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Original pop idol Will Young and celebrity sporting podcast ‘The Good, The Bad and The Rugby’ latest shows announced for Swansea Arena

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Yet more stars will be heading for Swansea next year as the celebrity running order for our city’s arena starts to take shape.

Latest acts announced include the original pop idol Will Young and celebrity sporting podcast ‘The Good, The Bad and The Rugby’ featuring James Haskell, Mike Tindall and Alex Payne.

The rugby heroes come to Swansea arena on Sunday 15 May 2022.

Then on Thursday 10 November 2022, Will Young performs classics from his 20-year career so far – from Pop Idol through to today, which includes four number one chart-topping albums, two BRIT Awards, four UK number one singles and hits including ‘Leave Right Now’, ‘Evergreen’ and ‘Jealousy’.

These two new dates are on top of a host of household names from the worlds of comedy and music already booked to play at Swansea Arena next year.

Other acts already announced for Swansea Arena include Alice Cooper and The Cult, Rob Brydon, Katherine Ryan, Diversity, Rhod Gilbert and John Bishop.

The announcement of a headline opening music act is also expected in coming months.

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The arena, to be run by the Ambassador Theatre Group, is one feature of the £135m Copr Bay phase one district being developed by Swansea Council and advised by development managers RivingtonHark. Other features include a 1.1-acre coastal park, new spaces for leisure and hospitality businesses, new car parking, new homes and the landmark new bridge over Oystermouth Road.

Construction, led by Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, will be complete later this year, with the arena opening its doors in early 2022.

Tickets for Will Young and for the rugby podcasters go on sale today. Find out more at: https://www.swansea-arena.co.uk/

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Books & Literature

Nurse turns to verse to express pandemic woes

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An emergency department nurse has combined his passion for nursing and writing by creating heartfelt poems inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Michael Jenkins has always been enthusiastic about poetry but never focused on writing until the start of the pandemic.

He felt this was the perfect opportunity to capture the emotions of not only the nursing staff but everyone involved in the NHS.

Writing poetry also acted as a coping mechanism for Michael to get through what has been one of the toughest times in the history of the NHS.

His first poem, Give me a Break!, was shared on his Facebook page, as well as a Covid support group, where he received rave reviews and an unprecedented amount of appreciation which came as a surprise to him.

“The more poems I started to write, the more attention and shares on social media I was receiving,” Michael said.

Rebecca Price, Emergency Department matron at Morriston Hospital, in Swansea, added: “Michael really does know how to dig deep into NHS staff’s hearts and reveal their true emotions in such a pressurised environment in what has been the toughest couple of years in the history of the NHS.”

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After 18 months of concentrating on the pandemic, Michael turned his attention to other subjects within nursing, in particular by writing a poem about living with dementia.

He added: “We have so many patients coming through the ED doors with dementia but with other conditions to treat.

“It can be very difficult for trained nurses to deal with patients who unfortunately suffer with the terrible illness of dementia.”

Michael’s poem about living with dementia was shared so widely on social media that it even caught the attention of the national charity Dementia UK.

The charity was so impressed it asked Michael if it could rebrand and share the poem on its social media platforms. It has since received a huge amount of praise and shares.

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Dementia UK said: “Michael’s poem has really resonated with all people involved with dementia and has been enjoyed so much.

“We are very appreciative he has taken the time to write such a beautiful poem.”

Several of the poems have since been displayed in ED to be read and enjoyed by members of staff, as well as patients.

Michael hopes the poems can provide a boost where needed and spread some positivity.

Below are two of the poems for your enjoyment.

Give Me A Break!

Patients laugh and patients cry
Patients live, some patients die
Staff will help, Staff will care
Staff with yelp, Staff will ware

Taking its toll on every single person
Reliving the day that’s for certain
Locked down, feeling trapped with no location
Nowhere to go but work and save the population

I never signed up for this’ I read
But we can’t say that or else they’d be dead
But please just give me some space
I’m also a part of this human race

I’ll moan, I’ll cry, I’ll scream and shout
But I know I’ll carry on without a doubt
Do we want some gratitude?
Or do we need a better attitude?

I don’t know I just want some time
Is that to be such a crime?
I’ve paid my fee to work my vocation
What’s that all about?

I’ll still head off without any hesitation
But please I pray to God for goodness sake
All I’m asking for….is give me a break!

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Living with Dementia

I got told I had dementia today,
But that’s fine I’m still me!
The same old person that you sit with
To drink a hot cup of tea.

I may not remember every last detail,
Or recognise your face.
But I will sure try to imagine,
Taking me back to my favourite place.

I may get confused and anxious,
And wander round my house.
I know I shouldn’t dwell on the past,
But I really miss my spouse.

Sometimes my mind is somewhere else,
Like on holidays from years ago.
Or dreaming of better times I’ve had,
Now I must learn to go with the flow.

I am still the same human being,
With a brain inside my head
It just takes a while to think of things,
Like when should I go to bed?

Please don’t judge my shouting,
Or if I somehow make you scared
It’s just my mind playing tricks on me,
Maybe I just need to be fed!

Some company is all I need
To play my favourite game,
Then maybe next time I see you,
I will remember your lovely name.

Now I will always cherish the memories,
Of all the times we share,
Please don’t stop coming to visit,
As I know you will always care.

I am still the same old person,
Just get a little jumbled up,
Now go get me that hot cuppa,
So I can sip from my favourite cup.

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Carmarthen

Major new TV drama latest to choose Carmarthenshire as its setting

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Carmarthenshire County Council has been working with location scouts and the production team to support the filming of a new thriller, which is using the county as its backdrop.

Y Golau/The Light In The Hall, produced by Triongl Cyf and Duchess Street Productions, is being filmed in Welsh and English and is set to air on S4C and Channel 4 in the UK, and Sundance Now in the US.

Cast and crew have been working in and around Llandovery, Carmarthen, Llangadog and Llandeilo over the past few weeks.

Actors including Joanna Scanlan, currently starring as Ma Larkin in the hit ITV family drama The Larkins, and Iwan Rheon of Game of Thrones, are amongst those featuring in the thriller.

The council has been working to ensure the local area benefits financially from the production with location fees, accommodation and associated spending on food and retail in the Llandovery, Carmarthen, and surrounding areas set to bring a substantial boost to the local economy.

Council officers have also ensured minimal disruption to communities for the duration of the filming, with traffic management and access to local businesses unaffected.

This is the latest major production to be located in Carmarthenshire, on the back of the hugely successful Keeping Faith drama based in Laugharne and Carmarthen, and Save The Cinema, a film due to be released on Sky in the New Year.

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Although Llandovery and Carmarthen will see the most activity, other locations across the county are also hosting film crews for a range of other productions at the moment.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Yet again Carmarthenshire has been chosen as the location for a major production, which proves that what we have got to offer is enough to attract the best companies in the world.

“Our officers have been supporting the crew to scout locations, contact local landowners and liaise with partners – all part of our efforts to support the growth of the local economy. When we are able to attract productions of this scale, we are able to bring new money into the area – a cast and crew of around 60 people are staying and spending locally, and that means money in the tills of local businesses and in the pockets of local people.”

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, added: “We are very fortunate to have such a range of locations suitable for filming in Carmarthenshire, from large beaches that stretch for miles, to rural and urban landscapes, rolling countryside and historic buildings. We have worked hard to grow our reputation as a location for filming and that is paying off with more enquiries being made to us all the time. It will be fantastic to see Carmarthenshire featured on the screen once again.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Music

Rock duo Royal Blood revealed as first act to play Swansea Arena

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The first act to play Swansea’s brand new Arena on Tuesday 8 March has been announced as rock duo, Royal Blood.

To date, Royal Blood have achieved two million global sales, won the BRIT Award for Best British Group, two NME Awards and a Kerrang! Award. Their debut album was also nominated for the Mercury Prize. 

Also now confirmed for Swansea Arena is Jersey Boys – the first West End show announced for the attraction.

Running from Tuesday November 29 to Saturday December 3, 2022, Jersey Boys will take audiences behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  The musical has won 65 major awards and been seen by over 27 million people worldwide.

Tickets for both Royal Blood and Jersey Boys go on general sale on Friday December 3 via swansea-arena.co.uk

West End musical Jersey Boys has also been announced for Swansea Arena

The arena is one feature of the £135m Copr Bay phase one district being developed by Swansea Council and advised by development managers RivingtonHark. Copr Bay phase one construction – being led by Buckingham Group Limited – is due for completion later this year, with the arena, to be run by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), opening its doors in early 2022.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “The announcement of the first international artists playing Swansea Arena as part of its launch season is a significant milestone for the attraction, with excitement now really starting to build ahead of its opening early next year.”

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “The announcement of all the acts already confirmed for Swansea Arena shows that the venue will have widespread appeal, with many of these acts having never played Swansea before.

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“The arena will build on Swansea’s current vibrant and diverse cultural scene, further strengthening it for future generations of audiences.”

Swansea Arena General Manager Lisa Mart said: “We are really excited to be announcing further events for 2022 – especially our eagerly anticipated first act. Royal Blood are absolutely incredible. They are the perfect act to set the tone for our opening year and really test the venue’s capabilities. Jersey Boys, being our first West End musical production, is a real coup for us – it is one of the best touring musicals available and we have no doubt Swansea will love it. 

“There are further world class announcements to round off our launch season to come.”

In 2022 so far, Swansea Arena audiences can also expect to see Alan Carr, John Bishop, Jurassic Live, Katherine Ryan, Rhod Gilbert, Rob Beckett, Rob Brydon, Alice Cooper and The Cult, Diversity, Johannes Radebe, Oti Mabuse, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Will Young, and The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Live.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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