Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre 2005

Following its success in 2002, the Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre will return in April 2005, as part of the city of Cardiff's centenary celebrations, to present an exciting and wide-ranging programme of shows and events celebrating the world's most popular live art form.

The 2005 Festival will feature a major new concert production of Chess by Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson, for which star casting will shortly be announced. Other concerts will celebrate the centenaries of Harold Arlen, Frederick Loewe and Jule Styne. There will also be an exciting new production of Pete Townshend's award-winning musical Tommy at the New Theatre and a new UK version of the Tony Award winning Broadway production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate will be the first musical to play at the new Wales Millennium Centre.

The Radio 2 Voice of Musical Theatre competition will once again take place at the New Theatre. One of the previous winners of this prestigious competition is Laura Michelle Kelly, who is currently playing the title role in Mary Poppins at the Bristol Hippodrome, prior to opening in the West End.

The culmination of the latest Global Search for New Musicals, for which 236 entries from 28 different countries have been received, will take place at the Chapter Arts Centre and the Festival will present the world première of Amazing Grace, a new musical by Mal Pope and directed by Michael Bogdanov, celebrating the Great Welsh Revival of 1904.

Dance will be represented at the Festival by Diversions Dance, Wales's premier dance company, whose new multimedia production will be presented at the New Theatre. There will also be an extensive education and community programme involving children and young people from all over South Wales and beyond.

Joanne Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre, says, "I am delighted that the success of the inaugural Festival has enabled us to continue and expand on the work we started in 2002. In 2005 the Festival will continue to bring to Cardiff, in its centenary year, the best of musical theatre stars, productions and audiences from all over the world."

The Board and the Executive of the Festival acknowledge the continuing support of our two major support funders, the City and County of Cardiff and BBC Cymru Wales, and all those corporate supporters in South Wales and beyond without whose support this second Festival would not be taking place.

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