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Iphigenia yn Sblot – a furious analysis of our society

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IPHIGENIA YN SBLOT – a furious analysis of our society, Branwen Cennard’s new adaptation of Gary Owen’s Iphigenia in Splott, will tour 11 venues across Wales in August and September this year. The Welsh language adaptation will then premiere at the National Eisteddfod in Pontypridd followed by a run of performances at Sherman Theatre before heading here to the Torch Theatre on 18 September.

Seren Hamilton will take the title role in her first major performance while completing her final year in Acting at Rose Bruford College of Performing Arts. Alice Eklund will direct this new production nearly a decade after it first became an international smash-hit.

The one-woman play Iphigenia yn Sblot is a furious analysis of our society and the hard-bitten lives it bears. Since its premiere at Sherman Theatre in 2015, it has won the James Tait Black Prize for Drama 2016 and the Best New Play Award at the UK Theatre Awards 2015, with the original production touring to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, across Wales and the UK and as far as New York and Berlin. In 2022, the play was re-staged by Lyric Hammersmith to great acclaim. It has been translated into and performed in several languages the world over.

Director, Alice Eklund is excited to be part of this one-woman show.
She said: “I’m so excited to direct this production. Iphigenia in Splott played a huge part in my introduction to new writing and I can’t wait to see Effie’s story come to life in Welsh. Doing this play in this way feels so timely, so relevant and so needed right now.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do such an iconic play in Sherman’s Studio and across Wales. Gary’s writing with Branwen’s translation is a perfect match and hearing it out loud gave me the same energised, fiery feeling that I got upon the first read all those years ago. I’m so ready to get started with the team on this new production of a play that is at the forefront of new writing in Wales. Building a new world around Effie, taking us on the journey with her, here and now.”

This production contains strong language, sexual references, sensitive themes including grief and neonatal loss as well as scenes which some audience members may find upsetting.

Iphigenia yn Sblot will be performed at the Torch Theatre on Wednesday 18 September at 7.30pm. Ticket prices: Adult: £16. Concession: £14. Under 26: £10. To book your tickets or for further information, contact the Box Office on 01646 695267 or visit torchtheatre.co.uk.

Entertainment

A toadi-tastic guest at the Torch! Poop! Poop!

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IT’S not every day the Torch Theatre is graced with the company of a living, breathing toad for one of its productions. But this July, as the Torch Youth Theatre performs Wind in the Willows, it’s only fitting that a Toad should make an appearance at the Torch Theatre Box Office for all to admire!

Borrowed from Dragon Reptiles and Aquatics in Pembroke Dock, our Toad will be in full view for those attending the Torch Youth Theatre production. This fascinating amphibian won’t make a stage appearance but Toad of Toad Hall will, along with his fellow riverside and woodland friends – Badger, Ratty and Mole.

We’re also providing a bilingual fact sheet for all explaining how to look after a toad, what he eats and where he likes to live.

“POOP POOP! We can’t wait to welcome this TOAD-ely fabulous amphibian to the Torch. We’re keeping our fingers cross that this one isn’t quite as untamed as the one on stage. Come and see if we’re proven right or if there ends up being two Toads on the loose!”

Toads, of all kinds, are very popular, especially here in Pembrokeshire. Thousands have been seen on Skomer Island and many can be seen at Whitesands Bay making a qwark-qwark-qwark sound.

And as Claire Morris owner of Dragon Reptiles and Aquatics explains, she was delighted that Toad could go on holiday to his local theatre.

“I think it’s a great idea. Children will be able to relate to the main character when they see Toad in his vivarium. They are such interesting and friendly amphibians and our Toad can’t wait to travel from Pembroke Dock to the Torch for his short stay,” explained Claire.

Wind in the Willows will be on the Torch Theatre stage on Monday 22 July, Tuesday 23 July and Wednesday 24 July at 6.30pm. Ticket price: £10 / £8 concessions. The Youth Theatre will be joined by The Torch Voices Community Choir. To book your tickets or for further information, contact the Box Office on01646 695267 or visit torchtheatre.co.uk.

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Entertainment

Royal Welsh Show train and ticket offer

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VISITORS to the Royal Welsh Show can now save money on the entrance fee by travelling to the showground with Transport for Wales.

Customers buying rail tickets to Builth Road station either from a booking office or onboard the train can also purchase an entrance ticket to the Royal Welsh Show.

Prices are £31 for an adult ticket (entry at the gate is £36) and £10 for children and organisers of the Royal Welsh Show will once again be running buses from Builth Road to the showground.

TfW is also running an additional service to/from Builth Road, arriving at 10am each morning and departing at 6.30pm after the event.

A spokesperson for TfW said: “We’re delighted to be working with the organisers of the Royal Welsh Show to offer discounted entry to this year’s event with the purchase of a rail ticket.

“Not only are people saving money but they are also helping to reduce the impact of the event by travelling more sustainably by using public transport.

“We’ve added an additional service to/from the showground on each day of the event and will be adding more capacity to our services where possible.”

Customers purchasing a show ticket must also have a valid train ticket to Builth Road. Entry tickets can only be used on the date stated on the rail ticket.

The Royal Welsh Show runs from Monday 22 July to Thursday 25 July, the combined rail and show tickets can be purchased in advance and are now on sale.

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Entertainment

The Thrill of Horse Racing: A Comprehensive Guide

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Horse racing has long been regarded as the “Sport of Kings,” captivating audiences with its blend of athleticism, strategy, and the sheer excitement of the race. From its ancient origins to the modern-day spectacle, horse racing has evolved into a sophisticated sport with a rich history and global appeal. In this blog, we’ll delve into the history of horse racing, its major events, the intricacies of training and breeding, and the allure of betting, including a mention of new horse racing betting sites that are changing the landscape of the sport.Copy HTMLCopy text

Horse racing has long been regarded as the “Sport of Kings,” captivating audiences with its blend of athleticism, strategy, and the sheer excitement of the race. From its ancient origins to the modern-day spectacle, horse racing has evolved into a sophisticated sport with a rich history and global appeal. In this blog, we’ll delve into the history of horse racing, its major events, the intricacies of training and breeding, and the allure of betting, including a mention of new horse racing betting sites that are changing the landscape of the sport.

The Origins of Horse Racing

Horse racing dates back to ancient civilizations, where it was celebrated as a prestigious sport. The earliest records of organized horse racing come from the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans, who hosted chariot and mounted races. These events were not only a test of speed and endurance but also a demonstration of wealth and power.

In medieval England, horse racing began to take on a more structured form. By the 12th century, the sport had become a popular pastime among the nobility, with thoroughbreds imported from the Middle East to enhance local bloodlines. The foundation for modern horse racing was laid in the 17th and 18th centuries when King Charles II and Queen Anne championed the sport, leading to the establishment of formal racecourses and the codification of rules.

Major Horse Racing Events

Today, horse racing is a global phenomenon, with major events drawing spectators and bettors from around the world. Some of the most prestigious races include:

1. The Kentucky Derby

Known as “The Run for the Roses,” the Kentucky Derby is held annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the first leg of the American Triple Crown and is famed for its rich history, extravagant hats, and mint juleps.

2. The Grand National

Held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England, the Grand National is one of the most challenging steeplechases in the world. Its demanding course and high jumps make it a thrilling and unpredictable event.

3. The Melbourne Cup

Australia’s most famous horse race, the Melbourne Cup, is a highlight of the racing calendar. Held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, it is known as “the race that stops a nation” due to its widespread popularity.

4. Royal Ascot

This prestigious event is held at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England. Royal Ascot is renowned for its association with the British royal family and its strict dress code, making it as much a social event as a sporting one.

Training and Breeding

The success of a racehorse depends on a combination of genetics, training, and care. Breeding is a meticulous process aimed at producing horses with superior speed, stamina, and temperament. Thoroughbred horses are the most common breed in flat racing, while other breeds, such as the Arabian and Quarter Horse, excel in endurance and sprint races, respectively.

Training: A racehorse’s training regimen is rigorous and carefully planned. It includes a mix of cardiovascular workouts, strength training, and specialized exercises to improve speed and agility. Trainers also focus on the horse’s diet, ensuring a balanced intake of nutrients to maintain peak physical condition.

Care: The well-being of racehorses is paramount. Regular veterinary check-ups, dental care, and physiotherapy are essential components of their routine. Horses are also given time to rest and recover between races to prevent injuries and ensure long-term health.

The Allure of Betting

Betting is an integral part of horse racing, adding an extra layer of excitement and engagement for spectators. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a novice, understanding the different types of bets and the factors that influence race outcomes can enhance your experience.

Types of Bets:

  • Win: A bet on a horse to finish first.
  • Place: A bet on a horse to finish first or second.
  • Show: A bet on a horse to finish first, second, or third.
  • Exacta: A bet on the first two finishers in exact order.
  • Trifecta: A bet on the first three finishers in exact order.
  • Superfecta: A bet on the first four finishers in exact order.

Factors to Consider:

  • Form: The recent performance of a horse.
  • Jockey: The skill and experience of the jockey.
  • Trainer: The track record of the trainer.
  • Track Conditions: Weather and track surface can significantly impact performance.
  • Odds: Reflect the probability of a horse winning, as perceived by the bookmakers.

New Trends in Horse Racing Betting

The digital age has brought significant changes to horse racing betting. New horse racing betting sites are making it easier than ever for enthusiasts to place bets, access real-time data, and watch live races from anywhere in the world. These platforms offer a range of features, including advanced analytics, in-depth race previews, and user-friendly interfaces, enhancing the overall betting experience.

Horse racing is a sport with deep historical roots and a dynamic present. From its ancient beginnings to the sophisticated world of modern racing, it continues to captivate audiences with its blend of athleticism, strategy, and tradition. Whether you’re drawn to the thrill of the race, the intricacies of training and breeding, or the excitement of betting, horse racing offers something for everyone. As new horse racing betting sites continue to innovate and expand access, the sport is poised to reach even greater heights, bringing the excitement of the track to a global audience.

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