Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

A Modern Classic In The Making

At the Sherman

Love, Lies & Taxidermy , Sherman Theatre , November 15, 2016
At the Sherman by Love, Lies & Taxidermy One of the nice parts of seeing a lot of plays is the opportunity to watch the career of an actor or playwright. In Edinburgh 2014 I loved watching Alan Harris’s “ The Future For Beginners”, so I was intrigued to see his latest play “ Love, Lies and Taxidermy” at Sherman Cymru. The studio is a small space transformed into the round with seats designed for the actors, so you know this will be an “in your face” show.

And wow, what a show. In little space the performers Remy Beasley, Richard Corgan and Andy Rush show what a handful of talented actors, a good script and tight direction can provide. In theory this is a little love story between Ashley and Valentyn from their tentative beginnings through a variety of ups and downs, this is a play after all. However, with such versatile performers they bring alive a variety of diverse characters which you would expect based in the community of Merthyr Tydfil.

A good start is always important to get the audience involved and with the three of them portraying different roles in a whirlwind of breakneck scenes it does take a while to get your ear to cope with the speed of events. Once you do, you expect the pace to drop as you can't expect the actors to keep this up throughout the piece but incredibly, they do. Even in a play that runs straight through at seventy you minutes you anticipate a lull in the story, but this never happens here. When everyone is so closely packed together you can't help but look at the other audience members and those who looked quite gloomy at the beginning were grinning enthusiastically at the end. And that was what this play does for you. This isn't a soft, fluffy play throughout but it does leave you with a nice warm glow inside.

When you see a lot of plays you wonder if you can still be surprised but "Love, Lies & Taxidermy" certainly caught me offguard with it's driving energy while still managing to create real people and conjure up visual images with no props at all. That is quality writing and strong direction at its best (George Perrin take a bow).

This play ends it's run on Saturday after a tour and a run at the Edinburgh festival. Typically, although we were staying round the corner from Summerhall we missed seeing in it Scotland but boy am I glad I caught up with tonight.

If you want to give yourself a treat you will do the same while you can.

Reviewed by: David Cox

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