Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

At the Sherman

Sherman Theatre Company-Saturday Night Forever , Sherman Theatre, Cardiff , March 28, 2001
For me this was a theatrical presentation of the highest level. The combination of the sensitive and intelligent writing of Roger Williams, the depth of understanding of theatricality of director Simon Fisher and the sheer outstanding ability of actor Darren Lawrence to captivate and engage with his audience produced a unique chemistry that marks a high point in the Achievement of Welsh Theatre.

At the opening moments the actor was himself. He drew the audience to him and together they formed a warm and exciting relationship that fed the whole evening.

The basic story is a deceptively simple one: - Lee has just split up with his boyfriend Matthew soon after he forms a very loving relationship with Carl. They go out for a night and get badly beaten.

The case for a greater understanding of homosexuality and the gross futility of homophobia is well made. But the human emotions demonstrated in the play are experienced by all of us and in this the theme of the play is much broader than its story line.

Lawrence reveals every emotion with intense conviction and believability and the staging and lighting at some of the most moving moments in the play are devised to enhance our appreciation.

A one-man play this may be but this actor made us see all the other characters in the play. Even his exaggerated way of playing them added greater poignancy. He was even able to make us see the crowds at the night-club. The breadth of this man skills were again demonstrated in the Karioke scene where he starts off with the nervous approach of the character then builds to a flow blown 'pop' style rendering of the song.

My body glowed as I watched. This is a production that should go forward and demonstrate the quality of what we are doing in Welsh Theatre to the widest possible audience. - I wish it well.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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