My name is Anna Redfern.
Our Mum came to Swansea University to study as a penniless, single parent with 2 small kids in tow. She was wooed by the beaches and parks in abundance as well as the warm welcome from Swansea’s people. 38 years later we’re still here! Now a single-mum myself with 2 lively beautiful boys, & my youngest baby, Cinema&Co. Although our name might suggest otherwise, we are not just a cinema. We've evolved into a versatile & welcoming space for people from all walks of life to enjoy. Community is very much at the heart of everything we do.
Cinema & Co. Castle St, Swansea.
“Guide them through song”
I finally felt confident enough to leave my youngest in the capable hands of my trusty team & left for a choral singing holiday (Organised by Kate Davies Singing) with my good friend Sarah to Morocco on March 8th 2020.
The Singing Solidarity Sisters (& Geoff) Morocco, March 13th 2020.
News of a worldwide lockdown meant that our tickets home got cancelled, 3 times. There were over 20 of us, uncertain as to whether we’d make it home at all. The bewilderment of this catastrophic turn of events was eased by seeking solace in song. Singing was a way of escaping from the global crisis we suddenly found ourselves in, bonding us together as a group even more. 2 days after we were due to return and 4 airports later, we finally made it home.
Swansea, our ugly, lovely town.
"Listen the the sounds of our Pretty Shitty City"
The weather was glorious from the first day of lockdown. Every day I'd walk to the seafront getting my daily exercise allowance, passing boarded up shops, the streets devoid of human presence. That would all change the moment the sweeping seascape came into view. 1 of the most positive things to come out of lockdown is fully appreciating how lucky we are to live amongst Swansea’s scenic beauty.
2 days into lockdown & inspired by my pretty, shitty city, I wrote a parody of Petula Clark’s Downtown “Twintown in Lockdown” with the initial intention of sharing the joys & health benefits of singing with others. I never dreamed at the time that we'd still be in lockdown over a year later. What started as a homage to Swansea, her people & her favourite film Twintown, has evolved into a collaborative project whose aims are to breathe life back into Swansea's severely lockdown-damaged hospitality industry & nightlife, encourage custom at local independent businesses while raising money for Matt's Cafe, who provide hospitality & hope for the vulnerable in the heart of Swansea.
"Ambition is Critical"
Cinema & Co. Productions amidst challenging lockdown restrictions, have made a video to accompany Twintown in Lockdown. Its aim is to not only create awareness of our project, but also to celebrate our ugly, lovely town of contrast, Swansea’s warm & welcoming people, to uplift people’s spirits through song & to extend Matt’s Cafe’s ethos to everyone.
There will be a whole wealth of rewards on offer in addition to donations that directly support Swansea's artists, businesses & musicians. These rewards will take the form of:-
- Tickets to live performances of local acts at Cinema&Co. & other local independent venues (once we're allowed!)
- Karaoke / Open Mic
- Twintown’s 25th anniversary celebration tickets (outdoor venue/date tbc)
- Admission to the premiere outdoor screening of Kevin Allen’s new film La ChaCha
- Swansea-centric art exhibitions by local artists
- vouchers to use in local independent shops, bars, cafes, etc.
We’d really appreciate your support to smash our £5000 target. With your help we can kickstart Swansea’s culture scene, aid survival of local independent businesses after lockdown and celebrate our pretty, shitty city Swansea-style.
“So maybe I’ll see you there we can forget all our troubles,
forget all our cares when in Twintown!”