Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Vickery outdoes Ayckbourn....

At the Sherman

Sherman Theatre - Erogenous Zones , Sherman Theatre , September 25, 2001
The elegance of the design by Fiona Watt and the expert execution of the set proclaimed this production as 'Quality Theatre' the moment I entered the auditorium. As the play progressed the set, with its interchanging locations became another character in the play.

Each member of the cast, Beth Roberts, Ri Richards, Aled Pugh, Richard Elfyn and Darren Lawrence gave such a consummate interpretation of their roles and continuously made tremendous contact with the audience.

The plot contained all the complex mix-ups associated with an old 'Brian Rix' farce and these moments were most robustly played up by the actors. Such a closely knit team all playing off one another with a subtle dexterity only seen at the top! it was so great to sit in a completely full Sherman auditorium. (my memory may serve me wrong but as I recall it was always like this 'in the beginning' - I have the happy memory of being responsible for the technical staging of the first play ever performed on this stage - but enough about me!)

Frank Vickery was once described as the Alan Ayckbourn of the valleys. Here he out Ayckbourns Ayckbourn, not only does he manipulate time but space as well. There is also some immaculate playing with words. Being at play is at the heart of Steve Fisher's production. He paces the play immaculately. Writer and director take a bold, brave stand with the ending which features tremendous realistic acting from all the cast, sending the audience home completely satisfied. There's no point in going on. It was great.

Both Frank Vickery and Phil Clark (Sherman Theatre Artistic Director) have more that their fair share of critics and detractors but if this quality of work is kept up they will annihilate them all.

In the New Welsh Review the effusiveness of some of my reviewing has been remarked upon. I have no journalistic training, I write from the inside, from virtually on the stage. I know bad theatre when I see it and will be the first to speak out against it and hopefully offer a way in which in can be put right. Equally when I experience quality Welsh Theatre my joy knows no bounds and last night I leapt with joy down several yards of Shenghenydd Road before I reached my car----Oh just go and see it!

"Erogenous Zones" runs at the Sherman, Cardiff until October 6th.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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