Friday, December 3

Wales

Beauty and the Beast – Theatr Clwyd
Wales

Beauty and the Beast – Theatr Clwyd

The Theatre Clwyd pantomimes are legendary in the local area. It's been a few years since I've been but I'm happy to say that it lives up to, and even exceeds all expectation. Tamara Harvey, in her first year as pantomime director, has kept to the winning formula and brought some festive cheer back to the theatre. This year’s chosen fairytale is Beauty and The Beast. Christian Patterson (in his fourth year as writer) has spun the “tale as old as time” into a hilarious, magic-filled pantomime. With topical references to politics and local inside jokes, it's fun, fun, fun for all. This pantomime already separates itself from an overcrowded market. Rather than star castings, Theatre Clwyd has the actors play as the onstage band. With tunes like “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Uptown ...
The Show Must Go On – Theatr Clwyd
Wales

The Show Must Go On – Theatr Clwyd

What a joy seeing Tip Top back doing what they do best, on a stage entertaining the masses and tonight they came back with a bang. The Show Must Go On brings us a mash up of musicals with something for everyone. The vast stage in the Anthony Hopkins theatre stood completely empty with just a few lights shining across the darkness but it was soon filled with incredible vocals, killer choreography and a cast so full of joy and enthusiasm. Bringing a show of this size together during a pandemic brings its own challenges and Tip Top rose to those challenges. Three groups created their own bubble, carrying out lateral flow testing and following Covid regulations, doing everything to pull together a show stopping show and co-directors/choreographers Phil Cross and Rhian Lyon should be applau...
Dial M For Murder – Theatr Clywd
Wales

Dial M For Murder – Theatr Clywd

The 1954 film adaptation, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, will always cast a long shadow in any staging of of this Frederick Knott penned masterpiece. It was a huge favourite of mine growing up, evoking Proustian memories of rainy, Autumnal Sunday afternoons in front of the family television; the film poster still adorns the wall of my study. Therefore, I was both excited and apprehensive making my way across the Welsh border to the beautiful and welcoming 'Theatre on the Hill' in Flintshire, to see the latest incarnation of this taut psychological thriller. For those unfamiliar with the plot, Knott created more of a 'Howdunnit' than a 'Whodunnit'. The audience are privy from the outset to the plan by suave ex tennis professional Tony Wendice (Tom Chambers), to murder his rich and beauti...
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Theatr Clwyd
Wales

The Hound of the Baskervilles – Theatr Clwyd

Original Theatre Company and Octagon Theatre Bolton present The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conon Doyle at Theatr Clwyd. Sherlock Holmes is on the case to figure out the mystery of the Baskerville deaths and to try and break the chain to keep Sir Henry alive. But this is not your ordinary Sherlock Holmes story. This is done with a very clever and extremely funny twist. That being, there are only three cast members who play every part in the play. We realised very early on that we were in for something different when the cast broke the fourth wall pretty much straight away, talking to the audience and explaining part of the plot but many twists and turns were a complete surprise that kept the evening very entertaining. The cast were made up of Jake Ferretti as Holmes, Ser...
For The Grace of You Go I – Theatr Clwyd
Wales

For The Grace of You Go I – Theatr Clwyd

Last night was the opening night at Theatr Clwyd’s latest production of ‘For the grace of you go I’ the synopsis of the show is stated as “Adding meats to pizzas, Jim’s life is going nowhere. But watching I Hired A Contract Killer, he finds a solution – he will just put out a hit on himself. What could possibly go wrong?” A darkly funny new comedy. The show lasted 80 mins in duration. From the moment you walk in you feel immersed. The visual effects were eye-catching and your drawn into the performance. I felt that the performance was tense and resonated with how society can perceive disability. Both in and out of the workplace. It resonated with me personally. As I have been subjected to some of the ridicule shown within the peace. I found it to be thought provoking and it was n...
Missing Julie – Theatr Clywd
Wales

Missing Julie – Theatr Clywd

August Strindberg’s naturalistic play, Miss Julie, written in 1888, tackles a number of themes sparked by the author’s interest in psychology, including female degeneracy, class and gender conflict, idealisation and degradation, and hypnotism. Whilst considered a classic of modern theatre, the author’s own misogyny which pervades the work often presents a challenge to a successful production in these more enlightened times so it was with some interest that I turned to Theatr Clywd’s live-streamed reading of Kaite O’Reilly’s new version, introduced by Artistic Director Tamara Harvey, which has been freely adapted from Strindberg’s original to give it a twentieth century twist. Miss Julie (Sophie Melville), the heiress of a Welsh stately home, finds herself in a world radically change...