For those in the know, the very first V Awards was held at the Riverfront and is also celebrating its 15th anniversary too. Voice caught up with head of theatre arts and culture, Alan Dear, to find out what The Riverfront Theatre will be doing to celebrate this milestone. Here’s what he had to say:

What are you doing for the Riverfront Theatre’s 15th anniversary, which is on October 22?

We have some really exciting plans for The Riverfront’s birthday. On Thursday, October 24 we have a fantastic performance of Pavilion and will be celebrating with our audiences and friends.

We’ll also be giving our audiences over the autumn season prizes and offers including our new £5 offer we’ve introduced for 15 to 25-year-olds. During the autumn, we’re also planning to have an open day to welcome in the community to find out more about what’s coming up and get behind the scenes at the theatre, keep an eye out as we’ll be announcing the date soon!

If you could have any performer at the Riverfront, living or dead, to do a special onenight special, who would you choose and why?

Where can I start? The Riverfront is an extremely well-designed theatre that Wales should be proud of. So, an evening with Richard Burton would be the pinnacle for me. But as a venue for opera I would love to have seen Adelina Patti. As a music venue there are a whole list of performers I would like to see and am indeed trying to get here. (wink, wink) Wouldn’t Tom Jones at The Riverfront be a great event?

Throughout the seasons, you try your very best to cater for all tastes and ages, how hard is it to pick and choose acts to keep everyone entertained?

This is always a challenge, sometimes we have to take risks on unseen artists and established artists can be very expensive. At The Riverfront what we’re trying to do is find a balance so we can find something for everybody.

As well as offering a varied choice of entertainment, the centre is also used as a hub
for the local community, where unique spaces can be used for all manner of things – how or what can your rooms be used for?

How do people go about hiring/booking these rooms?

We have lots of fantastic spaces that are perfect for arts activities, meetings and workshops. Currently we host a wide variety, from ceramics to our over 50s arts club, from belly-dancing to tots music and dance. We are also an inspiring venue for hospitality and other special events and as a charity can also  help businesses and organisations with supporting the local community. Our bookings team are happy to help with any enquiries – give them a call on 01633656757 or email bookings@

With autumn officially upon us which shows, movies or performances are you are you most excited about?

We have some fantastic shows this autumn! We’re really excited about our new partnership with Soho theatre and bringing some of London’s best comedy and cabaret to Newport. We’re also excited about must-see Welsh drama from Theatre Clwyd who are bringing Pavilion, their brand-new comedy to the theatre. We’re also co-producing Gods & Kings with Four in Four Productions, set in Newport and exploring what it’s like to live with a life ruled by mental illness. Eye of the Storm is also an unmissable show which features music by Amy Wadge, who most people know for writing Ed Sheeran’s Thinking out Loud, and its perfect for inspiring young girls to achieve their ambitions. The season also a has a wide variety of live music and visits from Griff Rhys-Jones, Hazel O’Conner, and Stifyn Parry. Of course, we can’t forget Cinderella, our festive pantomime, which this year will be more magical than ever!

Are you doing anything special for Halloween?

This Halloween we have a really intriguing swing band, The Flyboys who will be mashing-up some classics to perform your favourite songs as you’ve never heard them before. Imagine Pharrell Williams crooning with Judy Garland or Maroon 5 grooving with Ella Fitzgerald. We’re also showing some Halloween favourites in the cinema including Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Can you tell us more about this year’s pantomime, Cinderella, or is it top secret?

As it’s our 15th birthday, we’re working hard to make this year’s pantomime the most spectacular and magical yet. We can’t reveal all the surprises, but we guarantee you won’t want to miss it.

How important to the Riverfront is it to keep art and culture alive within Newport city centre?

Newport has a vibrant cultural and musical past and its vital to support it! We are working hard on developing arts and culture in the city working with organisations, including among others, Coleg Gwent and supporting students on their foundation degree in Performing Arts, working with Le Pub on the Big Splash Busk and we now have recording company C.O.B.R.A music in our studio.

Do you think that there’s enough support and encouragement for local artists and musicians?

We are developing The Riverfront as a centre of excellence in creative learning and we will be involved in delivering support across all sectors of the arts for those who wish to develop their learning and careers. Next year, we’ll be announcing some fantastic new initiatives which will allow creatives in any discipline to have the opportunity of a wider platform for their work. The Riverfront also engages with agents, promoters and marketeers from all over the country and we want to make sure Newport artists have access to the best support possible.

To find out more of what's going on at the Riverfront this winter season, click the link to the website below or call the box office on 01633 656757. 

The Riverfront Theatre - Kingsway, Newport NP20 1HG