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Video: Shoppers gather to see Prince Edward leave the Congress Theatre in Cwmbran

prince edward talking to shoppers
Prince Edward chats to shoppers after visiting the Congress Theatre

Prince Edward met shoppers in Cwmbran town centre today following his visit to mark the 50th anniversary of the Congress Theatre. A crowd gathered outside the theatre and in the bus station where his car was waiting.

The Earl of Wessex also spent time at Coleg Gwent’s Torfaen Learning Zone next to Morrisons and the new Gwent Police Headquarters in Llantarnam during his trip to Cwmbran. He arrived in the town centre shortly after 11am and was met in the entrance by Martyn Redwood, theatre manager, and Jim Keech, chair of the Board of Trustees.

Mr Keech took Prince Edwards to the upstairs room where he was introduced to the trustees, volunteers and other key people who run the venue. Then 26 members of Congress Youth Theatre took to the stage where they did a four-minute performance.

The Congress Theatre was opened by the Duchess of Kent on  19 October 1972. In 1992, following the threat of closure a group of committed volunteers took it over and made it a registered charity.

He was invited onto the stage where he unveiled a plaque. He said: “Congratulations to all of you for taking the courage 30 years ago to keep the place open and to keep the lights going and continue this provision for the community which is absolutely brilliant. And here is the proof of that brave decision (the Congress Youth Theatre).”

The audience laughed as he told them he would make the unveiling look as “slick and professional as possible but this takes years and years of practice.” He joked that it wouldn’t be the most “exciting thing” to happen in their life and needed them to cheer loudly.

As he walked out into Gwent Square one shopper shouted “was it a good show?” and he replied “yes, it was very good”. A number of people spoke to him as he walked around in an arc and then headed back towards the bus station. Here he met another group of shoppers and spoke to several of them before getting in his car and being driven around the bus station and to Coleg Gwent.

Video of Prince Edward at the Congress Theatre

Photos from Prince Edwards’ visit to the Congress Theatre

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Video: Shoppers gather to see Prince Edward leave the Congress Theatre in Cwmbran