"The Drowned Girl" / "Yuri" / "A Doll's House" / The Other Room
I’ve had three diverse but satisfying theatrical review assignments in the past few weeks, reflecting the variety of work which is available in Cardiff – the intimate, bijou “The Drowned Girl”, a semi-autobiographical one-woman show performed by author Kelly Jones; the freewheeling, extravagant, mid-scale “Yuri”, a translation of a surreal French comedy about childlessness; and Sherman Cymru’s main stage production of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”. All very well executed and highly enjoyable, although I found the Ibsen particularly revelatory and surprisingly exciting.
|Leila Crerar in "A Doll's House" (photo by Nick Allsop)|
Following this, it was interesting to attend, as part of The Other Room’s Blue Sky season, an open Manifesto meeting in the city’s first purpose-built pub theatre, at which the team who run the company discussed their work to date, talked about future plans (with no spoilers), and invited those present to make proposals as regards their artistic policy. Conclusions reached included the need to make connections with other venues, to try and increase the number of new plays performed, and to commit to producing Welsh-language/bilingual work. There was frank discussion of their perceived failings and difficulties – principally involving less than full houses for some pieces – but there was much support in the room for the company, and appreciation of the fact that it has already developed a distinctive identity.