Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

“Great Showcase Sets Ffion Jones Up as Someone to Watch Out For”

Wales at Edinburgh Fringe

Ffion Jones- The Wrong Ffion Jones , Underbelly, Delhi Belly , August 25, 2019
Wales at Edinburgh Fringe by Ffion Jones- The Wrong Ffion Jones The Fringe is over. Lives return to normality. Phone calls to agents resume. Congratulations are given.

For some the credit card bills, due in mid-September, are a prospect to cause a shudder.

There are too many at the Fringe vying for attention. Jo Mackie penned a polemical piece for Exeunt in which she spoke of “an entire swathe of artists, often performing in extremely tough conditions at a huge cost to themselves – financially, physically and mentally.” Hers is an article composed in anger.

And yet. It is the place to be. The Vaults are easier, Brighton is more relaxed. Many who have made the 3841 events this August will have left with a small footprint. The art, a fine end in itself, has its place in their memories and of those who saw them.

To leave a critical footprint for a new-comer is itself an accomplishment.

From Daily Business Group

“Set in a dystopian future Wales where Tom Jones, Rob Brydon, Catatonia and the Manic Street Preachers are the main symbols of the history of a nation that has become a glass-domed theme park, this is a one-woman comedy show about reclaiming your country’s heritage and your own identity.

“Ffion Jones is a tour guide in the new Walesland, but maybe not for long as she is torn between starting a revolution or bidding for the job of the real voice of Wales now that the tour guides are to be replaced by machines with just one person left to do the voice-overs.

“What lifts it above many other one-person plays is the performance of Ffion Jones, playing a version of herself alongside a host of characters who rise above being stereotypes and come together to create a village that is feisty but frustrated, resistant but resigned to the reduction of history to a tourist attraction.

“The Wrong Ffion Jones serves as a great showcase for the real Ffion Jones and sets her up as someone to watch out for.”

From An Organised Mess

“Thrown in, full force to the Welsh experience. The Wrong Ffion Jones takes us on the surreal journey of what happens when Ffion lives out her version of the Truman Show.

“Ffion Jones instantly warms herself to the audience, embracing the stereotypes of Wales. Branding an inflatable leek, adorned in traditional dress, intrigue is created in where this show will take the audience.

“The talent in Ffion Jones’ production comes from this storytelling. The conversations which take place requiring a fast-paced wit and energy, interchanging between brilliant characters with the ease of a skilled performance.

“The Wrong Ffion Jones cleverly explores the stereotypes which come with a country’s identity, owning those which are there as strengths. The charm, wit and pace which underpins this performance creates a memorable performance- not just because of a fantastic take on ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’.

“The Wrong Ffion Jones” naturally brought in an audience with a Welsh tinge to it. But like all good comedy they saw seriousness in it.

From Dai: “As a 'fake Welshman' from the small mining valley of Nottinghamshire, I was taken by the idea of 'Walesland' and keen to see this. I know enough of 'yr hen iaith' and Catatonia and Bonnie Tyler's back catalogues to get the in-jokes

“Not only the specific idea of small country reduced to a theme park, but also the deeper questions of selling-out v rebellion are explored with a lightness of touch and great, gutsy charm...a fun hour with serious, thought-provoking undertones, and what more can we ask of art?

Diolch yn fawr, cariad.”

Andrew: “Being married to a Welsh girl, much of the sentiment and phrasing meant a lot to me. Very witty and utterly charming. A lot of work and rehearsal has gone into this so go and see it.”

Alexander: “Ffion captivates her tour group with razor-sharp wit and charisma - (almost) no need to rely on tired Welsh gags! National identity, pride, labour rights and the instinct of self-preservation are all laid bare in the threatening face of rampant capitalism.

Charming, hilarious and unstoppably frenetic, The Wrong Ffion Jones will not only entertain but edify too. See it, right now!”

Colin: “I saw it at the Vaults in London and it was just as funny the second time around in Edinburgh. It's funny, touching, and a little bit crazy. All the things needed for an hour well spent!

“Brilliant, thoroughly enjoyable hour of good quality comedy theatre. (The right) Ffion Jones has written a great play which manages to make you think, laugh and cry, but mostly laugh.”

Review, cited,with thanks, can be read in full at:

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Reviewed by: Adam Somerset

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