A VENUE trumpeted as “Wales’s smallest theatre” was launched to a sell-out crowd of 20 at the weekend.

The Small Space, in Island Road, Barry has been billed as “Wales’s smallest theatre in the country’s biggest town” and at 16ft by 12ft it can cater for 20 people.

Barry cabaret entertainer and close-up magician, Jasper Blakeley and business partner and fellow close-up magician, Bryan Gunton are based in the former Homemade Wales shop off High Street, Barry.

The entrepreneurs finally realised their dream to open theatre in Barry after overcoming some planning hurdles.

Vale council planning officers were initially minded to turn down the application believed it would impact on nearby retail trade, but cross-party planning committee members granted support.

Vale council cabinet member for regeneration and planning, Cllr Jonathan Bird said the applicant had provided additional information which “demonstrated that the proposed use will support the vitality of the retail centre.”

Mr Gunton, 44, of Llantwit Major, said it had been a battle to get to this opening weekend.

He said: “At times we wondered if we’d ever open, but after selling out the first three shows the reactions have been incredible.”

Mr Blakely, 46, of Barry, said: “We’re initially focusing on magic cabarets three evenings a month, but we’ve also got plans for music and comedy.”

The Small Space has already received praise and help from the High Street Traders association,

Mr Blakely said he felt the theatre was a great addition to the shopping quarter.

He said: “This place was previously struggling as a retail shop, but we now hope as a theatre and bar that this unique building will provide another great entertainment venue as Barry continues to attract more and more arts performance outlets.”

Visit thesmallspace.co.uk and ticketsource.co.uk/the-small-space