"Salt, Root and Roe"
I went to see Tim Price’s “Salt, Root and Roe”, a Clwyd Theatr Cymru production, playing at Sherman Cymru (not as a British Theatre Guide review assignment, because of a conflict of interest – see below). Its star-studded run at the Trafalgar Studios in 2011 was nominated for an Olivier Award; and it’s always good to see a piece by a Welsh playwright getting that rare second production.
It is the story of two elderly, widowed twins, Anest (Betsan Llwyd) and Iola (Sara Harries-Davies), facing up to mortality on the West Wales coast, with the intervention of Anest’s tightly-wound daughter, Menna (Catrin Aaron), and local policeman Gareth (Brendan Charleson), both of whom, it emerges, have severe problems of their own. Emotionally wrenching, and highly accomplished on all levels. Ruth Hall’s set is minimal and evocative, and Kate Wasserberg’s sensitive direction manages to foreground the humour even as we sail, inevitably, into the darkness. A heart-warming family tragedy; which seems a uniquely Welsh concept.
The conflict of interest mentioned above comes about because the company which Tim Price co-founded, Dirty Protest, are staging a rehearsed reading of a play of mine, “Songs For Swinging Lovers”, as one of the Picnic Plays at Clwyd Theatr Cymru next week. Should be a useful exercise – if I can manage to find the venue.