Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Beautiful, moving and excruciatingly funny

Peeling

Disability Arts Wales , The Gate, Cardiff , October-14-08
Peeling by Disability Arts Wales I went to see a rehearsed reading of Peeling by Kaite O’Reilly at The Gate in Cardiff last Friday night. Being an audience member for any rehearsed reading I view as an act of dedication almost beyond the call of duty, I am interested in experiencing theatre not so much hearing readings. However I was riveted, enlightened and happily found the play beautiful, moving and excruciatingly funny. The work achieved by Kaite O’Reilly and the cast in this reading reflected rigour and integrity.

The performances were so focused and distinct from each other. Feisty Sara Beer brought a direct truthfulness, without a hint of sentimentality, to a compelling storyline. Kay Jenkins, sister of the legendry actor Beefy Jenkins, showed great comic skill and drew out the deep pathos of the characters situation. Maggie Hampton was dignity itself and whimsically portrayed the sensitivities of the ‘artistic spirit’ while telling her friends to ‘fuck off’, this was very funny.

Always the extra, never the star … Alpha, Beaty and Coral – three performers bicker, gossip, heckle and share juicy tales of sex, lies and recipes, whilst around them an epic production unfolds. The anti-heroines are gradually stripped of all pretence, their darkly comic and devastating truths uncovered. The play ‘cunningly interweaves audio description and sign language’ the surtitles provided by Claire Saddleton are unique and added a powerful dimension.

Please will somebody produce this play and stage it for others to share asap.

Reviewed by: Glenys Evans

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