Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Late Praise for Ladd, Light & Emberton

Owain Glyndŵr Silent Disco

Ladd, Light & Emberton , Abergavenny Castle , January-09-19
Owain Glyndŵr Silent Disco by Ladd, Light & Emberton Three themes run by way of repeated- if not obsessive- thematic undercurrent to this site. One is that the flourish of artistic endeavour does not receive the critical due that would be the norm elsewhere. The critical deficit is a contributor to the condition of public cultural policy.

This is not an issue restricted to Wales. Ian Abbott's dance summary of last year notes the “gap between how we look at, write about and respond to the work an artist has created, and the influence on that work of the institutions/organisations/venues that fund, support and champion it.”

Ladd, Light and Emberton receive their due in his end-year retrospective. The look-back, dated 31st December, opens with “Here lies a reflection of some moments, performances and choreography that have settled in my 2018 memory bank. Shining brightest this year was the wealth of solo, female performance/ choreography/direction taking place outside London.”

Ian Abbott uses direct language when it is asked for. Three dance pieces in 2018 are remorselessly dissected as “personal stinkers.” On the upside “a deserved winner of the Total Theatre Award for Dance, VOID punctures the eyes and leaves us snagged in a net of inbetweenness.”

He was also in Powys to record: “Ladd, Light and Emberton’s “Owain Glyndŵr Silent Disco” descended on Abergavenny Castle to tell the story of Owain Glyndŵr — the last native Welshman to hold the title of Prince of Wales who instigated a fierce and long-running war of independence with the aim of ending English rule in Wales — with a crate full of disco classics. With dozens of giddy families shepherded around Welsh heritage sites and headphoned, this family-friendly performance successfully demonstrated that rare combination of dance, heritage and audience interaction.”

This summary appears with thanks to Guy O'Donnell whose critical vigilance is untiring and unmatched.

Copyright and acknowledgement to the author. Taken from source at:

Reviewed by: Adam Somerset

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