BLOG NO. 5 - CHELSEY GILLARD
What a whirlwind the last three months have been! Since joining the Torch team in October we have staged two major productions, our popular classic in the autumn, Of Mice and Men, and our festive pantomime, Sleeping Beauty both expertly directed by Peter Doran who retired at the end of the year. We reached record numbers of audiences over these two shows, as well as reinvigorating our youth theatre, putting on a full programme of films, getting out and about with the fabulous Torch Voices choir, exhibiting the beautiful work of numerous local artists in our gallery and connecting with local schools and universities.
As the dust begins to settle after Panto I can begin to look forward to what next year will bring. In my new role as Artistic Director, I will be responsible for choosing and directing the shows we make here in Milford Haven, curating the selection of visiting live shows and cinema and working closely with the Youth and Community team to ensure we are connecting with as many people as we can across the county.
I’m already excited about so much of the visiting work we have coming up over the next few months, I’ll be doing my best interpretive dancing with the audience for An Evening Without Kate Bush and cheering on the community chorus in Mid Wales Opera’s Hansel and Gretel.
As for our own work; I can’t wait to get started on Beauty and the Beast. Christmas may seem like a long way away, but I have to start all the planning now to ensure it will be the messiest, silliest and most magical show it can be. Don’t forget to book your tickets before the end of January to take advantage of our early bird ticket offer.
For now, I have to remain a little bit tight-lipped about this year’s Autumn popular classic show as we have to secure the rights and get everything in place first. I can promise it will be a title you recognise with a fantastic cast of Welsh actors. As soon as possible we will let you know what’s happening so keep your eyes peeled.
I’m looking forward to meeting more of you over the next few months and learning about what the Torch means to you, what we are doing well and what we can improve. We will soon be announcing new half-term activities for young people and grown-ups, as well as opportunities to get more involved with the work of the theatre both off and on stage. It’s going to be another year packed full of creativity and collaboration so come along and get involved.
I feel privileged to be part of such a motivated and creative team at the Torch. I’m still amazed every day as I drive to work and my breath is taken away by the beauty of Pembrokeshire, and I was even lucky enough to be gifted a Dry Robe at Christmas so I can fit in when I’m feeling brave enough for a dip in the sea!
Thank you for all your support over 2022. Any theatre is only as good as its audience, and you are all wonderful! I hope to see you soon, either at the Torch or perhaps with my swimming cap on at Freshwater East or Little Haven.
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