(5 / 5)
An exciting and turbulent story of a boy who is born in Wales but comes from Irish decent. He is part of a large working class family who all live under one roof.
Set in the heart of Newport’s South Wales’ busting docks, the actor Daniel Llewelyn-Williams; impressively also the writer of the play gets your full attention from the out by representing a real, personal and historical account of how things were back then. An imaginative and determined boy who displays extreme courage whilst being subject to one of the many catastrophic occurrences which unfortunately happened during the British industrial revolution.
Harry Houdini; very famous of the times was a direct influence and inspiration to the boy promoting a hopeful and escaping duality for him. When some aspects of the boy’s life have been shattered another aspect or dream is materialised. Quirky and fun-loving, the boy’s relationship with Gammy as well as his dad, sisters and friend is something that brings a warming feel to the boy’s character and overall feel of the play.
Daniel played the one man show so intriguingly, it was like he was telling the story as his own and I wondered if this was in fact a real story from his family’s history. Who knows? Honestly, it was that good it certainly felt real and I would strongly advise anyone to go and see the play regardless of a specific style of play you might like, as I believe this play ticks all the boxes. There was absolutely no time whatsoever in that hour that I thought of anything other than the play, the characters or their feelings and perspectives. The actor was completely captivating and with reference to lots of welsh-ness, I found it relatable and moving but not only because I am Welsh as I believe anyone will feel this way. Even though the play does have heartache, the joy it brings overpowers that completely making it a pleasure to watch. The fact that you are drawn to other characters in the story with only one actor representing all characters is infatuating for the audience. It was directed, written, composed and performed to a such a high and entertaining standard that I would absolutely go and view it for a second time.
In my eyes when you can hold an audience with just one man and a box to that standard you are winning in life. Well done Daniel Llewelyn-Williams you smashed it!
A Regular little Houdini
Produced by Flying Bridge Theatre Ltd
Written and performed by Daniel Llewelyn-Williams
Directed by Joshua Richards
Music by Meg C
(4 / 5)
Conor Mitchell, associate artist at Sherman Theatre and fronting the Belfast Ensemble has enlightened us with his creation as writer, director and composer of the chilling play The Moot Virginity of Catherine of Aragon.
The role of Catherine of Aragon is flawlessly performed by the award-winning actress Abigail McGibbon also part of the Belfast Ensemble creating the perfect duet between music, theatre and emotion. The play is a live concept album, each scene created resembles a live music track combined with performance; a powerful voice (without singing) and action! The way in which it was performed was beautiful.
What made this play so great? I felt as though I was inside the head of Catherine at times, a very tormented and religious woman grasping at straws when her reality as Queen is taken from her. The play takes us through her memories, through history, through war, the good times and the bad and of course the biggest divide in country, known to date.
When you walk into the theatre there is a strong smell and this sets the scene. The lighting, the costume and the make-up together with absolute discipline in role give Catherine a haggard, used and torn look about her with a modern twist, not something you would expect for our once Princess of Wales and Queen.
Mitchell’s absolute slay of music and scene setting was completely special and new for me. How often do you get to lie on the floor and watch an astounding actress bellow pain and abandonment whilst observing the composer, director and creator of such an art, almost dance with every touch of the piano, passionately stomping his direction to the violinists and leading us into deep historic heartache? Not often!
The music was intense, strong single cords and contemporary build ups. I especially enjoyed the scene where microphone techniques where used to full affect, almost like a horror movie. It was emotional and has had an effect my own story perspective. Have I made up my mind as to the real story of Catherine Aragon? No, not yet. Although, I do believe that the King was capable of anything and that she did seem very devoted, probably what sent her nuts in the end.
If you like history and appreciate magical contemporary music and art through theatre this is for you. It was absolutely… for me!