"Talking To Wordsworth"
The latest “On The Edge” presentation at Cardiff’s Chapter, was a double-bill of rehearsed readings of short plays with a vague mental health theme, directed by Gilly Adams. First up was a revival of one of Hijinx’s “learning difficulties” plays, “Wishful Thinking”, a devised piece with music. It tells the story of three sisters (excellently played by Claire Cage, Adrienne O’Sullivan and Nicki Rainsford), one of whom is a carer for the youngest, while the other has “escaped” - her long overdue return disrupting the family routine. Very poignant, with a beautiful music score, but a more developed narrative might have enhanced its resonance. Heartstrings were also tugged in “Talking To Wordsworth”, National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke’s play which was first performed as a joint Sherman Theatre/BBC Radio Wales production in 1997. Cage starred as the trying-very-hard-not-to-be-patronising poet visiting a hospital for the elderly mentally ill, with O’Sullivan as the hard but caring nurse, Lynn Hunter as the ward busybody, Rainsford and producer Michael Kelligan providing background colour, and Richard Berry as the elective mute who is slowly drawn out by the magic of words. Very effective, if inevitably slightly sentimentalised. Another satisfying evening’s entertainment.