Theatre in Wales

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A Play, A Pie, A Pint and World Domination!

At the Sherman

A Play, A Pie and A Pint: World Domination , Sherman Theatre , March 7, 2017
At the Sherman by A Play, A Pie and A Pint: World Domination The Sherman ‘studio’ theatre is and always has been an exciting space for theatrical magic. It hangs like an expectant black cloud teasing our imaginations. Tonight the stage has a minimal setting. There are some clothes rails but they are hung not with clothes but with coiled ropes and a curious foreshortened window display dummy – a captivating picture thoughtfully created by designer Gemma Patchett from the Scottish arm of this Wales/Scotland essay. Absorbing atmospheric enhancement came from Andy Cowan’s subtle sound and the re-lighting from Chris Peterson.

This production started its life in Glasgow at Òran Mòr (‘Great melody of life’) where the ‘A Play, A Pint and A Pie’ was first introduced back in 2004. Sherman artistic director, Rachel O’Riordan has brought this concept with her from Scotland and has made it a welcome added enhancement to the Sherman programme.

Our heads are jerked up as tall curvaceous lady strides on to the stage. This is Karen played with commitment and strength by Louise Ludgate. She is wearing a tight fitting PVC suit that emphasises her figure. Her suit has many heavy metal rivets pressed into it and iron chains hang around her. There are piercing very high heel shoes on her feet. We learn that she is a Dominatrix and this is her dungeon!

But more than that she has a vision to set up a worldwide Dominatrix franchise, ambitious indeed.
The phone rings. A client? She downs a few ‘uppers’ to prepare herself and waves a golf club about to get in some practice. She checks that her two children are safely asleep upstairs. A somewhat more demure young lady has let herself in the unlocked door. This is Anne, another totally engaging performance from Hannah Donaldson. Karen is not pleased to see her. It is a credit to Lesley Hart’s feisty, poetic writing and the curious intimacy between the players that it is clear to us all that, despite their very different appearances, we know they are sisters long before this is mentioned.

Anne has had her own problems; she has been away a long time. Karen reluctantly agrees that she can stay with her in her Aberdeen home. Karen’s husband is away on an oilrig making money- we think!

The sharp wit of their continuing banter is, at times, hilarious as their circumstances swing like a pendulum. This duet is a joy to watch.

Sherman based, emerging, JMK Carne Trust supported Director Jac Ifan Moore has a firm hand on the progress of the narrative. His interpretation of the low-lit ‘dominatrix’ mime moments did need a little more imagination and focus. At times the intimacy between the two sisters became a little quiet. But none of this undermined the overall success of this, sometime, startling and thought provoking production.

The pie and the pint were also excellent!

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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