DUMPY BISCUIT – A Review by Kevin Johnson,Plaza Theatre.


Skylar has returned home to Port Talbot, disillusioned with life in London. Staying with her friend Meg, and meeting up with their other mates Jess & Courtney, all four try to deal with work, love, and life, while hiding behind a mix of drink, drugs and dancing. Meanwhile secrets are gradually revealed, old grudges resurface, and friendships are tested…

This play explodes with an intense energy, and a rhythm of language that is totally alien to me, yet is Port Talbot through and through. I’ve seen a lot of plays that were good, some even great, but not all had that special quality I’ve always looked for, the ‘wow factor’, and this play has it in spades. Written by Holly Carpenter, who also plays Skylar, the latest in our local production line of artists.

We’re famous for making steel here, but what’s not so well known is that we also make art. Burton, Hopkins, Sheen, and many more, we punch well above our weight, and although it might be early, I think we have another talent on our hands. As an actor Holly brings out the vulnerability of Skylar from behind her tough shell, a star turn, but her writing is just as impressive, and she is smart enough to give her fellow actors plenty of stage time.

The cast fully embody their characters, Meg, the calm eye in the middle of the hurricane, yet subtly knowing, especially about Skylar’s return. Jess, the career girl, manager of a travel agency yet with a wild side. Courtney, the ‘quiet’ girl with a secret of her own that might just change everything. And of course Skylar, the ‘hurricane’ itself, an equal mix of fury and doubt.

I found little in common with these four characters, but the fear of being a wage slave, a human hamster on the treadmill, rang a bell with me, as did the healing power of friendship.

For me the highlight was one character explaining their confusion over their sexuality through the medium of types of pie, which was funny, but also incredibly moving.

Jalisa Phoenix-Roberts gives Meg a hidden heart of gold, but with the strength to force Skylar to look at her true self.

Georgia Warlow shows Jess as someone with an anger born of desperation, yet remains a true friend.

Anna-Sophia Tutton portrays Courtney with a sweetness, but also with a subtle yearning.

The set is innovative and clever, a graffiti covered wall with hidden doors, cupboards and even a pull out bench. Director Samantha Alice Jones keeps the pace well, knowing when to ease the reins.

Although marketed as a comedy, and it is a very funny play, it’s also got hidden depths and important matters to discuss. Holly Carpenter has a lot of potential, I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

I don’t want to call it a love letter to Port Talbot but there’s no doubt it captures something of the hope that the town feeds on and the strength of the community within.

And if this is anything to go by, I think I’ve seen a future star.

Dumpy Biscuit is at the Plaza Port Talbot until June 29th.

2 thoughts on “DUMPY BISCUIT – A Review by Kevin Johnson,Plaza Theatre.”

  1. A fantastic show. Written by a PT gal and performed by PT actors in The New Plazas first theatre performance!

    Slick, snazzy, funny, sad and totally unapologetic!!

    Bravo to all involved.

  2. Went to see this production last Saturday nigh, absolutely great show, such talented girls, Port Talbot keeps producing such great Talent. Great show so funny, but with serious issues.
    A must see show, if you don’t go you will definitely be sorry. Thanks girls this show was a breath of fresh air.

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