Swansea Creative Focus Advent Calendar
Day Fourteen: 14/12/2019
A Conservative government was elected in the same year that the Swansea Little Theatre Group began performing, but Boris Johnson was nowhere to be found. The year was 1924, the Prime Minister was Stanley Baldwin and in October’s General Election only one female candidate stood in the whole of Wales. Thankfully we’ve moved closer to gender equality since then. Fourteen of the Welsh MPs elected on Thursday are women, including two of the three representing Swansea. If any of them are looking for local entertainment tonight, they might try the Dylan Thomas Theatre, home of the Swansea Little Theatre Group and a mainstay of the arts in Wales for decades.
It’s appropriate that the Little Theatre Group now has a home at a venue bearing this name. Dylan Thomas was a group member in the early 1930s, appearing in a range of productions before accepting that his creative gifts lay elsewhere. While the group performed regularly throughout the mid-20th century it wasn’t until 1979 that it was offered a permanent home, a former car showroom in what is now Swansea’s Maritime Quarter. Four years of refurbishments later, the Dylan Thomas Theatre was formally opened by Sir Harry Secombe.
Since then the Swansea Little Theatre Company has gone from strength to strength. Now a registered charity with a membership of over 150 actors and technicians, its theatre programme offers regular highlights for lovers of the performing arts, and with a recent redevelopment project upgrading facilities and access, it’s an inclusive and welcoming venue not only for audiences but also for visiting performers. The theatre is available to let for full-scale performances and for social and corporate events. And Swansea dwellers of all ages with an interest in stage performance and production are always welcome to become part of this community.
Tonight the doors are open for The Man Whose Hair Grew Black, a new performance from Gurnwah Productions. Anthony Bunko’s comedy garnered rave reviews at this year’s Merthyr Comedy Festival and promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The curtain goes up at 7.30pm and tickets are available online or at the door.
Swansea’s Little Theatre has had a very large impact on performing arts in Wales, and it’s approaching its centenary in excellent health. Thanks for the entertainment, and long may it continue.