Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews


Shed Man

Clock Tower Theatre Company , Sherman Theatre , November-16-18
Shed Man by Clock Tower Theatre Company The Sherman Theatre’s pie and a pint were excellent, a sure foretaste of what was to follow. Writer Kevin Jones, director Siobhan Lynn Brennan and a very fine cast have come up with a real theatrical treat.

Brian is building a shed “for his stuff” he says. He appears to be at the beginning of some sort of breakdown, personality failure. His wife has planned a great day out by the seaside with the kids. She expects him to join them. But no, he has to stay and finish his shed. He insists that he has only this one day off from work to do it in. She’s a little disappointed but off she goes. Like each member of this cast Chrissie Neale gives us an absolutely perfect piece of acting, introducing us to the long suffering, warm hearted Emma, just like the lady next door.

Jones’ opening dialogue sparkles, Pinter like, with a touch of the surreal but he, almost imperceptibly gradually moves into more ‘normal’ speech. Benedict Hurley as Brian, our shed-man, around which everything happens is totally captivating and so real. He’s very irritating in the earlier stages of this absorbing theatre experience but by the end of the play he is warming our hearts.

Enter stage left, as is traditional in Pantomime, the villain of the piece, Brian’s boss, smart suited Mr Tatum. Joe Burke gives us another fine performance carefully balancing reality with his soft-spoken villainy. Brian is his Personal Assistant and he has called round to ask him to deliver a package for him. But Brian has his shed to finish and he makes this quite clear. They stand bickering in the back garden, the ideal place to have a shed. Cory Shipp has given us a neat tidy garden set except for a few of the kids toys scattered on the floor.

There’s a neat white fence around them and an expanse of green lawn, in need of a good mowing but clearly that will have to wait until after the shed! As Tatum continues to demand obedience and respect, Brian almost loses it and threatens him with his hammer. Brain’s down to earth mother comes in from next door and she makes it clear to Brian that he is causing an unnecessary fuss and she wants him to pop down to Tesco to get her a loaf of bread. He protests. She makes it clear he is being ridiculous.

As Pat, Brian’s mum, Siw Hughes is, again, totally real and convincing. All this time our baddie, Tatum is wandering in and out of the kitchen and has got hold of Brian’s mobile phone. With the messages he reads out he sticks the dagger in and even starts to twist it about. It seems Emma is very cross with Brian.

She returns, you will have to see the play to learn her reaction.

This totally absorbing theatre experience ends with great climax as, together Brian and Emma……again you will have to go to find out. You will have a great time.

Runs 13 – 17 Nov.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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