Theatre in Wales

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A very warm and well judged piece of theatre

Whose Coat is that Jacket?

Frapetsus Productions, , Dylan Thomas Theatre. Swansea , April-07-09
Whose Coat is that Jacket? by Frapetsus Productions, A second outing for this splendid comedy from Frapetsus Productions, the original version of which was staged at the Grand Arts Wing.

Jack Llewellyn's script revolves around that almost indefinable word Hiraeth, best translated as a heartfelt longing for one's homeland, and the various ways in which it affects a Welsh family. Rhodri (played by Llewellyn himself) has married an ambitious English girl called Ruth (Victoria Turton-Blyth) and brings her home to spend time with his family.

The scene is set for a series of revelations, against which is played out a sub-plot about Bleddyn (Tom McLeod), the younger son of the family, and his mate Ieuan (Neil Harris), who are waiting for the exam results that will take them away from home and on to University.

The cast - which also includes Johnny Farrell and Olwen Rees as parents Dai and Angharad, along with Sarah Lisabeth as Ffion - are uniformly excellent and the play licks along at a fair old pace.

Director Clare Friswell has opted for a more naturalistic and authentic setting this time around, and has tackled some of the minor flaws which marred the original production: a lengthy rugby sequence at the start has been judiciously trimmed, and a scene in which the family mimed the act of eating a meal now features real food which one could smell even at the back of the auditorium.

There are some memorable lines (“You only get one home - everywhere else is somewhere to live”) and overall this is a very warm and well judged piece of theatre which seeks to sidestep the usual Welsh clichés and instead concentrates upon character and relationships.

The sequel to Whose Coat is that Jacket? - wittily entitled I'll Be There in a Minute Now! begins a three-night run at the Dylan Thomas Theatre on Thursday April 23.

Reviewed by: Graham Williams

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