Shannon Newman

Review Blud Other Mother, The Other Room by Shannon Newman


Photograph Credit Pallasca Photography

Usually you wouldn’t associate football hooliganism with anything other than chavs and cheap thrills, but Blud goes beyond these initial prejudices, questioning loyalty and our need to belong – whether that’s to someone or something.

These are the key themes that are veiled under the supposed cult of football. What really matters to these characters is loyalty and finding a place in a society that renders you utterly powerless – which is precisely what the characters struggle with. Thus, Blud conveys football as a rite of passage into social mobility and ready-made identities, and eloquently so.

It takes some skills, for a writer and actors, to present a character that’s so immoral and yet so loveable. Yet thats what writer Kelly Jones and actors Francesca Marie Claire and Olivia Elsden do.

The stage directions – simple in action, though deeper in meaning, and therefore it goes without saying that you’d need to concentrate to fully appreciate the full extent of what they’re conveying.

It’s refreshing to see a theatre production that touches on such contemporary issues in a gritty, but wholly realistic manner.

This is theatre without the sugar coating, and that’s why we need it.

Review Ti.Me Cwmni Pluen by Shannon Newman



Watching this production was like flicking through TV channels that only feature Disney films and scenes from mental asylums. Thus it’s hard not to imagine the writer as a philosopher with a bipolar disorder. But I loved it.

Ti.Me by Cwmni Pluen explores the melancholic realism about what we’re conditioned to believe about love. It questions the very nature of fate, and to what extent that it even exists, whilst revealing the  hopeless naivety of the human condition.

Is it some grand illusion that we blindly tie ourselves to?

Although the play was successful in conveying so much emotion about this universal, yet very personal issue in such a short space of time, the anachronic order of the plot was sometimes difficult to follow, so it was hard to not think that the company were trying to outdo themselves with creativity

The lighting was generally easier to interpret than the choreography, but that’s not to criticise the actors, Heledd Gwynn and Alan Humphreys . In fact, they were the main reason for the productions success. It’s rare to find a play where the performers appear to  completely lose themselves in their characters, as though even they were convinced of the world they create.

To put it simply: The play follows a couple who experience the joys and pains of love. Brought up and down by so-called ‘fate’, like a brilliantly messed up Cinderella story.