Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

“Lets raise our glasses to long lost loves and current lovers, to mums, to dads and to absent friends.”

Gair O Gariad

Theatr Bara Caws , Chapter Cardiff , August-06-18
Gair O Gariad by Theatr Bara Caws And raise our glasses we did, handed to us, as we entered the ‘Banqueting Hall” transformed by Theatr Bara Caws in the auditorium of Chapter’s Seligman Studio. Two long tables ran down each side of the theatre, covered in scarlet coloured tablecloths; the lights were low and small candles glowed in red crystal holders. The sell-out audience sat on the outside of the tables facing each other across a central stage.

We were greeted with masterly charm by Rhodri Siôn who strode the stage as if he owned it. He quickly took us with him into the spirit of the show. As things progressed he gave us every emotion and behaviour that you could possibly imagine, from the deeply passionate to the completely idiotic, such was the versatility of this wonderful performer.

He was equaled by his beautiful accomplice Lleuwen Steffan. For the most part she gave us charm and self-possession but she was also a master of comedy and passion as the story intensified. But this slowly developing relationship between these two protagonists was a mere sub-plot to the main event, the Gair o Gariad, Words of Love.

The company tells us “This event is somewhere between a wedding reception, a wake and a radio dedication show.” The radio dedications formed the core of the show but as well for me and for all of us it was a merry banquet with our Champagne flutes being continually replenished.

This was a Welsh language production, an English précis was available but startling pictures created by the setting and these two highly engaging performers would be a joy in any language.

For some time the company had been asking for dedications to be sent into their web site and they poured in.
“…Mum, it’s May again, and I want you to know that I still remember…
…to my husband…I remember thinking that the worst had passed, and that spring was on its way…
…Thanks Dad, for being you…Thanks for singing me to sleep…
…Well, this is the best song in the world, so I’m dedicating it to myself!”
Two stations with Laptops and speakers were set up at each end of the stage. One manned by Siôn and the other ‘womanned’ by Steffan. They worked their way through the dedications like seasoned DJs often with subtle humour. The strength of the love in the dedications slowly filtered into the minds and eyes of the DJs, they abandoned their stations, took each other into their arms danced the floor with passion. It was infectious, after our glasses were refilled for the last time and after we all fired our party firework into the air we all got up and danced away the night with them.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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