Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Nourishing the Seeds for the Future

10 Minute Musicals

Leeway Productions , Aberystwyth Arts Centre , October-22-17
10 Minute Musicals by Leeway Productions This is less a review than a footprint that seventy minutes of music and singing took place on a Sunday evening in Aberystwyth. It is not a review because it was not a finished event. Leeway Productions is orchestrating a series of concurrent works-in-progress. Forty-six artists are participants across the spectrum of experience, style and the counties of Wales. Their dedication was evident in the journeys undertaken. Singers and musicians assembled from Pontypridd, Cardiff, Rhayader. There is an element of fortune, good or ill, to all things. The organisers of “10 Minute Musicals” could never have foreseen their luck of timing. Just twenty-four hours previously the host venue had been in the grip of wind and storm.

Angharad Lee made the briefest of introductions. Leeway is Wales' only company to focus on musical theatre, its mission to “push the art-form forward and make it relevant to Wales.” She used one adjective to describe the five pieces we were to see- eclectic. It could not be a more accurate word.

The first “Circles of the Moon” had an anthemic power with soprano and tenor voices in juxtaposition and harmony. The second was techno-beat- my music specialist who would know the exact genre was not with me so the word may well be wrong- with tape looping. “You and You and Me” was the musical as sharp and comedic with a sixteen certificate attached. Solo guitar and singer followed and a solo soprano of colossal power singing “Come into My Room.” The audience had a manifestly good time.

Some of the writers and composers were present and some, like Alun Reynolds, not. Some participants, Peter Cox for instance, have a track record behind them. Francois Pandolfo is a regular on this site, most recently with Mappa Mundi and the trials of Oscar Wilde. The performers who gave the work full justice included Aled Wyn Thomas, Joanne Thomas and Dafydd Evans. Two young voices from Caerphilly and Ammanford, utterly different, were on show. Their spread across the octaves taken together was colossal. Jemima Nicholas and Rufus Musafa: remember the names, they will be heard again.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre supported “10 Minute Musicals” with performance space and technical assistance. The full credits run “in association with The Other Room, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, supported by Arts Council of Wales.” The evening came without a programme so that mis-spellings of names may have occurred, corrections welcome.

Reviewed by: Adam Somerset

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