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This Incredible Life banner image

The Met, Abertillery will be opening its doors to people living with dementia and their families and carers next month for a day of activities and workshops, including a Dementia Friendly performance of This Incredible Life by Alan Harris, presented by Canoe Theatre in partnership with Theatrau Sir Gar.

The Dementia Friendly Theatre Day, developed in partnership the Alzheimer’s Society, will begin on Wednesday 3rd October at 10.30am with information stations open where members of the public can find out about activities and groups that support living well with dementia. The day also includes an opportunity to take part in Dementia Friends training, a nationwide initiative where participants can learn more about dementia and the small ways they can help. People living with dementia and their families and carers can also take part in a free creative workshop for family, friends and carers wishing to better manage Dementia.

The focus of the day will be a Dementia Friendly performance of This Incredible Life by Alan Harris which has been created to enable a relaxed audience experience. During the performance, the theatre will be well lit with comfortable sound levels, there will be plenty of space between seats and audience members can leave the theatre and re-enter as and when they need to. Refreshments will be served and there will be an opportunity to meet the cast. The play will also include local references from Abertillery in the 60s and 70s to spark memories and connections.
Canoe Theatre are working with local volunteers who will support visitors throughout the day by offering directions and assistance. Volunteers will join venue staff in a Dementia Friends sessions in the run up to the day to ensure that they understand what is needed to support people living with dementia.

This Incredible Life tells the story of retired journalist Mab and her nephew Robert. As they spend time together their family history unfolds with funny and moving consequences. Alan Harris’ latest comedy will sweep audiences off their feet with live music, film and a story that will lift the spirits and warm the heart, MGM style.

Mab and Robert will be played by Sharon Morgan (Hinterland, Torchwood, Under Milk Wood) and Christopher Elson (Da Vinci’s Demons, High Hopes, Torchwood), and will be joined on stage by a supporting cast of seven character parts who are being filmed on location in Wales. Local businesses from a chip shop to a dental surgery have opened their doors for filming to help bring the play to life. Actor Sharon Morgan is developing a bilingual text and the company have also been calling on local experts to suggest places that they remember from the 60s and 70s as locations will change as the play tours Wales. The film work will be created by Jorge Lizalde and the play will also feature a new score, written for the piece by composer Richard Barnard.

Director Julia Thomas explains where the idea for the play came from; “When I was younger I was forever asking my granny to tell me stories about her life and we would often get lost in afternoons of watching beautiful films full of love and hope with amazing dance routines. I wanted to see if we could create this feeling on stage. It is both epic and intimate, funny and touching. It is a story that is suitable for all. I feel that we have a responsibility to make sure that our theatres offer something for everyone and I am excited to be sharing this play with eight inspiring Welsh venues committed to the same cause.”

Canoe Theatre collaborated with Ffwrnes to present the first full production of This Incredible Life in 2016, including a highly successful day of activities that helped to establish Ffwrnes as a Dementia Friendly venue. They have come together to create the touring version of the play employing a dedicated co-ordinator in each area to plan a day of activity, refreshments and socialising. There will be over 150 young volunteers recruited across Wales to support the Dementia Friendly Theatre Days.

Marcia Vale from the Alzheimer’s Society stated that “The Dementia Friendly Performance was the first activity in the region that stepped out of the stereotypical dementia support activity. It was a wonderful event that has allowed people living with dementia to engage in an activity that is currently unavailable to them in this form.

The play was very thought provoking and enabled the audience to `live in the moment’. The play had a really good connection with the local area which added to the experience.

This connection drew on the long-term memories of the audience and brought the story to life.

The reactions that followed the performance confirmed that it was a huge success. It made the members of the audience feel part of a normal activity and was a warm and welcoming experience.”

Sharon Casey, Theatres Development Manager at Theatrau Sir Gâr, said; “We are proud to be working with Canoe Theatre again following the success of the first production of This Incredible Life. We are pleased to be supporting the play to visit more venues and reach more audiences across Wales.”

Canoe Theatre’s tour of This Incredible Life is made possible by the support of the Arts Council of Wales.
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Met Autumn Shows 2018

Welcome to a brand new season of entertainment at The Metropole Cultural & Conference Centre in Abertillery!

Our new Autumn/Winter season is packed full of energetic and engaging performances, so whether you’re looking for comedy, drama, music, opera or something for the children, we have plenty of top quality entertainment for you to choose from.

This season also sees the launch of our brand new website at www.the-met.co.uk which provides a full calendar of all our upcoming shows, as well as information on hiring the venue and a little bit about the history of The Met.

We kick off our new season of live music on 29th September with one of the UK’s most recognized tributes to the fab four, The Beatles Go On, followed by the amazing voice of Maggie Nestor in The Carpenters Experience on 27th October and renowned musicians Allan Yn Y Fan, who will be taking to the stage on 17th November with their unique blend of traditional Welsh music infused with their own compositions.

From Monday 1st to Friday 5th October we will be hosting a special Dementia Friendly Awareness Week at The Met in partnership with Head 4 Arts, which will show through participation in arts activities, how we can contribute to the health and wellbeing of people with dementia.

Wednesday 17th October will see the welcome return of Nye & Jennie: A Working Class Tale of Life, Labour and Love as it returns to The Met following its triumphant debut at the venue last year. Co-produced by Aneurin Leisure and Theatre na nÓg, this beautifully written drama spans the story of the partnership of Aneurin Bevan Jennie Lee and their remarkable life together.

Mid Wales Opera’s SmallStages will be bringing live opera with a Spanish beat to The Met on Saturday 10th November with Ravel’s exhilarating one-act clock shop comedy, L’heure Espagnole (A Spanish Hour).

Everyone’s favorite hoteliers Basil and Sybil Fawlty will be providing an evening of hilarious comedy and fine dining, ably assisted by Manuel or course, on 16th November as The Faulty Towers Dining Experience comes to Bedwellty House & Park in Tredegar. The laughs don’t stop there though; we’ll also have superb comedy drama at the Met with John Godber’s April in Paris on 3rd November and a sidesplitting evening celebrating all things Dibley with The Vicar of Dibley on 16th January 2019.

As the festive season draws near, we have a variety of fun filled entertainment guaranteed to appeal to the whole family. Our spectacular Christmas pantomime, Peter Pan, starring Owen Money runs from 23rd November to 2nd December, followed by the hilarious new show Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps on Saturday 15th December. After Christmas the superstars of Welsh Wrestling return to the Met on 5th January with their top rope flying wrestling extravaganza and we’ll be following the Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio on 27th and 28th February.

For more information on any of these shows or to book your tickets online you can visit our exciting new look website at www.the-met.co.uk or call our Box Office on 01495 355945

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Ocean Walker 2018 group
 
This month saw world renowned British swimmer Adam Walker return to Parc Bryn Bach to hold a special open water training session, where he shared insights on his revolutionary new 'Ocean Walker' swimming stroke technique.

Adam is the first British person to swim the ‘Oceans 7’, an incredible feat that consists of swimming the world’s seven toughest sea channels, an accomplishment made all the more impressive by the fact that he is only the fifth person in the world to complete the challenge, and only the second in history to do it on his first attempt.

It was during this challenge that Adam became injured and was advised not to swim anymore, but determined to succeed he set about finding a better way of swimming, which would enable him to carry on, and the Ocean Walker Technique was born.
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Susan Mitchell gcse 2018

Last week saw Aneurin Leisure’s Adult Community Learning celebrating successes in their GCSE English and Maths results.

Adult Community Learning achieved a 97% pass rate which shows the amazing commitment and dedication of the learners, many of whom attend evening classes whilst in full-time employment.

Ceri Waters, Partnerships, Funding and Contracts Manager at Aneurin Leisure said of the results; "We are extremely proud of the achievements of our learners and send them heartfelt congratulations and wish them every success in the future. We must also acknowledge the hard work of the teaching staff and the support of the learners' families which all contributes to enabling them to fulfil their aspirations and goals."

Pictured above is Susan Mitchell, who attained an A grade in Higher Tier Maths, and her tutor Ian Howells.

Susan enthused; “I am absolutely thrilled with my results, I never thought at the start I would be able to have achieved an A grade!”

If you would like more information on the new range of courses available this September in Adult Community Learning, you can view and download our 2018/19 brochure at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education or call us on 01495 355300.

 

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bank holiday

Here are our opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure venues on Bank Holiday Monday 27th August 2018:

Abertillery Sports Centre - Closed

Bedwellty House & Park – Open as normal, for any enquiries please call 01495 353397

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre – The Gym is open 8am - 4pm, and the Pool is open from 10am - 3pm, for any enquiries please call 01495 357777

Learning Action Centres – Closed

Libraries - Closed

Parc Bryn Bach - Open as normal, for any enquiries please call 01495 355920

The Met – Closed

Tredegar Sports Centre - Closed

All our venues will re-open as normal on Tuesday 28th August 2018.

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