Tag Archives: the other room

Cardiff Boy – 90s nostalgia for the modern day

We’ve posted before about The Other Room (Cardiff’s only pub theatre, attached to Porter’s), and it’s nice to have an excuse to post about them again! There’s a great show on right now in The Other Room called Cardiff Boy, which has made us Very Nostalgic for growing up in Cardiff (and loving tunes!) in the 1990s.

It’s 1996 in the capital.

A seventeen old from Llanedeyrn estate, is our guide, as he and his school mates head into town and negotiate their way through the ever changing streets of Cardiff. This is a study of male friendship, the love and the violence, the codes, the loyalties and rituals, all set to a 90s mixtape. It’s just them and the music.

Cardiff Boy is a dynamic one-man show that explore’s the 1990s in Cardiff. It follows a group of young lads, desperate to make an impression in an ever-changing city. Set to a mix of 90’s music, Cardiff Boy explores the effect music can have on our lives in both times of joy and sadness. Read a review of the show over at The Stage if you still need convincing … “Jack Hammett imbues the role with the right combination of pent-up teenage energy and vulnerability, bouncing around the audience as he describes meeting the girl of his dreams in a club, then rooted to the spot and looking us straight in the eye in the moments of pathos that will go on to define his future.”

CARDIFF BOY IS SHOWING IN THE OTHER ROOM AT PORTER’S : 4/11 – 11/11

BUY TICKETS FOR CARDIFF BOY

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Inside Cardiff’s only pub-theatre: Porter’s, with Dan Porter

We’ve got some big love for Porter’s. It’s a Cardiff bar that features live music, comedy, cabaret, and Wales’ first and only dedicated, full-time professional theatre. It’s just turned three years old, and it’s where we held the party for the first We Are Cardiff Press book!

We’ve wanted to feature the bar for a while, so sent reporter Ellie Philpotts along to interview bar owner and all round great guy Dan Porter for us.

Here’s her piece. And if you haven’t visited Porter’s (or The Other Room theatre) yet, what are you waiting for? Porter’s Facebook / Porter’s website

porters

We Are CArdiff Press 42b launch partyWe Are CArdiff Press 42b launch party

By Ellie Philpotts

If you live in Cardiff, have visited Cardiff, or know Cardiff at all (which I’m guessing you do if you’re reading this), you’ll realise just how many positive traits this city has. Of course, modesty might not be one.

From coffee shop culture on every corner to charming boutiques; lively nightclubs followed up by slightly tamer art galleries, Cardiff has it all. And it’s fair to say that more than a few of these are independent.

However, one venue in particular has been catching my eye recently. And it goes by the name of Porter’s.

The energetic bar can be found nestled on Harlech Court, Bute Terrace. It’s quirky, charming, and the vibe is lively. Basically, it’s the place to be for a unique evening out in the Diff. Wanting to find out more, I popped along for a chat with Dan Porter (as you may or may not have guessed, the name behind the business).

This is him!

Dan Porter

Here’s what went on.

Ellie – Hi, Dan. Thanks in advance for letting me hang out in here, and for putting up with my questions. Let’s start at the start – could you tell me a bit more about Porter’s?

Dan – Sure. We’re an independent Cardiff bar featuring live music, comedy, cabaret and Wales’ first and only dedicated, full-time professional theatre. Miraculously, we just celebrated our third birthday!

Ellie – Many happy returns. So how do you think Porter’s has changed since 2012?

Dan – A lot. The original plan was for it to be much smaller and calmer – actually only about a tenth of its current size and ten times less raucous.

Ellie – How did you start the process of setting up your own bar? It sounds like a big leap which I’m sure lots of work has gone into, especially as you started totally afresh.

Dan – Yeah, I’d never done anything like this before. I worked as an actor for 12 years but fell out of love with that so have gone back to, perhaps, my first love- bars. I thought about the kinds of venues I liked to go to when I was ‘acting’, so devised a business plan based on those (and the feelings and memories they evoked). I spent a lot of time thinking about the whole thing. Then one day I saw this building all boarded up so I had a look around and thought ‘Sod it. Go for it’. I left my agent the next day. That was about three and a half years ago.

Ellie – Cardiff has a vast live music scene. What was it like trying to break into that?

Dan – As much as we love music our original plan wasn’t to concentrate on music – there are so many great bars in Cardiff who do that so very well, such as Full Moon, Clwb Ifor Bach, Gwdihw etc, that it made no sense trying to compete with the experts, so myself and my business partner David Wilson, a theatre producer, set about trying to make Porter’s different – concentrating on comedy, theatre, film, cabaret – playing to our strengths. Of course we dip our toes in the musical waters of Cardiff which are very vibrant and we like to support and promote as best we can. We now put on quite a bit of music and get multiple requests daily from acts wanting to play. We wish we could book them all.

Ellie – There are plenty of bars dotted around Cardiff, a mix of independent and chains. What does it take for one to stand out – do you need a Unique Selling Point?

Dan – It helps but I have no idea what ours is! At Porter’s, customer service is at our heart. We like and support ‘ideas’ and don’t take ourselves too seriously. Our motto is ‘Good People, Good Times’, so that’s what we try to stick to. The basic rules are ‘You can be or do whatever you like here as long as it’s legal, safe and doesn’t threaten to impact negatively on anybody else’s evening’ and ‘Treat people as you would want to be treated’. It’s also worked for us to establish a personal, personable front-facing figure (me), so there’s not that facelessness. We also never charge on the door.

Ellie – Seems like it’s working! If you’re feeling extra-nice, do you have any tips for budding bar entrepreneurs?

Dan – Yeah, don’t do it! Really – it’s hard work and nowhere near as glamorous or lucrative as I thought it would be. I thought I’d be like a Welsh Stringfellow but the reality is a million miles from that. (I am of course very glad to be doing what I am doing – the alternative of working for somebody else doesn’t bear thinking about).

Ellie – Do you think Porter’s would do as well in other cities? What made you choose Cardiff? (I mean, Cardiff is pretty great. I can see why you would want to be here. But still.)

Dan – Cardiff is my home. Always will be. We considered expanding to other places and had opportunities but it’d be hard to translate the same honesty elsewhere and places like this probably already exist in the places we’d consider. All I wanted was a nice bar. I think I have that so I guess I’m happy.

Ellie – Fair enough, I’m sure Cardiff residents will be happy to know we’re keeping you for ourselves! Us at We Are Cardiff held our book launch party at Porter’s earlier this month, and it’s clear to see you guys are passionate in supporting small arts venues. Why is this?

Dan – It’s important. There’s a big independent scene here in Cardiff – of which we are a small part – and the whole thing needs supporting. Places like Depot and the other street food ventures and all the independent bars and arts organisations that are trying to do great things are the lifeblood of the city. Cardiff’s definitely blossomed in recent years and that means a lot to me as a proud Cardiffian.

The Other Room team

Ellie – So can you tell me a bit more about The Other Room, the adjacent theatre? I think it certainly adds another unique touch.

Dan – The Other Room only opened in 2015, but it’s hit the ground running. Before, the annex area was like an escape room, which was great, but we wanted to revolutionise it further. About 18 months ago we began a conversation with Kate Wasserberg, Artistic Director, who came with a great vision – a high quality, full-time professional pub theatre – that complemented ours and The Other Room opened in February to great and continued acclaim. The work that has been put on so far (6 productions to date) has been astounding and that is down to Kate and Bizzy Day, Executive Director, and their amazing team and supporters.

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Thanks to Ellie and Dan – and make sure you check out Porter’s and The Other Room!

 

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Win tickets to see Blud FRIDAY 11 SEPTEMBER!!

We’re really excited to have joined forces with The Other Room and Other Mother to offer you a pair of tickets to the much-talked about #Blud2015 (read our preview of the show)!

To win tickets, just email wearecardiff@gmail.com with the answer to THIS QUESTION:

Blud takes place in a world of football, so today’s question has a similar theme…

Whose goal-scoring record for the England national team did Wayne Rooney beat this week?

Email us the answer wearecardiff@gmail.com by 4pm tomorrow for your chance to WIN WIN WIN! GO!

blud

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Don’t miss Blud, playing at Cardiff’s pub theatre The Other Room until Fri 18 Sept

 

Cardiff’s pub theatre The Other Room, located in Porter’s, has opened its second season (entitled ‘Blue Sky’) with new play Blud, written by Wales Drama Award winner 2014 Kelly Jones. Blud has had great reviews, and is still running at The Other Room until Friday 18 September. It’s even been featured in the Guardian’s Top Ten Tickets this week! (Get your tickets here)

blud

Blud is a co-production between The Other Room and otherMother, a new Welsh, all female theatre company set up by producer Olivia Harris, director Anna Poole and playwright Kelly Jones. The play is a powerful and authentic exploration of the call for war in a town defined by football. Artistic Director of The Other Room Kate Wasserberg comments:

“When I first read Blud, a play about those girls who are left behind and desperate to belong, it broke my heart a little – and made me laugh out loud. Never allowing her characters to become victims, Kelly tempers the violence and vulnerability of these girls with a celebration of their courage, humour, loyalty and the wild passions of their imagination. It is work like this that has the power to inspire the next generation of audiences, of theatre makers and all of us – to make the world a little better. otherMother is a company of brilliant women with big ideas and I could not be more proud that their very first show will be at The Other Room.”

Playwright Kelly Jones comments:

“For me Blud feels very much like a play about the town where I’m from (Dagenham). It tells the story of an area once rich in industry but now struggling, left a wasteland with no opportunities or hope. The inspiration for the play came from my love of football and an article I read about a female football firm in the 1980s who claimed they were fighting for the working class under Thatcher’s government. The process of writing the play has been exciting and involved myself studying the art of football tactics and war strategy, which feeds in to the internal structure of the play.”

Blud is the opening production of The Other Room’s second season ‘Blue Sky’, which also features Your Room (Mon 5 October – Sat 14 November), six weeks where hundreds of local artists will be invited to make work in the theatre with scratch performances, masterclasses and pop up events, and a Christmas production Alix in Wundergarten (Tue 1 – Sat 19 December), from resident company difficult|stage.

The season underlines The Other Room’s ambition to be a new, exciting and innovative voice within the cultural landscape of Cardiff. Artistic Director Kate Wasserberg explains:

“The idea behind ‘Blue Sky’ is simple. We are throwing open the doors and inviting the artists of Wales in. The sheer range of this season is thrilling, as we flood our little stage with hundreds of voices from this brilliant city. This is what The Other Room was made for, and we are very proud to be a home to the artists of the future.”

The Other Room’s second season will also feature various ‘TOR Presents’ events, including creative team members in conversation, guest speakers and cast talkbacks.

Tickets for Blud are available NOW from www.otherroomtheatre.com.

To keep updated on The Other Room, you can also follow the team on Twitter @TORtheatre and Facebook www.facebook.com/otherroomtheatre