans. Brand new show The Valleys will pluck them from obscurity and thrust them into the limelight where they will live in a house kitted out with a ‘cutch-hut’ (sic) and cameras, to see if they succeed amidst the hustle and bustle of Cardiff city.”

Read the article in full on Click on Wales

Friday, 2 November 2012

BBC WALES ARTS BLOG | Do Not Go Gentle festival designed with Dylan Thomas in mind

Thursday 1 November 2012, 15:44

Tagged with:

Organisers of the inaugural Do Not Go Gentle festival, which takes place in Swansea this weekend, have kept one of the city's most famous sons firmly in mind during its planning.
The new festival celebrates the life and work of Dylan Thomas. As the website says, it aims "to be a festival Dylan might have liked, and yes that involves beer, but it also involves cosy and atmospheric venues, great acts and the lovely people of Swansea who first inspired him to write all those years ago."
Writers involved in the weekend include the inaugural winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize, Rachel Trezise; poet Rhian Edwards, who was the winner of the 2012 John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry; writer and co-organiser of the recent xx minifest of women's writing, Susie Wild; plus comic poet and performer Mab Jones.

Uplands Literary Salon w/ Rachel Trezise, Sat 3rd November 4-5pm, Upstairs, Noah's Yard

I'll also be reading a few poems before the excellent Rhian Edwards in Mozart's, Sat 3rd November 6-7pm

Read the BBC blog in full:

Monday, 29 October 2012

NWR Blog | xx Minifest of Women's Writing

BLOG Gwen Davies

NWR Issue 97

xx Minifestest of Women's Writing

"Had a good time on Saturday at this new festival for the writing of women from Wales and beyond. It was excellently organised (despite a concurrent beer festival at Chapter) and publicised by the team of Penny Thomas, Carole Burns, Amy Wack and Susie Wild. The audiences were large and the evening 'Salon', featuring the short story with Roshi Fernando and Rachel Trezise, sold out. The main delight for me was chatting in the bookfair section to Roshi about balancing international gigs publicising Bloomsbury's edition of her integrated short fiction collection, HomesickRead about it in NWR's Online Interview, Roshi Fernando, with developing her debut novel, The Elephant's Wife, an excerpt from which appeared last year in NWR 92, The Elephant's Wife Extract. "

Read the blog in full:

Friday, 26 October 2012

BBC Arts Blog: Women's writing celebrated at the xx minifest

Women's writing celebrated at the xx minifest

Friday 26 October 2012, 12:04

Tagged with:

Writing by and for women will be celebrated this weekend as the xx minifest of women’s writing 2012 takes place in Cardiff.
This inaugural festival will take residence at Chapter Arts Centre this Saturday, 27 October. It aims to publicise the range and diversity of writing by women from Wales in the English language, and encourages both men and women to attend and take part.
This one day minifest will act as a "taster session", as a more extensive literary programme is already being planned for 2013.
I put a few questions about the festival to Susie Wild, one of the co-organisers of the xx minifest. Wild is a writer, an editor at Parthian Books and she also organises the Cardiff Literary Salon, and will be holding a special edition of the literary gathering for the festival.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

PHOTO BLOG | WM | Why women write


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Published Wednesday 24 October 2012 at 11:14 by Susie Wild

Shakespeare’s classic fairytale forest farce is transposed to the home front during the Second World War. Air raid sirens sound as we join the cast in watching a charming silent railway rescue film - Help! Help! - and then the real action begins. Mappa Mundi and Theatr Mwldan have been creating and touring accessible new co-productions annually since 2006. Together with guest director Peter Doran of The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven, they have conjured a moonlit multimedia show of shadowy uncertainty where dreams play within dreams and even night is confused.
Most of the 13-strong cast are Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama alumni including a sweetly stubborn landgirl Hermia (Lisa Zahra), a haughty, snivelling Helena (Joanna Simpkins) and an American GI Lysander (newcomer Jack Brown) but not Francois Pandolfo, who turns a marvellously wicked Poe-inspired Puck. Throughout there is a tendency to overplay the laughs that leaves the show feeling uneven, and when they pare back they are funnier, as seen in some of the earlier lighter moments with joyful jester Bottom and the other japing players who make up the SAADOS (St Athens Amateur Dramatics and Operatics Society).
Designer Sean Crowley and lighting designer Ceri James set magical moods with multimedia flourish - the silent film, firefly fairies, and a cinematic, layered forest - as characters slip away from the big house to escape reality beneath a starstruck sky, skipping and tripping through the moonlight and shadows to find their hearts’ desires.

Production information

Borough Theatre, Abergavenny, October 23, then touring until December 8
William Shakespeare
Peter Doran
Mappa Mundi, Torch Theatre, Theatr Mwldan
Cast includes:
Richard Nichols, Lynne Seymour, Francois Pandolfo, Liam Tobin, Lisa Zahra, Sam Jones
Running time:
2hrs 42mins

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

WM | Why Women Write

I guest edited The Western Mail's women's supplement WM today, which included contributing a column and an xx feature...

Already snuggling up with a good book as the nights draw in – why not go out and see some of your favourite writers reading their work live this weekend? xx minifest is a celebration of women’s writing taking place at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff on Saturday, featuring readings, performances, book stalls and bookish discussion. WM caught up with three of the writers taking part...

Read More



Published Tuesday 23 October 2012 at 12:19 by Susie Wild

Gaza/Blaenannerch reveals Ladd’s personal reflections on the parallels between the disruption of nationhood and the disappearance of identity in the similarly sized countries of Wales and what used to be Palestine, and the ensuing dispersal of their people, scattering them well beyond their ancestral homeland. The idea for this sequence of expressive and intelligent dance pieces was sparked by the unmanned drones currently tested near the home of Ladd and the Welsh village of Blaenannerch.
In front of a screen that moves from slate to blood red, Eddie switches continents and moods, from the contemplative, the impish and playful to the tortured, the lost, the flailing as she uses her body as both storyteller and teaching aid. She wriggles and writhes, she clambers and climbs, occasionally throwing in facts verbally, or with the scratch of chalk on blackboards. Tone and emotional drive is further provided by Philip Glass’s ethereal String Quartet No.5. Simplistic yet bold symbolism is layered through the work with the shifting of stones - Eddie scrutinises the diaspora and serfdom they represent, carries the weight of it on her shoulders, gathering the flotsam and jetsam of people moved by shifting political tides.
Eddie Ladd has made a name for herself as one of Wales’ premier performers, producing poignant and provocative political work that elegantly presents Wales to the wider world, and draws the world to Wales’ backyard. Strong direction from Judith Roberts has tightened her new directions and language, resulting in this powerful and important multi-lingual hybrid of dance and physical theatre. As Ladd repeats: ‘What happens next is what matters.’

Production information

Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, October 22-23, then touring until 9 November
Judith Roberts, Eddie Ladd
Cai Tomos, Eddie Ladd
De Oscura
Eddie Ladd, Judith Roberts
Running time:
1hr 10 mins

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Grimm Tales

Published Wednesday 17 October 2012 at 14:40 by Susie Wild
Everyone knows that Grimm’s fairy tales are the best fairy tales, and as this year marks the bicentennial of their publication they are undergoing a resurgence of popularity assisted by Philip Pullman, who has recently released his Penguin Classic retellings of 50 of his favourite dark Brothers Grimm stories. For Grimm Tales production company Theatr Iolo has brought three of the better known folk tales - Hansel & Gretel, Ashputtel (the original Cinderella story) and Snow White - back into their original realm of oral heritage; staging them with Iolo’s usual blend of charm, verve, and playful humour.
Erini Gregoriades’ set - a puzzle of wooden doors and picture frames - enabled the cast to conjure the scary shadowy forests for Hansel and Gretel to get lost in, and Snow White to escape to, and Jem Treays’ enchanting movement design created energetic dances and hilarious, sweet dwarves. All four members of the cast are shape-shifting chameleons, easily switching between moods and characters as they tell their fireside tales but special mention must go to Elliot Quinn who provided many of the laughs.
Grimm Tales marks Theatr Iolo’s 25th year in making exciting, original theatre for children and young people and their families. Here’s to another 25 spreading even more dreamscapes and delight. This is a magical show with a healthy sprinkle of fear and gory squelch, and plenty to spark the imaginations of young and old.

Production information

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, 16 October, then touring until 1 December
Jacob and Wilheml Grimm, adapted by Carol Ann Duffy, Tim Supple
Kevin Lewis
Theatr Iolo
Cast includes:
Wiebke Acton, Cassandra Jane Bond, Ceri Elen, Elliot Quinn
Running time:
1hr 45mins (short version 55mins)

Saturday, 13 October 2012


Cardiff After Dark, Maciej Dakowicz
Susie Wild examines a snapshot of the capital’s after-hours wrecked zone delineated by Caroline Street and St Mary Street

October 13th, 2012 

Polish-born, London-based photographer Maciej Dakowicz brings a sobering outsider’s eye to the night-life of central Cardiff, where he lived for seven years, co-founding the Third Floor GalleryAll the world’s a stage, but this photographer’s insightful gaze returns again and again to the performances of punters and pranksters on parade, imbibing on St Mary Street and then later stuffing faces and each other outside Tony’s.

He conjures tales of cowboys and Casanova, cigarettes and regrets. Cardiff After Dark is a hyper-real world, fuelled by Jaeger shots, graffiti-scrawled emotions and outfits and lipstick with the contrast turned up. A melting pot of lust, fistfights, bawling and blood-spattered brawling. The flesh-flashing mating rituals and macho tomfoolery. The headrush fun of it all, side-splitting, shirt-ripping hilarious to those in the moment, ugly to those who are not. A self-taught street photographer, Dakowicz observes, presenting us with a gulping gallery of Binge Drinking culture, freeze-framed images that hold up a mirror to our bad selves. [...]
Read my full review of Cardiff After Dark by Maciej Dakowicz on Click on Wales


Neville’s Island

Published Friday 12 October 2012 at 10:53 by Susie Wild
Black RAT have been striving to bring quality existing comedy drama to developing audiences in Wales, touring enjoyable productions of well-tested accessible scripts and actors in an attempt to pack out theatres in towns across the country. For this autumn season, they bring us Calendar Girls’ writer Tim Firth’s popular black comedy, Neville’s Island.
Telling the tale of four middle-aged, middle-management males shipwrecked on a rocky island in the Lake District after a training day goes downstream without a paddle, we see their careers and relationships hit the rocks along with their boat as cold, hunger and paranoia kick in. The single-set production physically puts its cast to the test from the domino of visual gags in the first scene and the four men are drenched, starved, covered in mud, blood and at the mercy of carnivores. Granny will also get some bonus gasp-a-go-go cheap thrills as at least one bum cheek flashed.
Gareth Bale (Richard Parker) plays to form as another acerbic, eternally grumpy bachelor all-at-sea without his duvet and waterside luxury apartment. Keiron Self (My Family) also returns to hapless form as a cuddly-jumpered Angus, armed to greet all eventualities of the wild with name tags, freezer bags and a really big knife. Early on, describing films of a similar premise, Angus correctly predicts how things will play out, forecasting confessions and showdowns before their rescue plane comes and, with some deliciously dark twists thanks to Peter Brad-Leigh’s doolally number-cruncher Roy, so it does.

Production information

Miners' Institute, Blackwood, October 11, then touring until November 17
Tim Firth
Richard Tunley
A Black RAT, Blackwood Miners' Institute, RCT Theatres
Cast includes:
Gareth Bale, Peter Brad-Leigh, Keiron Self, Jams Thomas
Running time:
2hrs 25mins

Monday, 8 October 2012

FForum @ Hand of Roath

I have a little gig as part of Made in Roath

You can find me doing a short set at FForum @ Hand of Roath – Queens Arcade, Cardiff at 2.20pm on Sunday 14 October 2012.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Autumn Gigs

Hello Folks!

I have a number of fun gigs and salons and bits and pieces coming up, which I thought I should tell you about.

I shall be performing poems and stories at:

1. National Poetry Day is on 4 October 2012. I shall be assisting Rhian Edwards in her role as Poet in Residence at John Lewis in the day, writing poems about toasters and other homeware. I shall then be heading along to the Seren First Thursday Shindig at Chapter in the eve to read a poem or three at the open mic.

2. Birkenstock at Gwdihw in Cardiff on Sunday 7 October 2012. My awesome man Meirion is playing too.

3. Mozarts @ Do Not Go Gentle. I shall be doing a few poems in support of Rhian Edwards at Mozarts between 6 and 7pm on Sat 3rd November. Come along.

I also have literary salons coming up at:

1. Cardiff Literary Salon xx special, as part of xx minifest of women's writing which I co-organise. This will be held at Chapter Arts Centre, Sat 27 October 2012, 7.30pm:

2. Cardiff Literary Salon returns home to Sherman Cymru as part of their @ShermanSofa programme of free foyer events. Thurs Nov 1 features Damian Walford Davies and is supported by Seren Books, Parthian Books and Literature Wales.  Tues 11 Dec will feature Carrie Etter and Bob Walton.

3. Uplands Literary Salon @ Do Not Go Gentle, Noah's Yard, Swansea, Sat 3 November 2012, 4-5pm:

Then I am running away with the circus, off to Zagreb for a writing residency at a circus festival called festival novog cirkusa, and I may not come back. Ever.

In other news: My poetry pamphlet will be finished this season. Fact.

Blackberries, daydreaming thoughts and leaf-stamping-walks,

Susie Q x