Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews



Theatr Clwyd & High Tide , Theatr Clwyd, Mold. , October-24-17
Heroine by Theatr Clwyd & High Tide Three women are playing bingo in, thanks to Richard Kent's set, what is the epitome of every slightly rundown community centre you've ever experienced. When they've completed their game, i.e. when the audience is completely seated, Wendy starts the meeting. Her women's group only consists of herself Cheryl and Beverley until the door opens and Grace strides in.

She's an ex-soldier who's had a medical discharge from the army. She's also coloured and intensely British. As the concerns of the group become more seriously focussed, they are in danger of losing the hall, so they move towards taking direct action with Grace moving to the fore.

Each of the women has their own secret apart from Shelley, a later arrival, who is part of Grace's secret. The gradual revelation of each of these secrets is what makes this play so absorbing, culminating in Grace's which turns our perceptions upside down.

The performances are very strong. Asmara Gabrielle has a charismatic presence, you can quite see why the others come under Grace's spell. Lucy Thackeray's mostly sensible Wendy is the only one who approaches with caution.

Wendy Morgan as Cheryl starts as the quiet one but changes utterly as her family life is revealed to Grace. Maggie McCarthy is very fine as barely coping Beverley who finds her life falling apart even more. Hannah Traylen as Shelley emerges by the end as the strong voice of common sense.

Themes of racism, Islamophobia, direct action, community cohesion and social responsibility bubble through the play which ultimately focusses on the individuality of its five women.

Reviewed by: Victor Hallett

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