Where have the last six years gone? It really is six years since the gorgeous Fiona Allan flew into Wales from Australia to take up the post of Artistic Director at the Wales Millennium Centre. As the then Chief Executive Judith Isherwood’s right hand woman Fiona took on the mantle of creating an artistic programme to tantalize the taste buds of the people of Wales. A combination of musical theatre, dance and drama with a sprinkling of exciting gems were brought to Cardiff from all over the world.
How does one decide what to programme and what to leave well alone? I am curious about the criterion one uses to select the shows the audience is offered; it a great privilege and a wonderful job travelling the world to see what the global creative minds have put together. In a previous life, whilst at the Arts Council, I remember talking about whether there would be enough high quality work available to programme and fill the 1900 odd seats in the Centre. Did we worry unnecessarily? Is the work available? Is quality an issue? Is the budget sufficient to buy the really good work? Of course you can always spend more but do we have enough money to justify this huge investment in Cardiff?
What sells and what doesn’t? Have the audiences surprised Fiona as a programmer or have they been as predictable as she thought they would be? What has the job taught her? What does the future look like from Wales? Will she miss our celtic charm?
If you would like to reminisce with Fiona, tell her how she has contributed to the cultural life of Wales and share in a sophisticated celebration of a truly remarkable, in my opinion, woman please come along to the Salon on Monday 21 March. To book a ticket please email firstname.lastname@example.org