Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

New Company makes strong impact!


Spilt Milk Theatre , Sherman Theatre , April-11-19
FIVE GREEN BOTTLES by Spilt Milk Theatre The neat wallpaper and lace curtains of Ceci Calf’s set indicated that we might be in for a short evening of domestic bliss. However the empty wine bottles spread around the floor hinted at something quite different. And that’s what we got. In marches a man in Nazi dress, yelling wildly and dragging a young woman behind him with a rope around her neck and a sack covering up her head and face.

With his strong, evil toned voice Aly Cruickshank, for a moment, convinces us this is the real thing! But very quickly the sack and coat are removed and we learn this is just a way of adding a bit of excitement to their sex life, which lies at the core of the play. We are only saved from seeing sex on stage by a light bulb failure in their sitting room.

They settled down on the floor, she quietly fingers his shirt and we become captivated by the inner strength of Angharad Berrow’s creativity. He finds a stone flask of wine, they discuss the merits of it – things goes wrong, suddenly he is throwing bits of food at her.

They embrace, again they break away and the man starts putting forward his views on a widespread sexuality that he is setting out to embrace. Cruickshank is now giving us a quiet charm, quite at odds with the content of his conversation. They both sparkle and banter and we learn that they are both seeking to widen their sexual activity.

The girl’s sister arrives with her partner. Played by Tobias Weatherburn, a much more rough and ready character than Cruickshank’s. No one messes with him. Sister is pregnant and very quiet. Very realistically played by Olivia Martin.

Cruickshank’s charm remains, ever strong, as he proposes even more deviant sexual acts. They are on their own now and he is urging Berrow to ‘get’ at him. She continues to captivate us all. From time to time we hear Elvis as Berrow dances seductively to his singing, and continues to bedazzle us.

There was more sexual banter with the other two but soon mayhem sets in and things start to go badly wrong…

Joe Wiltshire Smith has created a very imaginative script and Becca Lidstone directs with a good understanding of the challenges of the work. It could be regarded as a modern day Morality Play. Performed with a strong sense of conviction by this bright and talented cast.

Reviewed by: Michael kelligan

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