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John Owen-Jones announces a special Christmas Concert in Llanelli.

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John Owen-Jones

AWARD winning John Owen-Jones (Les Miz/Phantom) will be performing at a special Christmas concert at Theatre Ffwrnes in his hometown of Llanelli to support the release of his new Christmas album. 

The recording has some traditional Christmas tracks, some personal favourites and two brand new Christmas songs.  One co-written with Steve Balsamo (Jesus Christ Superstar/The Storys) and a previously unheard song from the vaults of the legendary Les Reed (It’s Not Unusual/Delilah) and Bill Martin (Puppet On A String/Congratulations). 

The album also includes a duet with West End and Broadway star Kerry Ellis (Wicked/Cats) and will surely be the must have Christmas cd for fans of John’s unique voice!

John says: “I have wanted to record an album of Christmas songs for a very long time and finally found the opportunity to do it this year. I have put together an album full of classic Christmas songs that I love to listen to (and sing!) during the festive season, alongside a couple of not-so-well-known festive tunes that I adore. I also had the opportunity to co-write some new songs for this album which is something I am really excited about. I can’t wait for people to hear this album and I hope that they love the songs, both old and new, as much as I do – and that after listening, they have a very merry Christmas!”

John Owen-Jones celebrated his 50th birthday this year and to mark the occasion he performed two sold out special concerts at Cadogan Hall that were also live-streamed internationally. 

Fans all over the world watched online the West End’s youngest ever ‘Jean Valjean’ and longest-running ‘Phantom’ perform some of his favourite tunes, with a live band. This summer John performed around the UK in a series of outdoor concerts with Only Men Aloud and Katherine Jenkins.

John is currently developing his own theatre-based podcast with fellow Broadway and West End star Alistair Brammer called ‘The Last Show on Earth’ that asks the important question: What show would you see if you had one night left on Earth?

At just 26, John became the youngest actor ever to play the role of ‘Jean Valjean’ in the West End and was the first British actor to play the role both in the West End and on Broadway. John Owen-Jones has also played the role of ‘The Phantom’ in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ nearly 2000 times – more than any other actor in the history of the West End production. 

John has so far released five albums, ‘John Owen-Jones’ (2009), ‘Unmasked’ (2012), ‘Rise’ (2015), ‘Bring Him Home’ (2016) and ‘Spotlight’ (2019).

https://s.disco.ac/qhggeseuywhg – ‘Now More Than Ever’ – lead track

https://s.disco.ac/mzmmzuzrbtza – ‘That Holiday Feeling’ (duet with Kerry Ellis) – Xmas track

Tickets for this very special Christmas concert are available from Theatr Ffwrnes Box Office from Midday on Wednesday 3rd November via Calling the Box office on 0345 226 3510 or online at  https://www.theatrausirgar.co.uk/en and www.gigantic.com

The Christmas Album – Tracklisting:

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season

That Holiday Feeling (Featuring Kerry Ellis)

Holly Jolly Christmas

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

Let It Snow/Winter Wonderland

Lullaby For Christmas Eve

A Child’s Christmas in Wales

On Christmas Eve

Please Come Home for Christmas Day

Now More Than Ever

Bonus Tracks:

River

May Each Day

O Holy Night

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Entertainment

Cruise Culture returns to Carmarthen Showground 

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(Credit - CruiseCulture)

WALES’ biggest modified and performance car show is returning to the Carmarthen Showground on August Bank Holiday Sunday 28

The show has now been running since 2014 and after a two-year break due to Covid-19 they are finally back!

There is a huge variety of cars on display from Modified, Performance, Supercars, Old School Classics, Vintage & American Cars. 

Growing year on year, Cruise Culture now welcomes over 40 club stands, so there is something for the whole family to enjoy. 

There will also be a funfair and children’s attractions at the show with a variety of food stalls selling burgers, pizzas, noodles, sweet stalls and ice cream vans.

There is an indoor section with highly modified cars on display and an outdoor show and shine area.

Mid and West Wales Fire Service will be doing an RTC Demo, along with a wide variety of their road safety vehicles and fire engines to look at.

Expect an action packed day with:

– Ultimate Indoor Show Hall

– Outdoor Show and Shine

– A huge variety of Car Club Stands

– Trade Village (Indoor and Outdoor)

– Main Entertainment Stage with Competitions, DJ’s, Live Music

– Car Competitions

– Funfair/Children’s Attractions

– Team SWG

– Mid & West Wales Fire Service Displays 

The Jamie Squibb Freestyle Motocross Stunt Show will also take place, as the team of riders perform breathtaking jumps and stunts.

 It is a show not to be missed! Jamie has ridden in the Nitro Circus and featured in a recent Top Gear episode for the Eddie Kidd Top Gear Special!

Tickets are just £6 Per Person if you pre book, or £8 Per Person at the gate with under 12’s being free!

You can pre book tickets online at http://www.cruise-swansea.co.uk

This is a show not to be missed and has a great atmosphere and plenty to do throughout the day.

For more information, visit their Facebook page – Cruise Culture, or their Instagram @Cruise_Culture.

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Entertainment

Tywi Valley Open Studios

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Justine Burgess 'West Wales Willows' Photo Credit Dewi Tannatt Lloyd

TYWI VALLEY Open Studios Arts Trail has been held every year since 2013, apart from the last two years, making 2022 its 8th year. 

TVOS was winner of the Carmarthenshire Celebration of Culture Awards 2019.

After a two year break for Covid, the artists and makers are naturally delighted to welcome visitors back to our studios, working as normal. 

Many of the artists live in rural settings and are used to working in isolation, but the closure of galleries and shops has had to lead to major readjustments such as selling online. 

However, time to think has given them opportunities to develop new ideas that normally would have been put on the back burner. 

Visitors will be able to see these developments and the artists will enjoy this welcome company and the chance to talk about their work to interested visitors.

Visitors will be able to see artists at work or join in a workshop with an artistic activity.

As one of the artists says: “I remember as a child entering an artists studio was so exciting, so ‘other’. The feel, the inspiration and being able to see how it all happens was truly Magical and set me forth on a long path of painting and singing.

“In Adulthood, it is still thrilling to see a ‘personal’ space, a place of exploration, a place of work that is rarely shared. Artists love solitude to contemplate and evaluate thoughts, potters in turn develop shapes and forms with textures and glazes in much the same way. 

“A weaver may be discussing with themselves a new way of manipulating, a woodworker how better to enhance the beauty of natural wood, the materials’ colours melded into pure joy. This is why it’s so exciting to visit an ‘artists ‘ studio – it’s where alchemy happens.

“We are fortunate to have within our group very well known artists and makers and some for you to make your own discoveries ..

“Studio visits stay in the memory, there is special atmosphere waiting to be shared.”

Each studio is unique in what it has to offer. Artists will be demonstrating the current pieces on which they are working while some are also offering workshops and activities for visitors. 

Joining one of these workshops can be a good way to relax while learning something new.

There are sculpture workshops ranging from 2 hours to a whole day, drop in pottery activities such as throwing a pot on a wheel or trying Raku, wet felting and willow making, as well as decoupage, collage and glass fusing sessions. 

Taking place in the first week of the school holidays, many activities are suitable for children.

Free brochures with a map are available from shops in Llandeilo and Llandovery and tourist information centres. This can be used to locate which artists to visit. 

There are also suggestions of 5 different coloured routes each of which could be reasonably covered in a day, visiting a selection of studios.

Full details are on the website www.tywivalleyopenstudios.wales 

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Entertainment

The Gallery Yr Oriel presents Lyndon Thomas ‘The Promised Land’

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THE GALLERY YR ORIEL Newport Pembs is delighted to host a new exhibition for Lyndon Thomas to celebrate his 80th year. 

Lyndon’s artistic career has spanned five decades that include painting, pottery and wood turning.  

Work by Lyndon Thomas

Lyndon focused on painting from 2008, and evolved a method of working in acrylic on paper, using painting knives, with the bulk of his subject matter being the landscape of North Pembrokeshire and Lleyn Peninsula, the two western extremities of Wales. 

The exhibition is representative of work produced over the past year, and will also include some selected pieces of pottery from his collection, and the title, The Promised Land, sums up his feelings towards the beautiful land and seascapes that are found throughout Wales.

‘The Promised Land’ exhibition starts on June 24

The exhibition launch is on Friday 24 th June from 5 – 7pm, there are paper catalogues available, and an online e-catalogue is also available on our website www.thegallery-yroriel.com/whats-on

We look forward to seeing you all at the launch which is open to everybody, and we will be serving refreshments.

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