Festival In Full

FRIDAY 1ST

7.30PM

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INTO THE ARK

Blackwood stars of The Voice come home!

Tickets £10

Blackwood Methodist Church  

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THURSDAY 7th

2.30PM

Tongue Fu for Kids

Velvet Coalmine 2017 kicks off with Tongue Fu for Kids, a brand new show from the acclaimed Tongue Fu team – Created for children aged 7-11 and their grown ups, developed in partnership with London’s Southbank.

Blackwood Little Theatre 

School event

7.309.30PM

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Velvet Coalmine Opening Party

Featuring Tongue Fu and Africa Writes poets Belinda Zhawi, Rachel Long, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, and Blackwood’s very own clare e. potter. Tongue Fu is one of the UK’s leading spoken word shows, a riotous experiment in live literature, music and improvisation. Poets perform with jaw-dropping improvised soundtracks and films from the genre hopping Tongue Fu Band (Nostalgia 77, Jamie Cullum, Beardyman) and East London design studio CR&D.

Tickets £5

Blackwood Little Theatre 

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FRIDAY 8th

School Day

Africa Writes Young Voices Creative Writing Workshops

A series of dynamic creative writing workshops for Key Stage 2 students, using African art, photography, music and literature as stimulus. With African proverbs, poetry, the stories of African footballers, and iconic photography, the Africa Writes poets will bring an exciting day of creative writing and inspiration to the young writers at Blackwood’s primary schools.

Libanus Primary School, Markham Primary School, Fleur-de-lis Primary School, Ysgol Bro Sannan, Pengam Primary School, Cefn Fforest Primary School, Blackwood Primary School, Blackwood Library

School event

 

SATURDAY 9th

10am12.30PM

Creative Writing for Teachers

A morning to develop tools and techniques for creative writing. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a total new-comer, all are welcome to this interactive workshop facilitated by Belinda Zhawi. Lunch included.

Blackwood Library

School event

1pm2.30PM

Africa in the Syllabus: A Continuing Professional Development Workshop

A Continuing Professional Development workshop for teachers interested in including topics about Africa in the syllabus. In this interactive session, Africa Writes staff, poets and facilitators will take you through teaching about Africa to primary and secondary students and provide a guide to the stimuli and resources available that can be used in lessons across the National Curriculum.

Blackwood Library

School event

10.3011.30AM & 2PM-3PM

The Magic of Stories Family workshop

Come and discover the magic and mysteries of African stories in this workshop for all the family. Hear new sounds, learn fun facts and explore a magic world of enchanting tales.

Blackwood Library

Free

 

45.30PM

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Africa Writes: Choir Concert and Poetry Performance

Africa Writes Poets with the Newbridge Ladies Choir and ZimVoices. The ZimVoices Choir comprises five Zimbabwean women resident in South Wales. They perform traditional Southern African songs, mostly from their homeland of Zimbabwe. Their collaborative and interactive style of performing makes sure that audiences and other performers are involved in the act.

Tickets £5

Blackwood Methodist Church  

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SUNDAY 10th

2PM-3.30PM

African Books to Inspire: Buchi Emecheta Book Club

Buchi Emecheta (1944 – 2017) was a Nigerian author who received great acclaim for her work both in the UK and Nigeria, as the author of more than 20 books. In this bookclub we come together the discuss and celebrate the pioneering writer’s body of work. Whether you are a Buchi Emecheta fan or are curious to hear about her writing, all are invited to join this relaxed session.

VENUE TBA

Free

3pm-4.30PM

Caerphilly Nordic Walks

Join Ed Woolley for a stroll down the beautiful canal pathway stretching from Pontywaun to Wysome’s Wharf cafe – but not just any stroll. Nordic walking is a supercharged fitness routine for a full body workout, engaging 90% of your muscles through the use of poles (provided). Before leaving, Ed will take you through the basics of the technique.

Tickets £3

Pontywaun

MAP OF MEETING POINT 

4-5PM

Africa Writes Poetry in the Afternoon

Join us for a drink and a relaxed afternoon of rhythm and words. The Africa Writes poets shine a light on themes of home, language, the journeys we take and unexpected things we find…

The Sirhowy, J D Wetherspoon

Free

7.30PM

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Comedy at Blackwood Little Theatre

A full night of comedy at Blackwood Little Theatre, including:

Mike Wozniak

Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated comedian, boilingly frustrated Brian Ames in Channel 4’s “Man Down” – dry, deadpan and hilarious.

Julian D’Angelo

Julian D’Angelo, South Wales’ Leading Psychic Phenom, has been delving into the Nether Regions and touching the Other Side since he was a boy.

Dan Mitchell

A loud, hairy comedian from the depths of West Wales (regularly on BBC Radio Wales and has appeared on ITV, S4C, Channel 4, BBC1, 2 and 3 as well as supporting Ross Noble on tour).

Sarah Breese

A mischievous ball of comedy nonsense: since joining the circuit in 2015, Breese has been making waves on the Welsh standup scene and beyond.

Ignacio Lopez

Welsh/Spaniard Ignacio Lopez has been wowing audiences with his individual style and high gag-rate since moving to the UK to perform comedy full-time. A frequent headliner in top comedy clubs all over the UK.

Jenny Lockyer

Jenny loves performing original songs and characters that make people laugh and is never sure when to talk about herself in the third person. She takes her mix of storytelling and comedy to all sorts of gigs in all sorts of places.

Tickets £10

Blackwood Little Theatre  

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MONDAY 11th

9.30AM

Dina Williams: Anansi stories Play in a day

Originally from Blackwood Dina Williams returned 3 years ago after 28 years spent in London. During that time Dina joined Chickenshed, an inclusive theatre company in North London, as a Youth Theatre member and then a junior member of artistic staff. Fulfilling her dream, she won a scholarship to London Contemporary Dance School where she gained her BA (hons) in Contemporary Dance. Dina will be launching a new theatre company initially in the borough of Caerphilly, Valley Inclusive Performance (V.I.P) and is excited to by this opportunity to be part of the Velvet Coalmine festival, returning to Blackwood where her story began. With Blackwood Primary School.

Blackwood Little Theatre

Free

9.30AM

clare e. potter

Poet-in-residence at Llwyn Celyn medieval house, for Wales Arts Review, and recently Moravian Academy Pennsylvania. Translated poems for Wales’ National Poet. Collaborates in community projects, acted in two films and dance production Coal. Published widely in UK and USA, Faber & Faber, Seren, Mslexia. Second poetry collection on the way.

Ysgol Bro Sannan

School event

School Day

School Events

Taekwon-do Wales

Taekwon-do demonstration with the founder of Taekwondo-Wales Peter Kent Marrast.

9.30am – 3pm

Ysgol Bro Sannan 


Burst Publishing Presents Pat Roper

9.30am

Blackwood Primary School


Trouble Comes to Town

930am and 11am

Libanus Primary School


Lesotho Rugby Academy

Iain Richards talks about Rugby in Africa and presents a coaching session as used in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho!

11am

Libanus Primary School


Burst Publishing Presents Pat Roper

Planet Adventures: The Lost Moon book reading/signing

11am

Blackwood Primary School


Gwent Archives

11am

Fleur-de-lis Primary School


Burst Publishing Presents Pat Roper

1pm

Libanus Primary School


Lesotho Rugby Academy

1.30pm

Cefn Fforest Primary School


Gwent Archives

1.30pm

Pengam Primary School


Trouble comes to Town

1.30pm

Libanus Primary School


Burst Publishing Presents Pat Roper

2pm

Libanus Primary School 

In School

2, 5 & 7.30PM

Marty Jopson

He’s back! BBC’s The One Show science presenter returns to Blackwood with ‘Body Tricks’. Marty is doing three shows through the day, the first for school only – but you can buy tickets for the 5 and 7.30 shows!

Tickets: Adults £8, Children £6 Family of 4 (2 Adults, 2 children under 16) £23

Blackwood Primary School 

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TUESDAY 12th

9.30AM

Dina Williams: Anansi stories Play in a day

Dina will be launching a new theatre company initially in the borough of Caerphilly, Valley Inclusive Performance (V.I.P) and is excited to by this opportunity to be part of the Velvet Coalmine festival, returning to Blackwood where her story began. With Libanus Primary School.

Blackwood Little Theatre

Free

9.30AM

Rachel Long

Velvet Coalmine Writer-in-Residence Rachel Long presents a creative writing workshop for children at Blackwood Primary.

Blackwood Primary School

School event

School Day

School Events

The Roper Prize for Literature

Simone Greenwood of Burst Publishing introduces this year’s topic ‘Our Future’ for the second year of The Roper Prize for Literature won in 2016 by Kian Carpenter of Markham Primary School.

9.30am

Pengam Primary School 


Size of Wales

Size of Wales is a conservation charity that brings people in Wales together to help protect an area of tropical forest twice the size of Wales.

9.30am

Markham Primary School


Lesotho Rugby Academy

Iain Richards talks about Rugby in Africa and presents a coaching session as used in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho!

11am

Pengam Primary School


The Roper Prize for Literature

Simone Greenwood of Burst Publishing introduces this year’s topic ‘Our Future’ for the second year of The Roper Prize for Literature won in 2016 by Kian Carpenter of Markham Primary School.

11am

Fleur-de-lis Primary School


Illustration Workshop

Blackwood illustrator Elizabeth Millington delivers an illustration workshop on ‘Our Future’.

11am

Cefn Fforest Primary School


Gwent Archives

Gwent Archives is a local authority archive that collects and preserves any documents that relate to the old county of Gwent. Featuring photographs, maps, adverts and more, the Archives will demonstrate Blackwood and the surrounding areas from a hundred years ago, the impact of the First and Second World Wars and the changing face of Blackwood High Street.

11am

Ysgol Bro Sannan


Size of Wales

Size of Wales is a conservation charity that brings people in Wales together to help protect an area of tropical forest twice the size of Wales.

1pm

Cefn Fforest Primary School


The Roper Prize for Literature

Simone Greenwood of Burst Publishing introduces this year’s topic ‘Our Future’ for the second year of The Roper Prize for Literature won in 2016 by Kian Carpenter of Markham Primary School.

1.30pm

Libanus Primary School


Lesotho Rugby Academy

Iain Richards talks about Rugby in Africa and presents a coaching session as used in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho!

1.30pm

Fleur-de-lis Primary School


Gwent Archives

1.30pm

Markham Primary School

In School

5 & 6.30PM

Jade Jones

Olympic Tae-kwon-do Champion and Wales Sports Personality of the Year, Jade Jones, will demonstrate her brilliant skills and take questions.

Fleur-de-lis Community Centre

Tickets £9 

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WEDNESDAY 13th

School Day

School Events

The Roper Prize for Literature

Simone Greenwood of Burst Publishing introduces this year’s topic ‘Our Future’ for the second year of The Roper Prize for Literature won in 2016 by Kian Carpenter of Markham Primary School.

9.30am

Markham Primary School 


Rachel Long, Writer-in-Residence

9.30am

Libanus Primary School


Taekwon-do Wales

Taekwon-do demonstration with the founder of Taekwondo-Wales, Peter Kent Marrast.

9.30am

Cefn Fforest Primary School


Dina Williams: Anansi Stories Fast Forward

9.30am

Fleur-de-lis Primary School


Firefly Presents

firefly-thumbFirefly Press were winners of the Branford Boase Award 2016 and shortlisted for IPG Best Newcomer Independent Publisher Awards in 2017. Based in Cardiff and Aberystwyth, the independent children’s and YA publisher was set up in 2013 and is one of the only dedicated children’s publishers in Wales, publishing quality fiction for 5-19 years olds.

9.30am  Ysgol Bro Sannan


Trouble comes to Town

The two headed, word wrestling, paint splattering Wooliams Beast wrote their series of five Trouble books after being poleaxed by the protagonist. Try as they might, they never did manage to capture bedlam she wrought, and have since retired to document the life of Og (the evolutionary lightening rod) and cautionary tales about Dogs. In Clogs.

9.30am

Markham Primary School


Gwent Archives

Gwent Archives is a local authority archive that collects and preserves any documents that relate to the old county of Gwent. Featuring photographs, maps, adverts and more, the Archives will demonstrate Blackwood and the surrounding areas from a hundred years ago, the impact of the First and Second World Wars and the changing face of Blackwood High Street.

11am

Blackwood Primary School


Firefly Presents

11am

Ysgol Bro Sannan


Lesotho Rugby Academy

Iain Richards talks about Rugby in Africa and presents a coaching session as used in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho!

11am

Ysgol Bro Sannan


The Roper Prize for Literature

11am

Ysgol Bro Sannan


Trouble comes to Town

11am

Markham Primary School


Firefly Presents

1.30pm

Ysgol Bro Sannan


Trouble comes to Town

1.30pm

Markham Primary School


The Roper Prize for Literature

1.30pm

Blackwood Primary School


Lesotho Rugby Academy

Iain Richards talks about Rugby in Africa and presents a coaching session as used in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho!

1.30pm

Markham Primary School


Gwent Archives

1.30pm

Libanus Primary School


Dina Williams: Anansi Stories Fast Forward

1.30pm

Pengam Primary School


School events

 

 

THURSDAY 14th

School Day

School Events

Dina Williams: Anansi Stories Play in a Day

9.30am

Fleur-de-lis Primary School


Size of Wales

Size of Wales is a conservation charity that brings people in Wales together to help protect an area of tropical forest twice the size of Wales.

9.30am

Pengam Primary School 


Never Such Innocence

Commemorating the First World War through poetry & art. Launched in Wales at Velvet Coalmine 2016.

9.30am

Libanus Primary School


Taekwon-do Demonstration

Taekwon-do demonstration with the founder of Taekwondo-Wales, Peter Kent Marrast.

9.30am

Markham Primary School


Helen Grant Creative Writing Workshop

Helen Grant is a poet from Wales who studied poetry at Columbia College Chicago, and has performed with the UK’s leading spoken word organisation Hammer and Tongue.

9.30am

Cefn Fforest Primary School


Size of Wales

1pm

Fleur-de-lis Primary School


Music Mayhem

Noise, melody and tub-thumping at Libanus.

1pm

Libanus Primary School


Dina Williams: Anansi Stories Play in a Day

1pm

Pengam Primary School

School events

6 & 6.30PM

 

Costa Coffee hosts…

Sophie McKeand

Young People’s Laureate Wales ‘In Performance’.

6pm

Costa Coffee


Ceri Thompson

Big Pit’s Ceri Thompson discusses the life of Dr Henry Naunton Davies, a man who became surgeon to 11 mines in the Rhondda Valley.

6.30pm

Costa Coffee

Free

College Day

Events at Coleg Gwent, Crosskeys Campus

Careers in Publishing Workshop

Simone Greenwood

9.30 – 10.30am


Creative Writing Workshop for Young Women

Rachel Long

10.30 – 11.30am


Organsising a Festival: How to get started

Iain Richards

11.30am – 12.30pm


Toby Gentle and the Winter Assassin

Book reading and signing with C.G. Hickling

12.30 – 1.30pm


Gwent Archives: Crosskeys local history

Gwent Archives is a local authority archive that collects and preserves any documents that relate to the old county of Gwent. Featuring photographs, maps, adverts and more, the Archives will demonstrate Blackwood and the surrounding areas from a hundred years ago, the impact of the First and Second World Wars and the changing face of Blackwood High Street.”

1.30 – 2.30pm


Vern Griffiths: Building Character (acting workshop)

Using physicality to create compelling characters

1.30 – 2.30pm


World Rugby: the problems, the solutions and where Wales fits in – open discussion

Iain Richards

1.30 – 2.30pm


POWER//LINES LLINELLAU//PWER

Young People’s Laureate Wales Sophie McKeand is launching a poetry revolution for 14 – 25 year olds at this year’s Velvet Coalmine Festival. P O W E R // L I N E S offers an opportunity for young people across Wales to explore and express their identity; a platform for a generation to speak out about what shapes them, what moves them, and how they see their future. The anthology will be published in 2018 by Burst in partnership with Full Circle Education & with support from Literature Wales and Coleg Gwent.

1.30 -2.30pm


Do you want to work in the music industry?

Estelle Wilkinson has worked in the UK and International music industry for the best part of two decades. After working for a few Manchester bands including, Happy Monday’s and much loved Intastella. Estelle started working with Coldplay near the beginning of their career when their first album Parachutes shot to number 1 and became their Manager from 2002-06. Currently engaged by Damon Albarn’s management team Eleven to project manage Demon Dayz Festival. Estelle has aslo set up ‘Talks on Tour’ that offers young people aged 16-24 a unique opportunity to learn about the music industry and the variety of roles involved from the crew and teams ‘behind the scenes’ of major artists touring the UK including Robbie Williams, Coldplay and Gorillaz by holding talks at a venue on a show day. Estelle sat on the board of the Welsh Music Foundation and was last year awarded the Blackwood Civic Award alongside Iain Richards for supporting Iain in his role as founder of Velvet Coalmine. To find out more visit the facebook page @talksontour or follow on Twitter.

Estelle Wilkinson & Niamh Byrne

2.30pm


Amy Johnson: Last Flight Out

AMY-web-picA play by Jenny Lockyer

Amy Johnson was born in the year the Wright Brothers made their first flight and into an age where the romantic heights of flying captured her heart, becoming the second woman in the world to train and qualify as a ground engineer and the first to fly solo from England to Australia. She lived her life for adventure and the future of aviation.

In a whirl of mixed memories, desires, wishes and ambitions we find out about Amy’s life and start to see how she engineered her dreams into reality.

4pm

Tickets – £5 from Crosskeys College

College events

 

 

FRIDAY 15th

School Day

School Events

Dina Williams: Anansi Stories Fast Forward

9.30am

Markham Primary School


Gwent Archives

Gwent Archives is a local authority archive that collects and preserves any documents that relate to the old county of Gwent. Featuring photographs, maps, adverts and more, the Archives will demonstrate Blackwood and the surrounding areas from a hundred years ago, the impact of the First and Second World Wars and the changing face of Blackwood High Street.

9.30am

Cefn Fforest Primary School


Taekwon-do Wales

Taekwon-do demonstration with the founder of Taekwondo-Wales, Peter Kent Marrast.

9.30am

Linanus Primary School


Helen Grant Creative Writing Workshop

Helen Grant is a poet from Wales who studied poetry at Columbia College Chicago, and has performed with the UK’s leading spoken word organisation Hammer and Tongue.

9.30am

Fuer-de-lis Primary School


Nikki Grant

Nikki is the founder of Full Circle Education, a non-profit organisation based in Wales, UK that connects children and young people to their potential through a range of educational and extra-curricular programmes to raise aspirations, attainment and school attendance. The work of Full Circle specifically seeks to empower girls and young women.

9.30am

Blackwood Primary School 


Ifor Ap Glyn – Creative writing workshop

9.30am

Blackwood Comprehensive School


Sophie McKeand Creative Writing workshop

9.30am
Blackwood Comprehensive School

Rachel Long Writer-in-Residence

Community event

9.30am

TBC


Lesotho Rugby Academy

Iain Richards talks about Rugby in Africa and presents a coaching session as used in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho!

11am

Blackwood Primary School


Gwent Archives

1pm

Blackwood Comprehensive School


Do you want to work in the music industry?

Estelle Wilkinson

1pm

Blackwood Comprehensive School


Helen Grant Creative Writing workshop

1pm

Pengam Primary School


The Roper Prize for Literature

1.30pm

Cefn Fforest Primary School


Dina Williams: Anansi Stories Fast Forward

1.30pm

Ysgol Bro Sannan

School events

5PM

Ifor ap Glyn: National Poet of Wales

Ifor ap Glyn in performance.

Blackwood Primary School

Tickets £1 on the door

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ON THE DOOR

7PM

New Writing Festival

An evening of new writing, starting with:

… A reading of the new playwriting winner sponsored by Blackwood Town Council.

Plus two new plays:

Toasted

A comedy by Graham J Evans
Presented by the senior BLT production company

Pudding Lane. London 1666.
A hot oven. A thatched roof. What could possibly go wrong?

The Scales

By Vic Mills
Presented by BLT Younger Generation.

A group of children and teenagers from Blackwood lock themselves in Blackwood Little Theatre to protest against the treatment of a Syrian refugee child who is being sent back to her war torn country. During their protest they learn a great deal about themselves and what they really value. Their story is told with passion, humour and music.

Tickets: £7

Blackwood Little Theatre 

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SATURDAY 16th

10AM

Bursting With Creativity

Simone Greenwood founder of Burst Publishing leads a creative writing workshop for children Simone is the founder of Burst, a new children’s and young adults’ publisher based in Caerphilly. She is passionate about giving debut authors a platform, as well as co-creating with children and young people through workshops and publishing projects. Pat grew up near the coast in South Wales. After graduating from Cardiff University, she taught English, History and Drama at various comprehensive schools in England. When her two children were born, she retrained as a primary school teacher and particularly enjoyed writing plays and dramas for the children to perform. On returning to Wales, she continued to teach and began reviewing plays and shows on the National Theatre of Wales Community website. After reviewing a literary festival, she was fired up to complete a children’s book she had started years previously. The Lost Moon was born out of the excitement that her young pupils always displayed when learning about Space.

Blackwood Library

Free

2PM

Rachel Long

Rachel Long discusses her 10 days in Blackwood as Velvet Coalmine 2017 Writer-in-residence with Iain Richards and reads her work written during her stay.

Blackwood Library

Free

 

3PM

Jon Gower

Writer, documentary maker, arts and media correspondent and Hay Festival International Fellow Jon Gower discusses his book of short stories on David Bowie.

Blackwood Library

Free

4PM

Finding Wales: A New Book Brought to Life

Introducing a new book by Peter Daniels which explores the attitudes and motivations of a group of exiles who have realised their desire to return to their roots in Wales. In this session the book is brought to life as the author talks to/with two of the characters featured in the narrative: Rhian Jones, originally from mid Wales, a development officer at Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, encouraging education through the medium of Welsh, and Iain Richards of this south Wales valley community of Blackwood and the driving force behind Velvet Coalmine.

Blackwood Library

Free

5PM

Music Industry Panels

FORTE presents a series of panels looking at music management and other aspects of the music industry.

Black Sheep

Free

7.30PM

Make Noise

Make Noise is music and recycling project that has toured all around the UK and most recently set off on 5 dates around Wales in 2016 – Make Noise Wales. Put on in association with Resource Efficiency Wales and Heavenly Recordings, Make Noise is a FREE initiative to help raise awareness about the importance of recycling electronic goods. To help channel this message Make Noise puts on amazing live music and DJs and asks everyone to bring along an old or unwanted handheld electronic item for recycling to gain entry. This could be a broken hairdryer, a drowned phone, busted iPod or even a couple of old batteries – anything that’s electrical – and you will get entry to the night for free!

Black Sheep

Free