Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

At the Sherman

Home , Sherman Cymru , January 23, 2016
At the Sherman by Home I moved to Cardiff in 1990 and visited Sherman Theatre regularly in the early years, thoroughly enjoying a variety of productions eg "Fern Hill", "Under Milk Wood", "Dancing At Lughnasa" etc. Unfortunately, I found the Sherman programming from the mid 1990's to the late 2000's rather dull and my visits became increasingly rare. However, in recent years (and particularly under the artistic directorship of Rachel O'Riordan) the shows have became (in my opinion) more interesting and challenging from touring productions like "1984", " A Reply To Kathy Acker" to home grown shows of which "Home" was the latest venture.

As we entered a packed auditorium all we see on stage are a few chairs which are gradually filled by the performers. They are here to reveal their story of migrating from their small Pakistan village of Waulah from the late 1950's to provide their children with a better future in Wales.

The set is simple, just suitcases and tree roots are brought on stage, but the emotions are not. By having the original pioneers present with members of the community speaking their own words it beautifully conveyed the feelings of loss, fear, detachment, confusion but ultimately the love of family and a sense of belonging which made their initial journey worthwhile.

I found this an incredibly emotional piece and the atmosphere both in the auditorium and the foyer was joyous. It was wonderful to see the Sherman vibrant with a non theatre type audience.

The themes of migration are clearly as relevant today as ever and it was impressive that the play didn't shy away from the current problems revolving around the hijacking of the Muslim religion by both the media and the extremists. This obviously is a serious topic but director Andrew Sterry wisely immediately injects some humour to lighten the mood.

This was a true theatrical event and it was as joy to be there. So, huge congratulations go to all involved.

PS The curry and desert served after the performance were truly wonderful.

Reviewed by: David Cox

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