Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews


Phantom Rides Again

Good Cop Bad Cop , Chapter , December-05-18
Phantom Rides Again by Good Cop Bad Cop The easy yet profound stage relationship between John Rowley and Richard Huw Morgan has been developed over twenty seven years. I have never seen a Good Cop Bad Cop show performed by just these two but after experiencing the quiet humour and surreal charm of this performance, where they have invited Sian Owens, Seren Vickers and Jake Walton to join them I shall keep a sharp lookout for their next one.

This additional trio has quickly picked the GC/BC zeitgeist and the quintet melds perfectly together. These panda-like black eyed performers, with hammers in their hands give us a series of surreal vignettes that often end in a beheading. The company has always had a strong affinity to the early twentieth century films of William Haggar and some of the episodes relate to the plots of his films.

The violent nature of his films is compared to the film footage of violence from the media today. Whilst laughter is at the core of the work some serious points are also highlighted. But everything merges into a Haribo bag of colourful uncertainties that are sometimes perplexing but always captivating and from time to time very funny.

On some occasions the Welsh language gets thrown in and the show is signed but you have to find the best place to sit or stand to see the signer. The usual seats of the Chapter theatre are pushed back out of the way so we are in the full space with the actors. There are a few chairs and many members of the audience are able to stand and take up the relaxed position encouraged by the cops. Some have to take care to avoid Richard Huw Morganís kisses.

There is no overriding narrative and some short tales we are told take us on a nice ride to almost nowhere. This does not distract from the strong and compelling work of each of the performers.

I guess their determination to blind the audience with glaring white light from time to time was an attempt to make us suffer like many of the characters we meet on our way through the wry proceedings. But as the show drew to a close, it had to end somewhere but these surreal natterings could have gone on forever, we are in darkness. The Big Monkey Man tells his story then collapses in a heap onto the floor, heís dead and the audience applaud enthusiastically.

I shall be keeping a look out for the next performance from these well-established stalwarts of the Welsh theatre scene.

Contiues 'til 8Dec

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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