The Grand Theatre is the most well known venue in Swansea, Wales for the performing arts located in the heart of the city. The theatre stages various plays, pantomimes and is the main venue for touring theatrical acts visiting the city of Swansea.
The theatre holds an annual pantomime usually with famous person(s) from around the UK soap or TV scene playing one of the main characters. The panto is usually held for a month spanning mid-December to mid-January and is often sold out within weeks of tickets becoming on-sale due to the calibre and performance given. Past stars of Swansea pantomime have included Ryan Davies, Keith Harris, Melinda Messenger, Linda Lusardi, Little and Large, Mark Little, Owen Money and Rob Brydon.
Some of the best acts on the Comedy Circuit appear in the Depot Studio of Swansea Grand Theatre every last Wednesday of the month. Also, Jongluers comedy clubs and many UK comedians often pay an annual visit to the theatre.
Swansea's Pavlov Ballet, the Ballet Russe began life in Bristol in 1998, and has been based in Swansea's prestigious Grand Theatre since September 1999. It is a company of young dancers working as an ensemble under the artistic leadership of the famous Messerer family. The company has the ability to perform at venues where classical ballet of the highest calibre is rarely seen. Under the Messerer guidance the dancers, all trained at The Kirov or Bolshoi Academies, demonstrate the style and passion that is the hallmark of The Ballet Russe.
Since 1897, Swansea's Grand Theatre has been providing the public with a broad range of cultural, artistic and general entertainment events. The Grand Theatre was designed by the architect William Hope of Newcastle in 1897. It was built by D. Jenkins and was opened by Madam Adelina Patti - an Opera Diva of her day - under the original proprietors Morell and Mouillot.
The Swansea Corporation leased the building in May 1969 and bought it outright in 1979. The Theatre was then refurbished and updated during the period 1983 - 1987 at a cost of �6.5m. A further �1m was spent for the Arts Wing to open its doors for the first time in 1999.
Over the last twenty years, the fabric of �The Grand� has been improved and enhanced considerably, thanks to the support of the former Swansea Corporation, Swansea City Council and more recently the City and County of Swansea. However, none of the theatre�s unique identity has suffered as a result of this improvement and today�s Grand is as full of charm and atmosphere as was the case when the theatre first opened its doors all those years ago.