Inspiring, Raw and Beautiful: Festival of Voice Week 2.

*Thank you to Festival of Voice for Press tickets, I had an ace time!*

 

The second week of Festival of Voice Wales has been an emotional rollercoaster for me. From deeply inspiring moments to discovering new things, Festival of Voice Wales 2018 has set the benchmark for the future.

Inspiring, Raw and Beautiful: Festival of Voice Week 2.

I can still recall Artistic Director Graeme Farrow’s inspiring speech at The Hub on opening night. His words have lingered in my mind over the past two weeks. Try something new, delve into a new world, challenge yourself. I feel as though I have achieved this throughout the festival, and challenged my own way of thinking.

My week kicked off with An Evening with Patti Smith with Lenny Kaye and Tony Shanahan. Oh what a an evening this was. I still get goosebumps when I think back to this night, the night that made me so incredibly grateful. Patti Smith is such a legend, so it was beyond my wildest dreams to be able to see her live on stage at Wales Millennium Centre.

 

Patti Smith on Stage Festival of Voice 2018

Photo credit: Raquel Garcia

Her voice as changed, but not in a bad way. She is also incredibly wise, and this came across through her storytelling and interaction with the audience. I loved her vibe; she seemed incredibly relaxed and at one with herself as she performed upon the stage.

I left the performance feeling excited about life, humbled and grateful for all I have. For as Patti said that night, no matter what we’re going through, there’s always someone worse off than you. She also finished the gig with a powerful performance of People Have The Power. This song sent shockwaves across the audience and it definitely left me with a sense of real purpose.

Patti Smith with a standing ovation at WMC Festival of Voice

Photo credit: Janire Najera

 

My next adventure was through the gloriously designed Double Vision by Gagglebabble. This play was a feast for the senses, with shadows, sounds and lighting effects. The story was dark and sinister, but it also had a comedic edge to it.

I loved all the little details within this performance and I particularly liked its David Lynch influence! The storyline was dark and intense, with strong performances from Lisa Jên Brown as Serena and Mared Jarman as Mel.

There were some very intense moments, plus a lot of humour. I loved the dark nightmare-ish elements as well as the visual and multi-sensory creations running throughout the show. It really is a performance packed full of imagination, vision and voice. There’s still time to catch this tomorrow at 3pm, tickets are £15.

The very same night Camille O’Sullivan broke my heart in her performance of CAVE. This production focuses on the music of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ music and it gets to the heart of each and every song. I loved Camille’s energy on stage. It’s obvious how much she adores performing.

As for her voice, what can I say? It’s earthy and soft, full of highs and lows, and it reached into my very soul. When she performed The Ship Song I couldn’t hold in the tears. It was an incredibly moving performance, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since.

I am going to keep my eyes peeled for future tour dates from this inspiring and talented lady!

 

Last night Warren and I had the chance to catch The Tiger Lillies: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency at Sherman Theatre. This was a very unusual performance and the first half focused on the photography of Nan Goldin during the 70’s and 80’s.

Some of the visual elements were incredibly raw, but left me with a sense of reality. I think there were several layers of meaning within the performance created from the photography, the music and the three performers.

The second half was incredibly fun, contrasting with the serious and dark side of the first half. I loved their music, their vibe and how professional they were as a band. Their attire and ghostly make-up were also really interesting. By the end of the performance Warren and I (as well as the rest of the crowd) were bopping along to their sounds!

Again, I’m going to keep track of their performances and hopefully catch them again soon! There’s still time to catch them at Sherman tonight at 7pm, tickets are £20.

Festival of Voice Wales

This year’s festival has definitely grown since 2016. There has been more in the way of performers, food and free events. I also love how it’s spread itself around Cardiff, involving all the other theatres and surprising patrons at every turn. I only wish I could have seen more!

I’ve had an amazing week or so, with so much excitement, kindness and talent all in one go. I can only hope the festival becomes a yearly Welsh tradition, celebrating the diversity of voice every single year.

Did you go to Festival of Voice Wales this year? What was your favourite performance?

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