Saturday May 7th saw over 80 Torchwood and Doctor Who fans congregating at the Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff for a sell-out limited attendance charity Torchwood event and an opportunity to get up close and fairly personal with actor Gareth David-Lloyd, who famously played Ianto Jones in two full series of the popular Doctor Who spin-off before meeting his maker in the fourth episode of the memorable five-episode mini-series ‘Children of Earth’ in 2009, in the venue’s impressive theatre. The event was the eleventh organised by South Wales Doctor Who fan group Timeless (who meet regularly at venues in Cardiff and nearby Pontypridd) – previous guests have included the late Elisabeth Sladen, Deborah Watling (who played Victoria alongside Patrick Troughton’s Doctor in the 1960s), Nicola Bryant (Peri in the 1980s), Jacqueline Pearce (best known as Servalan in Blake’s 7) Louise Jameson (Leela) and Sophie Aldred (Ace). The events are run by fans for fans and almost £700 was raised for the charity, split between the Gate Arts Centre to help with their youth theatre development and Llamau, a local charity to help homeless teenagers.
In a relaxed and friendly environment Gareth, encouraged by event organiser Neil Goodman, spoke enthusiastically about his career, how he got into acting and his concerns about how cut-backs will affect potential stars of the future, how he won the role of Ianto and the infamous “Ianto shrine” in Cardiff Bay which he still visits occasionally – although he is hardly ever recognised! He discussed his other projects post-Torchwood such as his metal band Blue Gillespie and his forthcoming film Dark Signal which is receiving a Bafta Cymru Premier on Wednesday night at the Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre, in a lively, exuberant and refreshingly-unhurried interview/Q&A session. Gareth was also joined by writer and producer Scott Handcock and David Llewellyn from Big Finish who provided fascinating insights into their enduring-popular Doctor Who/Torchwood full-cast audios, explaining how they work and what ideas they have in the pipeline. The early part of the afternoon was given over to an informal autograph/photo session where everyone had the opportunity to share a few words with Gareth before posing for their inevitable selfies before the event wound down with the charity raffle draw. On display were a large number of costumes worn by the Torchwood cast, loaned by Made In Wales Exhibition, together with Wales’ Premier Comic Book Shop, The Comic Guru providing a stall, as well as brand new crafts maker Arby Crafts selling lots of fun and unique hand-crafted products. A fun, good-natured day and everyone seemed to have a fan-tastic time!
To keep posted on Gareth’s future events, visit his Facebook page.