Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Catalan-Wales Drama Festival / The Week That Was

I attended the final night of the Parthian/Made In Wales Catalan-Wales Drama Festival in Chapter (with which I was tangentially involved), to see a double bill of recent Catalan plays. “Black Beach” by Jordi Coca (whose Franco-era novel “Under The Dust”, published in translation by Parthian, is well worth a read) was a two-hander in which ex-lovers spar backstage at a conference – its theme of manipulativeness within small-nation politics was very Welsh. “The Sale” by Lluisa Cunillé, involved the vendor of a flat and two would-be buyers all struggling to deal with heartbreak about which none felt able to speak. Both very solid, entertaining and well-acted pieces, perhaps chosen for their universality.

My Ibiza-set piece, “Dirty Something”, received a reading on the first night, which seemed to go down well with the small audience – at least they laughed in the right places. My cast (Claire Cage, Chris Morgan, Anita Reynolds), coped admirably with my fumbling attempts at direction.

Afterwards, I snuck off to Clwb Ifor Bach to catch The Week That Was, the latest musical project by Field Music’s Peter Brewis – intricate (without veering into prog-rock over-elaboration) and challenging, at least on the first hearing, but beautifully hypnotic, and ending with a version of “Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend”, which is always a good move. Supporting were local heroes The Spencer McGarry Season – more appealing pop cleverness.


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