Grand Ambition, a new in-house company, plans to showcase the under-represented artists of Wales by using Swansea’s Grand Theatre as their venue.
The creative collective of Grand Ambition is made up of four members – Richard Mylan, Michelle McTernan, Steve Balsamo and Christian Patterson, who are teaming up with Swansea City Council in order to bring more life into the cultural landscape of Swansea. After the pandemic, the group felt that the landscapes and communities of Swansea needed more recognition for their artistic potential. The group acknowledges that the arts in Swansea need support, especially within this post-pandemic era, so that the city can be taken seriously within the industry. The group said:
‘The last two years have been difficult for everyone, especially within our industry. The pandemic has hit venues and fellow freelancers very hard, so now more than ever there is a greater need to encourage, support and connect the arts to our home city.’
Swansea’s Grand Theatre is an 1,000-seat theatre and a 200-seat studio that uses its space to host an amalgamation of arts. From large scale productions to smaller productions of theatre and comedy – the theatre does not limit its creative outlet.
Grand Ambition also plans to reach out and work with local schools to encourage younger artists, and also plans to engage with freelancers and organisations in order to further push and inspire Swansea’s ‘exciting and ambitious future’ in the arts. The group is also planning a programme that will ‘forge genuine pathways from community to stage’, a step towards their ambition of supporting the community to thrive in the arts within their own city.
Amongst the group’s supporters are the writer Gary Owen, executive producer of Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre Julia Barry, and Lyric Hammersmith artistic director Rochel O’Riordan. The cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism at Swansea council is also amongst their supporters. He commented “We are delighted to be supporting our home-grown talent to create even more opportunities for young people and communities in Swansea to get involved in the cultural and creative industries.”
Pictured: Steve Balsamo, Michelle McTernan, Christian Patterson and Richard Mylan. Photo credit: Kirsten McTernan
More information on Grand Ambition available here.