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Latest On Song column – January 10

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Latest On Song column – January 10

Posted By Robert Lloyd

A NEW Llanelli-based company called Scarlet Musical Theatre Productions will be making a much-anticipated debut next month.

The classic coming-of-age rock musical Spring Awakening will be the first full-scale production for Scarlet Musical Theatre.

The show is being staged at Stiwdio Stepni at Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli on February 22 and 23.

With music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater, Spring Awakening is based on the controversial 1891 German play by Frank Wedekind.

Set in 19th-century Germany, the musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of adolescent sexuality.

The original play was written sometime between autumn 1890 and spring 1891, but did not receive its first performance until 1906, when it premiered at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt.

The play criticises perceived problems in the sexually-oppressive culture of 19th century Germany and offers a vivid dramatisation of the erotic fantasies that can breed in such an environment. Because of its controversial subject matter, the play has often been banned or censored.

In the musical version, alternative rock is employed alongside traditional folk music to give added impact to a powerful story.

The original Broadway production of the musical of Spring Awakening opened at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in 2006.

The production won eight Tony Awards, including Tonys for Best Musical, Direction, Book, Score and Featured Actor.

The show was revived in 2015 on Broadway and garnered three furtherTony Award nominations, among other honours.

Spring Awakening contains partial nudity and sexual content, as well as explicit language. It is recommended for an audience of 16 and over.

Tickets for the February performances in the intimate Stidwio Stepney space are £12.

Meanwhile, in March, a brand new musical, produced by National Theatre Wales, is coming to Llanelli.

Feral Monster is described as a ‘banging new musical about an unremarkable teenager’.

It will be staged at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli, on Wednesday, March 13 (7pm).

Feral Monster is written by Bethan Marlow and directed by Izzy Rabey, with music by Nicola T Chang.

The cast features Lily Beau, Carys Eleri, Geraint Rhys Edwards, Rebecca Hayes, Nathaniel Leacock and Leila Navabi.

The promotional blurb for the production sets the scene . . .

‘Expelled from school and not even able to get a job at the chippy, Jax (she/they/whatever) is a cocky, loveable teen living with her Nan in a tiny, boring village.

‘When Jax meets Ffion, with her smart talk and loud looks, sparks fly.

‘Queer teenage lust brings together this unlikely match in all its messy, clumsy and awesome glory.

‘Feral Monster follows Jax and her noisy, opinionated brain as they navigate love, identity, class and family.

‘Mashing up grime, Rhythm and Blues, soul, pop and rap, the soundtrack moves from the high highs to low lows of the hormonal rollercoaster of adolescence.’

Feral Monster is supported by the Performing Right Society (PRS) Foundation’s Open Fund and John Ellerman Foundation, as part of National Theatre Wales’s Dramaturg programme.

Tickets are available from Carmarthenshire Theatres, Theatrau Sir Gar, or from the website at – https://www.theatrausirgar.co.uk/

In January and February, two Carmarthenshire Theatres venues will be playing host to the popular Bronwen Lewis, who is bringing her ‘More from The Living Room’ tour to The Lyric in Carmarthen and Ffwrnes in Llanelli.

Following her hugely successful 2022 tour, Bronwen will be back, recreating the magic of her virtual gigs live on stage.

Bronwen will be performing a new selection of her favourite songs intertwined with endearing storytelling.

The multi-instrumentalist and Tik-Tok sensation showcases a varied repertoire including a new selection of her original songs.

The Welsh singer-songwriter has a wonderfully warm style that sits between Country, Pop, Folk and Blues. She is proudly bilingual and received international acclaim during her time on BBC’s The Voice when she brought Tom Jones to tears. Bronwen also starred in and sang the theme song ‘Bread and Roses’ in the BAFTA Award Winning film ‘Pride’.

The Lyric concert is on January 27. The Ffwrnes concert is on February 17.

In February, The Lyric will be playing host to the touring production of The Elvis Years.

Now in its 20th year, The Elvis Years, led by original West End lead Mario Kombou, will be on its biggest ever tour of the UK.

The stunning show takes the audience on a fantastic journey through all the years The King ruled the airwaves.

With a full cast of West End talent, a spectacular set, breath-taking lights and awesome video content, Mario and the band deliver more than 50 golden greats, charting the rise and rise of the boy from Tupelo – from the early hits That’s Alright Mama, Don’t Be Cruel and I Got Stung all the way through to the legendary Las Vegas concerts with In the Ghetto, The Wonder of You and of course Suspicious Minds.

With more than 12 costume changes, Mario brings the essence of Elvis to every song from every era – the Ed Sullivan Show featuring A Fool Such As I, the Frank Sinatra TV Special including It’s Now or Never, the Hollywood years with Return to Sender and Viva Las Vegas, and the legendary ’68 Comeback Special with If I Can Dream.

The Elvis Years will be at The Lyric on February 23.

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