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Give support to this local talent; Yousay IN YOUR OPINION...

I AM sure I was one of many who were deeply saddened to hear a couple of years ago that the Cardiff Festival would have to be drastically downsized due to budgetary constraints - and that the Children's Festival was likely to be lost altogether.

I always keep a close eye on the Cardiff events website - and indeed the Cardiff Festival website - but it did seem that for theatre-lovers like me there was going to be little more in this year's Cardiff Festival than a touring open-air theatre company from over the border visiting us for a couple of nights in July.

So, not much of a Cardiff Festival for a theatre lover. I was therefore intrigued when, a couple of weeks ago, I saw a large stand going up in Sophia Gardens. I was told that as part of the Cardiff Festival, a local community company, Everyman Theatre, was putting on a pro-am open-air season throughout July.

Four separate productions, one for children, directed by experienced professionals - and a total of 39 performances. Perplexed, I revisited the Cardiff Events and the Cardiff Festival websites. I eventually found these productions - hidden away as little more than a Cardiff Festival footnote. Yet the event itself appeared to be dwarfing events given star billing. Indeed the mere two performances in the Castle by the touring company from England (The Lord Chamberlain's Men) got top billing for its brief visit. What on earth is going on? Why weren't Cardiff council, at the direction of the relevant cabinet member (Councillor Huw Thomas, I believe), giving top billing to this Cardiff company, who may be the only future a truly Cardiff Festival has in relation to live theatre? Even the Brecon Jazz Festival got much more prominent billing as a "Cardiff event"! I hope we do not lose these people next year because of Cardiff council's failure to support them - in ways that would cost them nothing.

Cardiff Events (and Coun Thomas) pull your socks up. Quickly please. Or is it already too late? | Peter Hudson Splott, Cardiff
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 27, 2013
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