Review Us Proclaimed/Clywch Ni, Mess Up The Mess, Wales Millennium Centre by Kevin Johnson.

Aged from 11-20 plus, Mess Up The Mess Theatre Company make ‘awkward and brave theatre by, for and with young people’. Their new show ‘Us Proclaimed/Clywch Ni’ features over a dozen actors at the Wales Millennium Centre, Dance House.

It starts with a line up of the cast, who then turn their back on the audience, before assembling in a series of ‘scales’: alphabetically by first name, surname, home, then things start getting more honest, revealing, and then raw.

They line up in scales of sexuality, gender, feeling anxious, optimistic about the future, all while explaining what THEY think, stripping away the hypocrisy of the ‘real’ world, and showing us what’s actually real to them.

The honesty of this cast is humbling: personal stories, personal feelings, personal ‘secrets’ even, are not just divulged but proclaimed. Sometimes in simple words, sometimes with songs, or even comedy.

My personal highlight was young actor Ciaran Fitzgerald with cerebral palsy wearing a T-shirt stating ‘I don’t have cerebral palsy, I’m drunk’, explained later when he recounts being refused service at a pub because the barmaid thought he was drunk.

Perhaps a little blunt at times? I’m not sure, sometimes bluntness is called for. ‘We don’t want to preach’ they sing at the start, but they certainly make many good points.

Above all else they are wary of the future, some are worried but most are positive. Having seen – and more importantly listened – to them, I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about the future myself.

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