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It’s ‘Grand to be Back’ say Swansea theatre

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Lights, music, action…at long last the show is about to go on. After 18 months of being closed, the curtain will once again rise on Swansea Grand Theatre’s stage and theatre lovers can return to this much loved venue from 4 October.

Audiences will be ‘All Shook Up’ with the theatre’s first performance fit for a king when Ben Portsmouth returns with his award winning tribute to Elvis on 6 October. Other autumn highlights include In the Night Garden on 13 & 14 October, The Bootleg Beatles on 23 October, Al Murray’s brand new show, Landlord of Hope and Glory (29 October) and celebrating 25 years of grisly, gruesomeness, The Circus of Horrors returns on 3 November.

Swansea Grand Theatre has long been synonymous with sensational pantos and this year is no exception. With a stellar line up, including Wales’ very own Olympian, Colin Jackson, local legend, Kev Johns in the role of dame, Britain’s Got Talent finalist, comedian Jon Clegg and Swansea’s Zoe George, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be the perfect family friendly, fun packed panto for this Christmas.

Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Swansea Grand Theatre is at the heart of Swansea’s culture offering and has been greatly missed by many over the last 18 months. It is brilliant to be back   for customers old and new. With the panto returning, this Christmas will be a  very special one.         

“Theatres and other venues are easing back to work all over the country and while the virus has not gone away, Grand Theatre staff are working hard to make sure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable time.”

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The theatre has implemented Covid-19 measures within current Welsh Government guidelines, including the requirement for face coverings in all public areas, except hospitality, hand sanitisers on every level, contactless payment and enhanced cleaning before, during and after performances. The full list of guidelines is available on the Grand Theatre’s website and customers should read them carefully before attending any performance.

Information can be found at https://www.swanseagrand.co.uk/Coronavirus

Gower Brewery’s Malthouse at the theatre will re-open on 6 October and will be launching new menus and drinks offers soon, so keep an eye on www.themalthouserestaurant.co.uk

To book tickets for performances and stay up to date with changing Covid guidelines, go to www.swanseagrand.co.uk

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(Lead image: Grand Theatre Swansea)

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Carmarthen

Carmarthen Primary school issues warning after pupils as young as EIGHT are watching graphic violence on viral hit Netflix TV show Squid Game

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Richmond Primary School in Carmarthen has issued a warning to parents after reports of Year 4 children attending the school had either watched Squid Game on TV or had downloaded third-party apps associated with the show.

Squid Game has become a viral hit TV show for streaming platform Netflix – and is currently the service’s most-watched ever series.

The South Korean show however has high levels of gore, death, violence, and physical assault. It also has graphic depictions of suicide, murder, and sexual assault.

The plot is based on a group of adult debtors, thieves, and gamblers competing against each other in a series of childhood games for a grand cash prize. However, there is a dark twist to these seemingly innocent games – losing competitors are violently killed off in ways that grow more twisted as the games grow more intense.

A statement on Richard Primary School’s social media said that while Squid Game has a rating of 15+, children and young people are likely to know about the show via word of mouth and because it is so popular on social media. They may be unaware of the extent of gore, death, and violence the show contains. It also focuses on adult themes that are not appropriate for younger sensibilities.

For young people who live with mental health issues, they may be triggered by some of the content

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Mobile App

The “Squid Game Challenge” (also known as K-Game Challenge) is an app for smartphones and tablets that has been released for Android and iOS, and the two systems differ significantly on their age ratings for the game. The iTunes Store rates the app as 12+ (advising of “mild/infrequent horror/fear themes”), while the PEGI rating for Android is just 3+, which means that very young children might be able to download and play the game even with parental controls activated on their device or through Google Play.

The gameplay is frequently interrupted by pop-ups and ads (sometimes appearing while the user is rapidly tapping their screen while attempting to complete the challenge). This could easily lead to unwanted purchases or accidental visits to inappropriate sites beyond the app.

Warning for parents

Richmond Primary School warns: “As a parent or carer, keep a watchful eye on the content that your children are viewing. Speak to them openly and chat about how they have been spending time on their devices; let them ask questions too. Ensure that the parental controls are activated on your child’s device and that age-restricted child profiles are properly set up, as well as any on-demand services available through the family TV (such as Netflix, in this case) to prevent inappropriate content being streamed.

“If you see your child replicating the challenges from the show or hear them talking about scenes and characters from Squid Game, it would be a timely opportunity to discuss with them that the programme is not intended for children, that much of the content would be inappropriate for their age, and that the violence in the series is very realistic and often upsetting.”

(Lead image: Netflix)

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Rugby paywall sets “dangerous precedent”

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Plaid Cymru is calling for all Wales rugby games to be aired live on S4C following news that matches will only be accessible on Amazon Prime.

It’s been confirmed that fans of Welsh rugby will not be able to watch Wales’ autumn international matches on free-to-air television.

Matches will only be televised live on Amazon Prime, which sits behind a paywall.

This marks a change from previous matches, which have been available to watch live on S4C, which is free-to-air.

The reason the change has been made is because Amazon Prime will be providing commentary in both English and Welsh languages.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for sport, Heledd Fychan MS said, “This sets a dangerous precedent for the future of sports broadcasting in Welsh. It also raises questions about the future of S4C. Not only have S4C lost the right to broadcast Welsh rugby matches, but it puts in place a model that could be adopted by other broadcasters in the future.

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“The red button offer from Amazon is a gesture at best. If you do not already pay for Amazon prime, you will still need to pay to watch in Welsh. And what about pubs and clubs that have always shown the games in Welsh?

“All games from our national teams should be free to watch on S4C. Welsh rugby belongs to everyone in Wales – we must not be priced out of our own culture.”

(Lead image: Crown Copyright)

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Arts and Entertainment

Big screen blockbusters are back at Vue Swansea

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Cinema is back and better than ever as even more spectacular new releases are lined up in the coming weeks at Vue. 

Highly anticipated sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage, will be showing at the cinema on York Street from Friday 15 October, and fans can book tickets now.

Tom Hardy returns to the big screen as one of Marvel’s greatest and most twisted characters, the lethal protector Venom. After finding a host body in investigative reporter Eddie Brock, the alien symbiote must face a new enemy, Carnage, the alter ego of serial killer Cletus Kasady. Directed by Andy Serkis, the film also stars Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson, in the role of the villain Cletus Kasady/Carnage. 

Venom in VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE. (Image: Sony)

Epic science fiction film Dune will be landing at Vue on Thursday 21 October. Dune follows the story of a mythic and emotionally charged hero ‘Dune’, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding. With captivating visuals, mesmerising music by Hanns Zimmer, and talented actors including Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya Chani, this film was meant to be seen on the big screen in all its glory.  

(L-r) TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides and REBECCA FERGUSON as Lady Jessica Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “DUNE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (PHOTO CREDIT: Chiabella James)

Fans of Wes Anderson will also be excited by the arrival of his latest work, The French Dispatch, on the big screen from Friday 22 October. Anderson’s ninth collaboration with Bill Murray and eighth collaboration with Owen Wilson, accompanied by an all-star cast, tells the story of journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper, in a fictional twentieth century French city, who write for The French Dispatch Magazine. 

(From L-R): Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens and Griffin Dunne in the film THE FRENCH DISPATCH. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

With more blockbusters arriving in the coming weeks, it is expected to bring even more people back to the cinema for the first time, as research from Vue’s Fulfilment Report, in conjunction with Kokoro, revealed that over a third of British cinema-goers have returned to the big screen. 

The Fulfilment Report is an ongoing, year-long study into the nation’s relationship with the big screen and escapism, and has also found that two-thirds of cinema-goers say watching a film on the big screen would have a positive impact on their mental state that day, with three quarters believing the experience offers a genuine escape from “pings” and notifications.  

Eduardo Leal, head of screen content at Vue Entertainment, said: “We’ve got a packed line-up of exciting new movies for everyone to enjoy over the autumn. 

“Close behind the long-awaited release of No Time to Die, we have a combination of dramatic new films and blockbuster titles that keeps on coming. We’re delighted to provide another way for everyone to switch off from the outside world and get lost in great stories together instead.”  

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Tickets are available from myvue.com

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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