"Whose Coat Is That Jacket"
"Whose Coat Is That Jacket" (from Frapetsus Productions) belongs to that enduring but little-documented genre of ostensibly cosy Welsh commercial theatre, which is exemplified most notably by the work of Frank Vickery. The latest staging of Jack Llewellyn's domestic comedy-drama ended its Welsh tour at Cardiff's New Theatre, doing pretty good business, as far as I could tell. The story focuses on two brothers - the younger of whom, Ieuan, is desperate to leave his stifling family and head off to university in London, while the elder (Rhodri, played by Llewellyn, giving himself the least interesting role) has settled back into a too-comfortable life, close to his jokingly bickering parents - a cloyingly manipulative Mam (Sara Harris-Davies) and the father (Ieuan Rhys) who plays along, for an easy life. This is all to the increasing dismay of Rhodri's English wife, Ruth, played, in something of a casting coup, by pulchritudinous former "Hollyoaks" star Terri Dwyer. There were several sharp comic exchanges designed to resonate with the South Wales audience and underline the theme of non-communication within relationships; and the broad physical humour was cleverly managed by director Maxine Evans. Despite some voice projection problems near the beginning, and maybe some second-act clunkiness, this is an enjoyable sit-com, with a telling and borderline bitter critique of parochialism not so far beneath the surface.