In line with Welsh Government directives our facility are now open. The theatre can be booked and we can welcome 20 guests according to the social distancing in place. We can also take bookings for the classrooms and the café. For more info visit the NHS Covid App or give us a ring!
We are planning to broadcast some online events via this website in the near future so please stay in touch via our Facebook page or this website. Sign up for the newsletter to get the latest news in your inbox.
We registered with Companies House in Cardiff in June 2016 as a not for profit community interest company. The company’s objectives are to promote wellbeing, education and employment through the arts, on a low cost, low barrier basis. None of our Directors are paid; they all give their time on a voluntary basis. We are very fortunate to have excellent advisers, also voluntary, a team of committed volunteers and a trusty all-weather caretaker.
In March 2017 we took on the management of the Melville Centre in behalf of Monmouthshire County Council and in January 2019 M.C.C. approved our application for community asset transfer of most of the site of Abergavenny’s former Grammar School. This will take place once we have secured funding to restore the buildings and develop the site.
We are managing the Melville as an inclusive Centre for the Arts for the community, offering live and screened events in the theatre, opportunities to develop skills and knowledge in specialist areas of the arts, and to explore Welsh culture – and learn Welsh. We’d like to know what sort of events and which areas of learning and development you’d like to see available at the Melville Centre. If you would like to participate in planning the future of the site your responses to this online questionnaire would be most welcome.
These are some of the things that have been happening until recently:
Weekly groups: Until the pandemic intervened, on a weekly basis the Melville was hosting
- an Arts Council for Wales sponsored diverse ability drama group for adults: the Blodeuo Project,
- two theatre groups for children and for young people under the Rareseed Theatre Company banner,
- Stitch Together: a crafting group,
- Writing for Fun – a creative writing group for all levels,
- thirteen Welsh classes a week for adults delivered by Coleg Gwent tutors,
- a thriving ukulele group and
- individual drumming lessons.
The majority of these groups will re-convene once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. Let us have your suggestions for new classes and workshops. We can tailor learning to your needs and we have plenty of well-equipped space available and disabled access.
Workshops and Talks with Q&A : over the last four years we have hosted many one-off participative events and several series of workshops, talks, craft sessions, hands on art sessions, poetry and play readings, mostly for adults – and several for young people.
Regular meetings of community groups and local organisations: we host regular meetings of local groups, several of which are open to the general public on an ad hoc basis: the Civic Society, Abergavenny Town Team, political parties, interest groups and social and support groups like Epilepsy Action.
Our programme of events in the theatre: Abergavenny Film Society screens films fortnightly from September – April every year, Black Mountain Jazz puts on an annual jazz festival and a monthly gig on the last Sunday of the month, we have plays presented by local theatre companies Rareseed, The Play Group and Suitcase Theatre Company, and by touring companies often sponsored by the Arts Council of Wales, live music events with local and touring performers, and Louby Lou Storytelling: little shows for young children, at half term and in the holidays. Subscribers to our newsletter and programme of events will receive information three times a year. You can sign up to subscribe here…
Abergavenny Arts festival: in both June 2018 and 2019 the Melville Centre hosted around 20 Abergavenny Arts Festival events: craft, painting and photography exhibitions and workshops, creative writing workshops, theatre, jazz and craft workshops for children, film and live theatre – and we are already planning for June 2021. Share your ideas with us about what you’d like to see at Abergavenny Art Festival next year!