Blakeson - Writer

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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Y Tŵr / Dirty Protest vs Artes Mundi

I got the rare opportunity to experience some classic Welsh-language theatre this week on behalf of the British Theatre Guide. This was courtesy of Invertigo Theatre Company, and their touring production of Gwenlyn Parry’s “Y Tŵr”. A very interesting piece, partly naturalistic and partly allegorical, with a couple experiencing a lifetime of small-town crises whilst intermittently ascending the titular, symbolic tower. The English translation was projected on a video-screen to the side of the stage at Chapter, for the benefit of non-Welsh-speakers, who seemed to be very much in the minority in a packed auditorium.

And last night there was another Dirty Protest night of rehearsed play-readings, this time at the redeveloped Abacus building near Cardiff Bus station. Playwrights Richard Redman, Tracy Harris, Neil Bebber, Kelly Jones (winner of the 2014 Wales Drama Award), Owen Thomas and Paul Jenkins were tasked with coming up with ten-minute pieces inspired by the exhibits which were up for the Artes Mundi Prize. References to Renzo Martens’ chocolate sculptures cropped up in at least three of the pieces; dysfunctional relationships were a recurring theme, as well as the egotism of the artist. Entertaining and stimulating as ever with a fine cast – Gareth Pierce, Gwawr Loader, Neal McWilliams and Melangell Dolma, plus special guest Sharon Morgan. 

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