Blakeson - Writer

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

“The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe” / “Saturday Night Forever”

If my calculations are correct, I’ve reviewed 31 plays this year; 29 of them for the British Theatre Guide. Mostly jolly fun, and the responsibility of having to write about a performance certainly helps one to concentrate on the experience, even if it’s somewhat frustrating to be a mere spectator. Still, one is grateful for the opportunity to learn from the expertise (and mistakes) of others.

The big Christmas show this year was Sherman Cymru’s production of “The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe”, with a cast including, as now seems customary, some fine actor-musicians. It’s quite magical despite, or perhaps because of, the lack of life-like animal costumes and special effects. The awkward fact that C.S. Lewis’s theme is Holy War can’t be avoided, however.

“The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe” (Photo by Mark Douet)

Somewhat less festive was the touring revival of Roger Williams’ “Saturday Night Forever” at Chapter, a production of which I remember seeing in 2001. One of several recent object-lessons in handling a one-person play, it’s not a happy tale, being about tragedy befalling a relatively new gay relationship. An excellent central performance, though, and imaginative but simple design and direction make it a rewarding experience.

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