Theatre in Wales

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Taut intense drama

Crave

Students of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama/The Other Room , The Other Rook , March-02-19
Crave by Students of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama/The Other Room The intensity of Sarah Kane’s tragic life is strongly reflected in this very tense production, beautifully staged by this highly talented team. In this collaboration between The Other Room and the RWCMD, the cast and the members of the creative team are all in their second year of study at the college.

Putting all the building blocks together, producer, Yasmin Williams is a member of The Other Room Trainee Team. Director Samantha Jones, also a member of the trainee team, has done a very fine job in adding a very tense atmosphere to this compelling drama. There had been some ‘mixed ’reactions to much of Kane’s equally strong, earlier work but her writing was highly regarded by other well established writers such as Harold Pinter and Caryl Churchill.

Crave marked Kane’s acceptance as a major new writer. Her writing is certainly challenging. There is no real narrative, the play is a dramatic poem, there are relationships between the characters but they are tentative and there seems a degree of uncertainty in their attempts to develop them.

Each member of the cast grasps their internal dilemmas very strongly and are able to convey the intensity of spirit in each of them. We have two young men, they are called A and B. One of the female characters is C and the other M.

Each of these players is a joy to watch as they bring real and strong feelings into the sexual dilemmas they are suffering from. They are all able to capture, with intense realism the emotions inside them. They all show good maturity as performers, only in their second year of drama training.

Callum Howells gives us contrasting strength and uncertainty in his very bold and warmly articulate reflections. We get a very troubled, beautifully played struggling naivety from Emily John as C struggling to decide whether she wants/needs a physical relationship with A.

B, Benjamin McCann and M, Johann Diaz-Watson have already drawn much closer together and we see the passion rising in them and then we see it fall away. This repeats several times but each time these two sensitive performers strongly hold our attention.

There is ‘poetry ‘also in the way the bodies move around the stage. The overall black box staging is a perfect setting by 3rd year students, Zoe Brennan ad Mimi Donaldson. Ryan Joseph Stafford’s lighting and sound design by Josh Bowles add to the almost cold emptiness of the drama, only to be relieved by the warm and captivating performances of this excellent young cast.

A well observed realisation of the strength and tension that lies at the heart of all the work of Sarah Kane.

Crave is the final production in The Other Room’s very successful Young Artists Festival.




Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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