Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

At Flying Bridge Theatre

Daniel Llewelyn-Williams- A Regular Little Houdini , Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold. , December 5, 2013
At Flying Bridge Theatre by Daniel Llewelyn-Williams- A Regular Little Houdini There are multiple excitements for a boy growing up in Newport, Gwent in the early years of the Twentieth Century. They are building the biggest dock in the world there. Then there's the amazing transporter bridge which will carry people and vehicles high over the River Usk in a gondola suspended from what seems miles above their heads.

But if you are a boy who's interested in magic then one event towers above all others, Houdini will be visiting the Lyceum Theatre. Sadly, in order to get publicity for his extravaganza, the escapologist makes a fool of the local police and, if your grandfather is a local policeman, then you must expect to be forbidden to see the show.

Daniel Llewelyn-Williams, who also wrote the script, conveys all the boyish enthusiasm of this world, especially when a plan is hatched in honour of his showman hero.

How hard can it be to ride the gondola, hanging from the outside? If you've trained yourself to a peak of perfection then it's only a short ride from one bank to the other and back. In theory at least.

As Llewelyn-Davies re-enacts the event I could feel my vertigo kicking in even though he had his feet no higher above the ground than a modest chair.

As well as the bridge this delightful monologue also contains a close encounter with the Usk mud, a moving description of the Newport Dock disaster and a vivid account of Houdini's second visit to Newport.

Nicely directed by Joshua Richards, who keeps everything flowing with the minimum of setting, Daniel Llewelyn-Williams allows his voice to gradually become older as the evening progresses. It may be only 55 minutes long but it's a story-telling play full of incident and excitement and it ends with one of the simplest yet most satisfying transformations I've ever seen.

Reviewed by: Victor Hallett

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