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Torch Theatre will re-open next week after 18-month Covid pandemic closure

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MILFORD HAVEN’S Torch Theatre will be re-opening its doors again to its patrons on Wednesday 1 September 2021. After a long 18 months, this is much welcomed news for the theatre, its staff, and volunteers, and most importantly its community who have missed the thrills and enjoyment of on-stage and big screen entertainment. 

The Torch will be offering a full programme of Cinema and Live Broadcasts throughout September. As a special thank you to the Pembrokeshire community for their ongoing support and loyalty, all Cinema tickets will be priced at £5 per ticket and Live Broadcasts will be priced at £10 per ticket for all September screenings. 


The Cinema programme includes a feast of recent releases including Disney’s Cruella, Fast and Furious 9, Peter Rabbit 2, The Suicide Squad, Dream Horse and The Father. Later in September, the Torch will be screening Marvel’s Shang Chi, People Just Do Nothing Big In Japan and Free Guy. The Live Broadcast offering includes Andre Rieu’s Together Again and the National Theatre Live’s Follies and Romeo and Juliet.  Socially distanced seating will remain in place throughout September as the theatre gears up to returning to full capacity from October with the return of its Live Theatre programme. 

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Executive Director of the Torch Theatre, Benjamin Lloyd, on the re-opening said:  “These past months have been incredibly painful and isolating for so many, and this has been made worse by the loss of communal experience and expression throughout lockdown. Whilst the Torch has carried on our support of community groups, classes, and our youth theatre, online and behind closed doors, nothing is the same without our audiences inhabiting the building and so we are beyond thrilled to announce our public reopening with a trademark rich, varied and inclusive programme from Wednesday 1 September.”

For the reassurance of audiences and staff alike, enhanced Covid policies and procedures will be in place for when the doors re-open. In accordance with Welsh Government guidelines, patrons will be asked to wear a facemask at all times (unless eating or drinking), hand sanitiser stations will be located throughout the building, bookings will be limited to group bubbles with socially distanced seating placed across both auditoria, patrons will be encouraged to book online (Box Office support is available) and use print at home/digital tickets where possible, and, entry times will be staggered across the day so that the theatre can be thoroughly cleaned ahead of the next performance.  

There will also be a few changes to how food and drink is offered from within the Torch. A new kiosk has been built in the Box Office offering a range of sweets and snacks, ice creams, hot and cold drinks, and alcoholic beverages. The main bar spaces and Café Torch will remain closed initially but will re-open later in the year as the Torch phases in different parts of its operations coinciding with the lifting of social distance restrictions.  


The much-acclaimed Torch Theatre Company Productions will return to the stage from October starting with Angel, a play inspired by the true story of a female Kurdish freedom fighter who fought against ISIS insurgents in Syria. Also from October, the Torch will welcome two extraordinary exhibitions: One World: An Exhibition from the Penally Camp Artists will feature in the Torch’s Oriel Joanna Field, and, to coincide with the launch of a dedicated website for our artistic engagement project The Pembrokeshire Story, a specially curated exhibition will be held to celebrate the people and places of Pembrokeshire that feature in this innovative project.


For those who have missed their annual festive treat of Pantomime, the Torch can also confirm that Cinderella is scheduled to take place this December with Pembrokeshire’s favourite Dame, Dion Davies, and the much loved Dave Ainsworth so far confirmed to star in the most magical of family Christmas shows. Both Angel and Cinderella will be directed by the Torch Theatre’s Artistic Director, Peter Doran. 


The Torch will also welcome back its local community and creative groups. After a summer of socially distanced Youth Theatre and Joon Dance Workshops, all community groups will be returning to the Torch in person from September, including the Cradle Choir, Mother and Baby Groups and Arts Care disability movement classes. Both the Torch Youth Theatre and the Torch Voices Choir will return later in the Autumn. 

Benjamin Lloyd added:  “We are thrilled to be getting back to what we do best and I want to extend my thanks once again to our staff, volunteer team and to you, our valued patrons, for the backing you have shown the Torch in these past months. The Torch is a precious resource for the Arts in Wales and for our communities alike and whilst we have some tough times ahead as we begin the process of building back brighter, I know that with your continued support, we will continue to create, engage, inspire and entertain for generations to come.”

It is an exciting time ahead for the Torch and most importantly the theatre is ready to welcome you all back once again. Tickets are now on sale for the Torch’s Autumn programme, with more shows to be announced very soon. Tickets are recommended to be purchased in advance from the Torch Theatre’s website www.torchtheatre.co.uk and for extra support with your booking, please call the Box Office on 01646 695267. 

Entertainment

Blue Lagoon to open to the public for one day only as charity fundraiser

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A POPULAR leisure venue will be open to locals this summer with the aim of raising thousands of pounds for local charities.

The Blue Lagoon at Bluestone National Park Resort will throw its doors open to the public on August 27.

Six hundred tickets will be available for the local community to enjoy the tropical water park.

All ticket sales go to local charitable causes, with 75 per cent of funds going to a local charitable organisation and 25 per cent through the Bluestone Foundation.

On Tuesday, August 27, Paul Sartori Hospice at Home and Team Cruising Free will benefit from the fundraising created through ticket sales.

Paul Sartori provides end of life care and support at home for Pembrokeshire patients. Team Cruising Free will row the Atlantic in 2025, raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Paul Sartori.

The Bluestone Foundation, the charitable arm of Bluestone National Park Resort has generated funding totalling £17,500 for west Wales communities from its latest round of events and funding.

It has supported local groups with more than £250,000 since it was launched in 2010.

The Bluestone Foundation offers two avenues of support: the community events and the community fund. The community events at the Blue Lagoon raise funds and awareness for local charities.

This year, the foundation has already hosted events for Get the Boys a Lift and VC Gallery. As well as the August event, there will also be an event in October for Sammy Sized Gap, a local charity supporting young people with mental health issues.

“We are thrilled to see the positive impact our community events have on local organisations,” said Marten Lewis at the Bluestone Foundation. “The Blue Lagoon provides a unique and enjoyable setting for fundraising, and we are grateful for the community’s support.”

The community fund, which runs in three rounds this year, provides financial assistance to projects focused on economic, social, and environmental initiatives. The foundation recently allocated approximately £7,500 to three projects in its first round of funding and is currently reviewing applications for its second round which closes in July. A third round of funding will close on 17 October.

Among those to have benefited in the first round are the South Ridgeway Community Association in Manorbier to help develop a community garden and allotments; The Tenby Project, to support weekly sessions with a trained nutritionist on healthy eating for adults with learning difficulties; and Transition Bro Gwaun in Fishguard, to host community energy engagement events.

Tickets for the August event can be purchased at Eventbrite For more information about the Bluestone Foundation and its initiatives, visit www.pavs.org.uk/apply-for-funds.

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Entertainment

Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village

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GET ready for an electrifying day of music and fun as the Havens Events Crew proudly presents the highly anticipated Broad Haven Music Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, July 20, from 3 PM to 11:30 PM, this event promises a vibrant mix of live bands, local talent, and a delightful BBQ, making it an unmissable occasion for music lovers and families alike.

The festival, at Broad Haven School Field, will feature an impressive lineup of performers. Attendees can look forward to the acoustic melodies of Cadence Acoustic, the energetic rhythms of Coastal Horizon, and the dynamic performances by Loose Change. These local bands are set to deliver a variety of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival will offer a range of delicious BBQ options, perfect for enjoying a summer evening outdoors. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, the Broad Haven Music Festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the local culture, connect with the community, and enjoy high-quality entertainment.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Broad Haven Post Office and Lobster and Môr. Early acquisition is recommended to secure a spot at this popular event.

It promises to be a memorable day filled with music, food, and community spirit. The Broad Haven Music Festival is more than just a concert; it’s a celebration of local talent and a testament to the vibrant culture of our town. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

For more information, visit the Havens Events Crew’s official website or follow their social media pages for updates and announcements.


Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 20
  • Time: 3 PM – 11:30 PM
  • Location: Broad Haven School Field
  • Performers: Cadence Acoustic, Coastal Horizon, Loose Change
  • Tickets Available At: Broad Haven Post Office, Lobster and Môr

Be sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets soon – we look forward to seeing you there!

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England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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