Category Archives: Theatre

Review INTO THE WOODS JR. Kinetic Theatre by Rhys Payne

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Kinetic Theatre arts youth academy’s production of Into The Woods Jr was performed in the Atrium USW. Having seen many of Kinetic’s productions in the past, including many of their Jr shows, my expectations were already set very high. Kinetic always produce high quality and professional productions that receive the highest praise and Into The Woods is no different. In fact, I personally think that this is one of Kinetic’s Youth’s best performances. At first, I thought it was strange to perform this show as it is one of Disney’s more dark and mysterious stories but the children managed to execute the show perfectly. One of the best things about this production specifically was that you can see the enjoyment and passion that these children have for performing. You can see many of the children getting very involved and having a good time which is so nice from the audience’s perspective, especially if you are a parent of one of the cast members. The children managed to balance the sinister and dark nature of some scenes with the fun and happy aspects of others which is not an easy thing to do. The show opened with a dark song in which the children wore black capes and moved in a sinister fashion. This scheme was actually spooky for the audience which means both the directors and the cast did what they meant to do.

All of the cast clearly worked very hard with the ensemble always being in character and providing beautiful vocals when required. Each child knew their role within the story and performed it the best they could. One of my favorite performers in this show was Tilly Birch who played Milky White (the cow) while she was primarily there for ‘awh’ factor moments but also she was clearly trying her best and having loads of fun in the meantime. A highlight for this character was when they swallow all the items and have to ‘milk’ the cow, obviously as Tilly is a girl in a costume I was confused as to how they would do this. What they did was place the cup down and Tilly what I can only describe as the cutest little dance I have ever seen which had both awhhs and laughs from the audience. She appeared very confident on the stage and I believe that she is a star in the making. The baker and his wife, played by Sam Walter and FFion Morris, helped drive the entire narrative of the musical. The role of Baker in the film version was James Corden (who I was a little disappointed with) but Sam, in this performance, really made the character relatable and his wife acted with emotion which built a great sense of sympathy from the audience. The stand out in this show was Lexi Ricketts who played the witch. Lexi managed to own the stage every time she was on it and actually made the character very scary. Her acting and singing were both incredible and she clearly has a very bright future in the performing arts. Her rendition of Last Midnight was perfect and was definitely on a professional level. The narrator in this performance, played by Amelia Francis, also helped move the story along but also sounded fantastic while singing her songs. The princes and Jack, played by Theo Birch, Harry Smith and Ben Page were fun to watch and again were clearly enjoying their time on stage. The princes had great chemistry together and performed like a double act which caused many laughs from the audience. The wolf, played by Ben Cogan, had a jazz-esque manner (similar to the movie) and was also very entertaining to watch.


Overall, this is a family-friend show that shows the talent and skills of the young cast while creating atmosphere and emotion like a professional show. I would rate this performance 4 out of 5 stars and I would encourage you to watch this show to see the full potential of every child on display while at the same time supporting a local theatre company.

Free Drama Workshops to celebrate 50 years of Llanover Hall

You can listen to an audio version of the written information below using Sound Cloud below.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Llanover Hall and Arts for All we have an opportunity for eight blind or partially sighted people to take part in a series of six unique drama workshops to be led by John Rowley (Brith Gof, Forced Entertainment, National Theatre Wales) and visually impaired artist Lou Lockwood.

The workshops will commence on Wednesday July 10th from six thirty till eight pm. The venue is Llanover Hall Arts Centre, Romily Road, Canton, Cardiff, continuing each Wednesday for five weeks.

The workshop on Wednesday 14th August will be followed by a presentation of the work to an invited audience. No experience is necessary. Observers and supporters are welcome to participate or observe. To book your place please contact Chris Durnall at the email below

cadurnall@googlemail.com

Avenue Q, New Theatre Cardiff by Barbara Hughes-Moore

The multi-award-winning mature muppet musical makes a glorious return to the New Theatre after their much-lauded 2012 and 2016 runs, not to mention their monumental success across the pond. The premise: in a world populated by humans and puppets, the musical follows the ragtag residents of the eponymous street in New York City, an area so decrepit that the locals view Hell’s Kitchen as a step-up. Directed and choreographed by Cressida Carré, its an entertaining blend of the nostalgic and the now, with the melodies recalling those iconic Muppet Show tunes while the lyrics bemoan the ‘warts and all’ anxieties of modern existence.

Avenue Q’s colourfully crass approach to social commentary via meta musical parody pitches it somewhere between Sesame Street and South Park, with its closest contemporary being the tunefully tragicomic Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Thematically, the show is emotionally ambitious and surprisingly nuanced in its portrait of modern life, demonstrated by the depressingly relatable What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?/ It Sucks to Be Me, the hilariously realised The More You Love Someone (The More You Want to Kill Them) and utterly hysterical highlight The Internet is for Porn.

Even though its references are rather dated (it did premiere in 2003, after all), the show’s tales of millennial angst are still relevant sixteen years later, with characters unsuccessfully searching for direction in life (Purpose) or lamenting the endless cycle of love gone wrong (It’s a Fine, Fine Line). These fantastic numbers hit home in unexpected ways, and pepper in moments of poignancy amid the calamitous crudity on display most of the time – case in point, an extended instance of puppet-related rumpy-pumpy that evokes the infamous scene from Team America: World Police, only turned up to eleven.

The production’s raucous energy is thanks largely to its superb cast, with standout performances by Lawrence Smith (Princeton/Rod), Cecily Redman (Kate/Lucy) and especially Tom Steedon (Trekkie Monster/Nicky/Bad Idea Bear). (The Bad Ideas Bears, played by Steedon and Megan Armstrong, are particularly entertaining – manifestations of the worst impulses that goad you to misbehave with the power of their Care Bear-like innocence). Everyone in the ensemble emotes wonderfully through their puppet alter egos (which I imagine was no mean feat, especially as they play multiple distinct roles with ease), and their Herculean efforts mean that the puppet characters feel just as real and complex as the human characters (often moreso). The gorgeously ramshackle set, designed by Richard Evans, grounds the action in a truly transportive way, and the live orchestra is sensational.

However, there are a few potholes dotted about Avenue Q’s sidewalk: much as it wants to skewer stereotypes, it often ends up indulging them: the brilliant Saori Oda is a dazzling stage presence but her character (Christmas Eve) is uncomfortably caricatured; and Rod’s coming out story is mired in stereotypes which plays his sexuality for laughs. Even though the show is commendably unafraid of engaging directly with more weighty themes, its handling of them comes off a little clumsy in If You Were Gay and Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist. Some characters simply do not work (Gary Coleman, Brian), some numbers fall flat (Schadenfreude, I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today), and some of the humour feels more mean-spirited than cheekily self-aware.

Avenue Q is a hugely entertaining musical that feels slightly out of date in some elements and viscerally prescient in others. Amidst the raunchiness and rowdiness there’s a real beating heart at the centre of the story that no amount of flippancy can hide. However, other than a brief mention of Brexit and Theresa May in the last number, it stubbornly plants itself in the pre-social media age of 2003 and refuses to move with the times. With a little updating, its already-relatable themes could be refreshed and renewed by acknowledging how the internet has become even more ingrained in our personal lives, especially the way in which it has effectively become the de facto matchmaker of our times. That potential to both enhance and complicate our already-fraught lives and relationships seems like the natural progression for such a savvy show – but as it stands, it’s an excellent, irreverent, exercise in accepting (as its beautiful final song attests) that ‘everything in life is only for now’. For now at least, that’s enough.

Review Woke, Apphia Campbell by Tanica Psalmist

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

A truly deep and enlightening one women show; performed and written by Apphia Campbell. Apphia Campbell sets her stories against a powerful soundtrack of original music, traditional gospel and blues. Strongly showcasing the reciprocating effects and struggle the black community embodied in the name of civil rights. During this show the audience were continuously taken through a series of events, time travelling to the period of 1970s witnessing traumatic experiences from the Black Panther Assata Shakur.

Fast forwarding to the 20th century, a time fused with the Ferguson riots, chaos and injustice that had taken place during the midsts of a college enrolment. 


This show expressively role-plays the corruption of America’s injustice system; focusing on the irrational criminalised infrastructure through political activism; whilst focusing on the parameters of acknowledging the power her skin beholds to now become her voice. To balance out this play Apphia’s passionate singing, humour and characterisation techniques as well as her use of the entire stage was thoroughly enjoyable.

This captivating play brought a fusion of vitality to display. The more you watched her, storytelling the sequence of what black empowerment meant to her, the more you  got a sense of black history and how much more there is cover in its entirety.  

Stones in His Pockets: UK Tour New Theatre Cardiff

Reviewed by Barbara Hughes-Moore

The latest UK tour of this critically-acclaimed tragicomic two-hander is written by Marie Jones and directed by Lindsay Posner, and centres on the culture clash between the locals of a small Irish village and a snooty Hollywood studio during the making of a blockbuster period piece. Kevin Trainor and Owen Sharpe star as Charlie Conlon and Jake Quinn respectively, employed as extras in the film, as well as a host of other characters, who grow to question their romanticised notions of Hollywood when a tragedy hits too close to home.

In making ‘the stars the extras, and the extras the stars’, Stones in His Pockets feels like a mixture of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Bowfinger by way of Ballykissangel. The Hollywood studio in Stones in His Pockets is making a film just as (in)sensitive to (and stereotypical of) Irish culture as Leap Year or Darby O’Gill and the Little People – or, indeed, the infamously-accented Cruise/Kidman vehicle Far and Away, which seems to be the thinly-veiled target of this play’s scorn. The play thus dispels notions of a ‘Romanticised Ireland’ as neatly as it displays Hollywood’s cynical penchant for appropriating cultures for profit.

Two-handers live and die on the strength of their actors, and Sharpe and Trainor prove to be an excellent comedic pair indeed – the scenes of their slightly hapless extras attempting to emote, and even dance, are standout moments; I only wish there were more of them. Sharpe copes well with a multitude of accents and characters (including a lively old timer whose sole claim to fame is being the last surviving extra from The Quiet Man), but it’s Trainor who steals every scene he’s in (which is all of them).

He’s been a favourite of mine since he played a young version of John Hurt in Hellboy (2004), but this is the first time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him on the stage. Trainor elegantly transitions between the myriad characters he inhabits, making each one distinct and memorable – including Hollywood ingénue Caroline Giovanni, posh toff producer Simon and Southern Gentleman Nick (the gregariously calculating director of the movie). He masterly evokes his talented predecessor (Game of Thrones’ Conleth Hill) in mannerisms and intonation whilst also making the role his own. It’s perhaps the most captivating stage performance I’ve seen since Rory Kinnear in National Theatre’s Hamlet – I can give no higher praise.

As for the play itself, it’s often funny, occasionally thoughtful, but rarely as poignant as its title might imply. The title itself refers to the tragic element within the play’s otherwise mostly comedic shenanigans: shunned by the stars and callously rejected by the producers, local teen Sean Harkin drowns himself by wading into the river with the eponymous stones in his pockets. His suicide casts a pall on the proceedings and seems to set up a clash not only of cultures but of values – and yet the tragedy of this traumatic event sits awkwardly alongside the quickfire comedy of its first act, largely because it is never given any kind of dramatic or meaningful weight. We never get to know Sean, either first hand or through the other characters, and even though news of his death is what closes act one and what should have driven the momentum in act two, when the curtain rises again the play seems more directionless than ever. We are never given the chance to mourn him, rendering his death a footnote when it should have been the focus.

A funny, endearing, if rather weightless story, Stones in His Pockets amusingly skewers Hollywood culture whilst gleefully revelling in its theatrical authenticity. Although it never lives up to the poignant promise of its striking title, it provides a wonderfully entertaining night out thanks to a manic sense of fun and a spectacular five-star turn by Kevin Trainor that’s worth the price of admission alone.

Produced by Rose Theatre Productions and Theatre Royal Bath Productions, Stones in His Pockets is playing at the New Theatre Cardiff through Saturday 15th June.

Review Cotton Fingers, National Theatre Wales, by Sam Longville

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

‘Rich people have abortions, poor people have to have kids’ – Welsh writer Rachel Trezise delivers a timely monologue that tells the cruel yet common tale of Aoife, a young working class Northern Irish girl who under the state’s archaic abortion laws is forced to travel to Wales to receive her treatment.

The play is a matter-of-fact, non-sugarcoated telling of how Northern Ireland’s failure to align with the rest of the UK most harshly affects working class women, who have until recently often been unable to afford the trip across the Irish Sea, which is now funded by the NHS under new law in England and Wales.

Originally performed in West Wales (poignantly the location from where Aoife takes a ferry back to Belfast as part of her grueling 14-hour journey following the termination), Cotton Fingers is one of five ‘love letters’ to the NHS that formed National Theatre Wales’ NHS70 Festival, celebrating the NHS at 70 years old. Recent revelations off the back of Trump’s state visit this week have made Cotton Fingers evermore relevant as the tycoon turned US president licks his lips at the thought of putting the NHS on the table as part of post-Brexit deals. The play is a compelling case for why the NHS must remain free at the point of need as it unaffectedly showcases a section of society who most benefit from its service.

Amy Molloy as Aoife delivers an understated performance, befriending the audience from the outset and offloading her character’s thoughts and innermost feelings following the painful yet all-too-common journey she has been forced to take. She skillfully takes us through the harsh realities of her character’s situation as a young, working class girl, eager to regain control over her future. Trezise’s writing is candid and clear-cut, stating ‘this is truth of the situation women are facing in Northern Ireland’ and consequently asking ‘now what are we going to do about it?’

Designer Carl Davies produces a simple yet effective set. A grey brick wall backdrop and a set of matching airport waiting room-style chairs evoke a sense of oppression and entrapment when paired with Aoife’s grey, uniform-like attire. Meanwhile, a mirror floor slowly reveals itself throughout the play as Aoife travels across the space, unintentionally moving the dust-like particles off its surface. The mirror serves to entrap our character further in its surface, a strong metaphor for the oppressive space she finds herself detained in – by the cruel laws that keep her there.

The play tells a frank, yet emotive story of how Northern Ireland’s abortion laws hurt those in its poorest communities. However, hope remains a prominent theme of the play, a hope that very soon Northern Ireland will follow the Republic’s lead. As Aoife puts it herself, ‘very soon, we’ll be next.’

Cotton Fingers runs until Saturday 8th June at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.

Review Cottonfingers, National Theatre Wales by Harriet Hopkins

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Cotton Fingers ticks a lot of the boxes you might expect it to, coming from Trezise; it’s gritty, honest, funny, poetic (the line “a dusty mushroom of fear growing inside my belly” is still circling my head), and the story feels real and raw – which it should. It’s the story of a 19 year old girl from born, brought up and living in Belfast when a quickie with her boyfriend finds her pregnant…and desperate not to be.

The backdrop (set design by Carl Davies) is basic but has impact; a brick wall, reflective floor and good lighting helps turn a row of plastic seats into a sofa, an aeroplane, the waiting room at a surgery, the GPs office, the bed Aoife shares with Cillian that sets the whole story in motion.


This simplicity carries through the story, too, as Amy Molloy gives us Aoife’s story straight up, no frills or overblown theatrics.

The back and fore between now and the past – snippets of Aoife’s childhood, of last Christmas with her mammy, and of what she thought she saw and knew about her deceased aunt Roisin – add flesh to Aoife’s life on a Belfast estate.

There were times when I felt like I wanted more – higher highs and lower lows, but the sometimes understated way this story unfolds is testament to life; things happen, and though they are dramatic and life-altering for that time, or for that individual, they barely ripple for other people.

Molloy’s performance is pretty raw at times, and my mascara was a mess by the time it was over. But I’d laughed too. A lot. (And not just at the sheep jokes.)


I can’t help but wonder what difference it makes to tell Aoife’s story in Cardiff. In Belfast, Derry-Londonderry and Dublin. Is the audience more relaxed outside of Ireland? Is there a tension in the air when an Irish audience sits down to watch a one-woman show about abortion?

Cotton Fingers leaves us with the message that the freedom to choose remains non existent for the women of Northern Ireland.

Aoife leaves with hope in her heart.

Cotton Fingers is on at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff until Saturday 8th June. If you miss it, you’ll need to hop over to Edinburgh to catch it at Summerhall, as part of the Fringe.

Review: Romeo a Juliet – Ballet Cymru, The Riverfront, Newport by Jack Hill

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Infused with that distinctly Welsh edge that sets this company apart from others, the opening night for Ballet Cymru’s 2019 tour of Romeo a Juliet was a breath-taking spectacle of love, loss, power and pain. Featuring choreography from Darius James OBE and Amy Doughty, alongside Prokofiev’s classic score, a number of new dancers to the company (and to Wales) joined the more experienced faces that will be familiar to followers of Ballet Cymru. This performance demonstrated the real depth of talent that the company attracts, nurtures, and advances.

In her premiere professional performance, dancer Danila Marzili embodied Juliet with infectious passion and grace, effectively conveying the playful and childlike elements of the character as well as the inimitable pain and heartbreak leading to her death. In her opening scene, Marzili and Krystal Lowe (portraying Juliet’s friend, her confidante, rather than her nurse) expressed such a tangible affinity with one another that, immediately, I was transported directly from Newport into Juliet’s chambers. The scene ends, along with Juliet’s childhood, as she is introduced to her arranged fiancé, Paris, danced energetically by Joshua Feist in his own premiere performance with Ballet Cymru.

Opposite Marzili as Juliet, Romeo was performed by Andrea Maria Battaggia. Battaggia is a skilful dancer who returned to Ballet Cymru this year from Ballet Ireland. Having portrayed the role in 2013, this performance demonstrated the reasons behind this reprisal in 2019. His strength and passion deliver the character’s impulsiveness, tenderness, and emotion with expert flair.

Two real stand-out performances for me were two characters that are usually side-lined as secondary in the story of Romeo and Juliet. Alex Hallas and Beth Meadway, portraying Lord and Lady Capulet, conveyed strength, coldness, wealth, and power through their bodies in such a way that every time they stepped on the stage, they owned it. The costumes adorning these two characters were highly effective at complementing their status. Meadway’s dramatic poise and striking elegance as Lady Capulet was phenomenal; only to be given more depth by the implied affection between her and Tybalt (performed adeptly by Robbie Moorcroft) and her subsequent breaking down into anguish and distress at his death. This performance makes it vastly clear that these dancers are also capable actors, with every performer fully embodying and embracing their roles on the stage.

Perhaps it’s cliché to mention, but I am unable to write a review of Romeo a Juliet without referencing the balcony scene. Expertly choreographed by James and Doughty, and skilfully danced by Battaggia and Marzili to express curiosity and the passion, this famous and relatable interaction proved hugely popular with the very diverse audience present in the theatre. The setting of this scene took my breath away; the projection of a grandiose window and the stage lighting to define the setting accompanied a simple yet effective podium to demarcate the balcony. For my daily work, I spend a lot of my professional time at the headquarters of Ballet Cymru in Rogerstone, Newport. From the first sighting of this balcony while the company were in early rehearsals, I had a real desire to go full-Romeo with, “but soft, what light through yonder window breaks?” but alas, my acting days were short-lived and I struggle to keep a straight face anymore!

Image credit Sian Trenberth

Minimalistic sets are indicative of the work of Ballet Cymru. Predominantly on the stage were moveable sheets of hanging chains which conveyed elements of wealth, grandeur, and battle. Designed by Georg Meyer-Wiel, this feature was highly effective in delineating space, serving as backgrounds for projection, and expressing the well-known building blocks of the plot of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Meyer-Wiel also designed the dancers’ costumes, with some real stand out pieces (I couldn’t decide which I preferred: the powerful black costumes of Lord and Lady Capulet, or Friar Lawrence and his entourage dressed in leather). One small criticism, however, is that I feel Paris’ green- jacketed costume was too similar in colour to that of the Montagues, and perhaps would have been more prominent if it reflected those of the senior Capulets.

Every piece of work produced by Ballet Cymru that I have seen has had intrinsically Welsh notes running through. Led by Artistic Director and proud Newport local Darius James OBE, it would be surprising to see a show from this company that didn’t include at least a few nods to Welsh culture and heritage! Romeo a Juliet did not disappoint: the title itself, a nod to the Welsh language; the projection of underneath a Newport flyover during one of the fight scenes, open to interpretation but definitely Newport; the incorporation of traditional Welsh clog dancing in time with Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights/Montagues & Capulets… Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what to expect of clog dancing mashed up with ballet (and neither were my parents, who were visiting from across the border), but when the dancers were clogging in reasonably good time with the music – masked in hoods that covered their whole faces – Lord and Lady Capulet entered, performing in a more classical ballet style befitting of their characters. The strength demonstrated by the dancers – particularly Robbie Moorcroft (Tybalt) – whilst clogging was palpable. It is this kind of flair that sets Darius James and Ballet Cymru as a real formidable force in Wales, because this scene worked. It was memorable; it was powerful; it was Welsh. And it worked.

Ballet Cymru, Artistic Director, Darius James OBE
Image credit Sian Trenberth

An integrally important responsibility of Ballet Cymru, and many other arts organisations around Wales, is to improve diverse representation within their audiences and share their art form with people who may never have entered a theatre, never mind seeing a ballet. Ballet Cymru’s Duets programme, which seeks “to support people to access dance, regardless of background, finances, race, belief, ability, and gender/orientation”, invited a number of its scholars (participants) from Moorland Primary School in Splott, Cardiff to perform the curtain-raiser at both tour dates in Newport.

Students from Moorland Primary School, Splott

Aptly named Romeo and Duets, the young people danced with skill (and to rapturous applause!) to Karl Jenkins’ Palladio, as performed by Escala. To complement this, complimentary tickets for the show and coach travel back to Cardiff were made available for the young people and members of their families. As a male adult beginner of ballet myself (I’m still aching from my second ever class as I write this!), it was refreshing to see how many boys were involved in this curtain-raiser.

It is always stimulating to see audience members experience something for the first time; four people sat on my row had never seen a ballet before, and were supporting their children in the Duets curtain-raiser. Ballet Cymru’s diverse audience, particularly when on home turf in Newport, creates a fresh and responsive feel amongst the audience which in turn connects them to the ballet they are watching. A real audience favourite was the ever flamboyant, provocative, and playful Mercutio (portrayed perfectly by Miguel Fernandes); a real excitement built up in the auditorium when he graced the stage with his presence, and almost tangible grief (at least on my row!) when Tybalt took his life at the end of Act II.

Ballet Cymru’s 2019 tour of Romeo a Juliet will continue across the UK throughout June and into July. In addition to this, in partnership with Wales Arts International, the company will be touring three cities in China throughout September 2019. Clearly, the sky is the limit for this dynamic, engaging, and passionate company and I’m excited, as ever, to see what Ballet Cymru has planned next!

Review Yvette, Urielle Klein-Mekongo by Tanica Psalmist

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Yvette is a unique and emotionally compelling autobiography; written and performed by the multi-disciplinary artist Urielle Klein-Mekongo. The entire production embarks on an emotional journey themed around insecurity, naivety, peer-pressure, infatuation and toxicity. Toxicity that exists within friendship groups; a strict and cultural household and during hormonal imbalances when going through puberty, battling mental constraints of self-worth and self-love.

This play reminisces on the competitive, bitchy and immature nature of challenging secondary school life. In this play we witness Yvette stuck in an era of betrayal even from her best friend, being the centre of hot gossip, attracting inevitable confrontation, loss of confidence after facing rejection from a close, male companion and not being stereotypically desirable enough to hang out with the popular girls either. As a determined student; we see she ambitiously aimed to avoid fights, leave school with good grades and do her parents proud but somehow ending up with the complete reverse; facing suspension after a fight she didn’t provoke, seeing nothing but disappointment on her mothers face to then get criticised for being too influenced by the western worlds ways; losing a sense of her identity and culture. This show travelled minds through the highs and lows of raw and unapologetic truths, unleashing harsh realities as the audience entered in to Urielle’s world.

Yvette for me was about self-expression. By featuring live looping to reinforce her truth through music accelerated our connectivity to Urielle even moreso. Her incredible talent sophisticatedly radiated as we saw an abundance of her singing and spoken word. The loop pedal in her performance truly brought a different experience to her play. Urielle’s rhythmic sentiment chanted a majestic and energetic sensation, making you want to vibe with her on stage. This incredibly upbeat and vibrant show was well balanced in spite of being an equally emotionally abstract and fugitive autobiography.

The layout of the set was an interior design of a compact apartment almost, the mis-en-scene and vitality of the show was simplistic and significantly strong. Urielle’s consequential storyline involved humorous and enjoyable multi-roleplaying throughout. Her level of creativity showed most efficiently during the scene of her re-enacting her interaction with an acquaintance simultaneously; having half of her body facing the audience whilst smartly clothing her right arm in a jacket that gently and subtly caressed the left part of her face to reflect the intimate moment that was manifesting between them both. This scene had an incredibly suspenseful nature making the believability of this scene intense to watch. Every abstract scene in Yvette achieved a suspenseful and self-wakening substance to take away from in hindsight.

Yvette speaks on the underlying issues of ethnic minorities not looking exotic enough or fitting in to society’s perceptions of beauty standards. This production also reflects on the importance of practicing, acknowledging and embracing a sufficient form of self-love during womanhood. As well as how imperative it is to overcome your past and focuses on the present as what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.

A truly heart felt, rhythmic, fundamental, self-healing and women empowering play that ended with the talented actress, singer and songwriter singing her song ‘You Are’. This song is a declaration of being a survivor and not a victim and owning your scars, ending with the words living, breathing, feeling, winning! An inspirational play that speaks volumes into what it means to not give up without a good fight and crown yourself with victory and let no one destroy your destiny. The song Urielle wrote entitled ‘You Are’ is no doubt powerful enough to help women of all ages who feel execration towards themselves learn to accept, transform and become open to appreciating themselves wholly through this remarkably beautiful song.

Adolygiad O ‘Y Ferch gyda’r Gwallt Hynod Hir’ Gan Lleucu Sion

Ma’ hi’n dipyn i sialens creu drama i blant. Mae gofyn dal sylw, enyn eu dychymyg, a cheisio eu cyffroi, ond roedd cwmni  theatr ‘We made this’ yn barod am y sialens wrth greu y ddrama ‘Y Ferch gyda’r Gwallt Hynod Hir’.

Drama am waith tîm, cryfder merched a chyfeillgarwch sydd yma, gyda’r ddau brif gymeriad sef Rapunzel (Lara Catrin) a’r chyfaill newydd Daf (Owen Alun) yn mynd ar antur i achub cartref Rapunzel a’i mam (Tonya Smith), sydd ar fin mynd i ddwylo’r banc mawr cas.

Ar ôl poeni am fynd a phlant tair a deunaw mis oed i weld drama oedd yn para awr, diflannodd fy ngofidion yn syth wrth gerdded i mewn i weld set liwgar, hudolus. Roedd gofyn i ni eistedd ar y set, ar glustogau lliwgar ac roedd awyrgylch braf i’w deimlo yn syth. Roedd y set yn llawn planhigion, cwt gwenyn,  a llyfrau plant ac yn ystod y ddrama roedd yr hud i’w deimlo hyd yn oed yn fwy wrth i bethau ddod yn fyw, drwy ddefnydd o driciau sain a goleuo clyfar.   Roedd hi’n stori syml iawn, oedd yn hawdd i’r plant ddeall ac yn cynnig cyfleon i’r actorion gael y plant i ymuno yn yr antur. Ond mae hi’n bwysig nodi fod gan y plant reolaeth llwyr o faint o gymryd rhan oedden nhw eisiau ei wneud, os o gwbl, oedd yn ryddhad mawr fel mam i blentyn sy’n gallu bod yn swil iawn.  Roedd o wedi ei gyfarwyddo yn ofalus iawn, yn amlwg gan rhywun oedd a dealltwriaeth dda o blant.

Mae’n rhaid canmol perfformiadau’r tri actor. Llwyddodd y tri i hoelio sylw yr holl plant, drwy roi perfformiadau egnïol a deall anghenion y gynulleidfa. Roedd Tonya Smith yn arbennig, yn llwyddo i ddenu’r plant i’r byd o hud, ac yn annwyl iawn wrth gyfathrebu gyda’i chynulleidfa ifanc.

Roedd hi’n ddrama hyfryd, ac roedd hi’n deimlad braf gallu gweld y plant yn diflannu i fyd dychmygol, hudolus. Cerddodd fy merch o’r theatr yn teimlo ei bod hi’n gallu gwneud unrhyw beth, ac ar dan i ddod o hyd i’r thalent arbennig hi, yn union fel Daf a Rapunzel.