With many Hollywood actors – Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Sheen and Catherine Zeta Jones from Neath-Swansea area – and with Tom Jones from Pontypridd, there’s a healthy tradition of local talent in South Wales with lots of entertainment on offer at theatres, cinemas and festivals. Before arriving at your holiday cottage, why not plan your evening entertainment?
Closest to your cottage is Pontardawe, which celebrates the annual Pontardawe Music Festival, where music and dance, particularly folk, descend on the small town for a weekend of events. First held in 1978, the festival has developed into a major international occasion attracting up to 20,000 visitors. You will also find the Pontardawe Arts Centre, close by, with a theatre, and a cinema showing art house and blockbuster films, also the Oriel Lliw Gallery, a bar and snooker club.
Neath’s Gwyn Hall is used by local amateur operatic groups – the newly refurbished grade II listed building boasts a 393 seat theatre which offers an excellent and varied programme including music to suit all tastes, theatre, children’s shows, aerial theatre and dance. Just 20 minutes drive from our self catering cottages, the Swansea Grand Theatre presents performances to a annual audience of over 350,000. Some of the best acts on the Comedy Circuit appear in the Depot Studio of Swansea Grand Theatre every last Wednesday of the month. There is also the Princess Royal Theatre in Port Talbot, a short drive from your farm cottage. During the summer there are outdoor theatre companies performing in Cardiff Castle and the Museum of Welsh Life.
The Brangwyn Hall is used regularly for major concerts and is the home of the Swansea Festival. The complex also houses the famous Empire Panels, originally painted by Sir Frank Brangwyn for the House of Lords.
The Taliesin Arts Centre in the University of Wales Swansea is named after a 6th century Celtic bard, and has Welsh, English and international visiting theatre, music and film. Also in Swansea is the Dylan Thomas Arts Centre which has readings, author interviews, debates, lectures, small scale drama, video and films, book launches and workshops. The annual three week long Dylan Thomas Festival is held here, celebrating the writer’s life.
For gigs and bands – check fixtures at the Afan Lido’s Leisure Complex or try the Patti Pavillion in Swansea. There is also St David’s Hall and the Cardiff International Arena (CIA) in Cardiff, along with The Point in Cardiff Bay.
The National Eisteddfod of Wales is Europe’s largest travelling cultural festival, visiting South Wales every other year. Unique to Wales, the eisteddfod is a competitive festival of music, dance, literature and art that seeks to embrace all aspects of Welsh culture. There is also the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, held annually in the North Wales town.
The streets are alive with the sound of music during the Brecon Jazz Festival – a three-day festival attracting top names in jazz. Or feel the tension at the sheep dog trails, watch cookery displays, view the porky prize pigs or judge for yourself the cutest cow at the Royal Welsh Show. Builth Wells’ annual July show is the foremost agricultural event in Britain, running for four days in the heart of the Welsh countryside.