Blakeson - Writer

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

Thursday, May 04, 2017

"twenty16" / "My Country; a work in progress"

By some strange coincidence, the last two plays I’ve been to review are both self-proclaimed “state of the nation” pieces.

First, there was “twenty-16”, at Chapter, in which a number of young people from Ystradgynlais, guided by professional theatre-makers, presented a performance which looked at how they saw both their lives and the world as a whole, from the vantage-point of being sixteen years old. Very entertaining and moving, and quite heartening.

At the other end of the scale, in terms of international prestige, was the touring production of “My Country; a work in progress”, at the Sherman; the National Theatre’s response to the U.K.’s vote to leave the E.U., developed by listening to voters and asking Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to shape their interview responses into a narrative. Not nearly as dry as one might have expected, and full of celebratory moments, but every bit as incoherent (perhaps intentionally) as the actual public debate involving actual politicians.

"My Country..." (Photo: Sarah Lee)

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