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WICKED Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff March 12 to April 26 The global musical phenomenon is one of the centre pieces at the WMC during 2014, running for six weeks. While the show's been entertaining audiences for more than a decade, this is the Welsh premiere of the prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Wicked reimagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, It tells the untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Other big West End productiions being staged at the WMC in 2014 include Priscilla Queen of the Desert, War Horse and Cats.

Tickets: Call 029 2063 6464 Cardiff22 stars as Che in the latest touring of Andrew Lloyd Webber's the story of Eva Peron, former Argentine dictator Juan follows Eva's journey from beginnings through to extraordinary wealth, power and iconic status ultimately lead her to be as the 'spiritual leader of nation' by the Argentine people.

While Pellow may be best as the frontman of the topping group Wet Wet he's also starred in many musicals, including The Witches of Eastwick, Chess, Chicago and Blood Brothers. The show also visits Venue Cymru, Llandudno from April 28 to May 3. Tickets: Call 029 2087 8889 ARTES MUNDI 6 National Museum Cardiff From October 25 For a decade, Wales has been shining the spotlight on the world's best contemporary artists during this biennial exhibition, which will be curated by Artes Mundi's new director, Karen MacKinnon. For the sixth show, which opens in October and runs for 17 weeks, two international selectors reviewed 800 entries from 70 countries before selecting the shortlist. Portugal, Israel, America, Croatia, Iceland, The Netherlands and Brazil will all be represented and while no Welsh artists have made the shortlist this time, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, who work as a pair, will be flying the flag for the UK. The winner of the PS40,000 prize will be announced during a ceremony in January 2015.

Tickets: Free entry HAY FESTIVAL May 23 to June 1 Dame Judi Dench is set to make her Hay Festival debut in 2014. The award-winning actress will be discussing her Shakespearean work with her brother Jeffrey Dench. It will be part of the world famous festival's celebrations marking the 450th anniversary of the bard's birth.

The Philomena actress features on the recording Exits And Entrances, an album of Shakespearean speeches from record producer Mike Ritson.

Comedy star Jennifer Saunders, writer and broadcaster Joan Bakewell, American laureate Toni Morrison, Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington and festival regular Stephen Fry are also on the bill. Festival organisers will be announcing the full programme in April.

Tickets: www.hayfestival.com UNDER MILK WOOD Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold (and touring) February 6 to March 8 Terry Hands will direct a brand new production of the classic 'play for voices' as part of the Dylan Thomas 100 celebrations. As well as marking the centenary of Thomas' birth, it will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the play's British premiere. After the Mold run, it will tour a number of Welsh venues, including New Theatre, Cardiff; Swansea Grand Theatre; The Riverfront, Newport; Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon; Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Theatr Hafren, Newtown.

Tickets: 0845 330 3565 THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER Wales Millennium Centre, CardiffWelsh National Opera will be staging the world premiere of this opera by Gordon Getty as part of a double bill. Directed by WNO's chief executive and artistic director, David Pountney, it will be staged alongside the British premiere of the new version of Debussy's La Chute de la Maison Usher. While opera is rarely associated with the chills of the horror genre, both productions cast an oppressive spell of menace and unease.

It is part of a programme of WNO productions funded by a $2m donation from the billionaire Getty dynasty.

Tickets: 029 2063 6464 UNDER MILK WOOD: AN OPERA Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea (and touring) April 3 to 5 While there will be many new stagings of Dylan Thomas' most famous work as part of his centenary celebrations, Taliesin Arts Centre is turning the play into an opera. The world premiere is being produced with Le Chien qui chante (Montreal) and Companion Star (New York) in association with Welsh National Opera. The score has been composed by John Metcalf. This is a chance for fans to experience the work in a whole new light.

Tickets: 01792 602060 GREEN MAN Glanusk Park, Brecon Beacons August 15 to 18 It may be a while off yet but tickets are already on sale for next summer's Green Man, one of the most talked-about music festivals in the UK. Band of Horses, John Cale, Edwyn Collins and Patti Smith are among the line up. But it's not just about music. Comedy will be brought to you via Isy Suttie, Jarred Christmas and Elis James among others.

Tickets: www.greenman.net COMPANY WALES Aberystwyth Arts Centre (and touring) February 6 National Dance Company Wales presents a triple bill of dynamic dance from world class choreographers and home-grown talent featuring work by Stephen Petronio, Lee Johnston and Stephen Shropshire. The tour will open at Aberystwyth Arts Centre but will visit a number of other Welsh venues, including Sherman Cymru, Cardiff; Venue Cymru, Llandudno; Torch Theatre, Milford Haven; Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold and Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea.

Tickets: ndcwales.co.uk BLUE/ORANGE Sherman Cymru, Cardiff January 21 to 23 Welsh company Canoe Theatre will be staging this darkly funny contemporary drama which was originally created by Joe Penhall for the National Theatre more than 10 years ago.

Blue/Orange throws race, mental health, and institutional politics into the melting pot with startling and surprising consequences.

It follows the story of Christopher (played by Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama student Simon Mokhele) who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. He is due to be released back in to the community but with a failing NHS, two doctors come head to head to decide on the fate of a young man who could well be the illegitimate son of an African dictator.

Tickets: Call 029 2064 6900 BLODEUWEDD Theatr y Ffwrnes, Llanelli (and touring) February 11 & 12 Following the success of its open air performances last summer, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is touring with its show Blodeuwedd (the woman of flowers) by Saunders Lewis. After opening in Llanelli, it will visit Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Rhyl Pavilion and Sherman Cymru, Cardiff.

Tickets: www.theatr.com DEREN BROWN: INFAMOUS Venue Cymru, Llandudno May 15 to 17 Direct from the West End, the acknowledged master of psychological illusion returns to the stage with his latest show, Derren Brown: Infamous, demonstrating once again why he is one of the world's most renowned live performers; a dark manipulator of magic and mind control. For Infamous, a more 'personal' show, Derren is re-united with his close collaborator and friend, actor/writer Andy Nyman. The show is also at the Wales Millennium Centre from April 28 to May 2. Tickets: 01492 872000 LLANGOLLEN INTERNATIONAL MUSICAL EISTEDDFOD July 8 to 13 Bryn Terfel, Caro Emerald and Status Quo are among the headline acts for the annual summer festival. Bass baritone Terfel will be playing the lead in a special production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street featuring an all-Welsh cast. In addition, there will be a world premiere of a new work by top composer Karl Jenkins and an appearance by the chart-topping singing brothers, Richard and Adam Johnson, from Holywell, in Flintshire.

Tickets: www.international-eistedd-fod.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Bryn Terfel

Derren Brown

Marti Pellow
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 27, 2013
Words:1298
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