Sunday, 25 October 2009

More Essex than Carmarthen

The programme of events organised by Carmarthenshire County Council to celebrate the re-opening of Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre is more suited to Essex than to Carmarthen, according to Plaid’s leader on the council, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths. The Theatre has been closed for six months during which time a substantial investment of funds has seen it re-furbished. The public and backstage facilities have been improved and upgraded, and the Theatre is a centrepiece for performing arts in the county.

Cllr Hughes Griffiths said, “I am delighted that the theatre is to re-open, and was very pleased at the level of investment which has been put into the improvements. The whole of the town has been looking forward to the re-opening, and I was expecting an exciting programme of events to mark the occasion. We have a wealth of talent in the county, able to perform in both languages, yet that talent has been completely ignored, and the programme of events is one which could have been arranged in any English town. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, which has any Welsh or local feel to it, and I am amazed and shocked that the county council could have thought for one second that the series of events was in any way appropriate.

“Instead of celebrating local talent and Welsh talent in general, what do we have? A screening of Rocky, a silent movie from 1923, and a trio of Scottish tenors! Of course there is a place for all of these events and others like them in a year long programme for a top-class venue such as the Lyric – but as a celebration of a re-opening? Of course not. Even had they ensured that one event of the three had a local or Welsh flavour to it, it would have been an improvement. I simply cannot understand how anyone could have thought that this was an appropriate or sensible way of marking the re-opening.”

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