Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Radio Wales: Praise for Four Writers of Wales at Edinburgh

Broadcast Media Reporting the Arts

Critics at Siân Owen, Daf James, Remy Beasley, Alan Harris , Parasol Productions for Radio Wales , August-08-19
Broadcast Media Reporting the Arts by Critics at Siân Owen, Daf James, Remy Beasley, Alan Harris The Edinburgh Fringe has burst all records- but it does so every year- with over 3400 productions. With the reviewers so stretched the press reports are taking more time to gather. So it was good that producer Carolyn Hitt and presenter Gary Raymond were able to report for Radio Wales at the close of the first week.

The radio show takes a bit of time to get into it, taking six minutes before any critical view. The series of sound clips at the opening is too long, and not necessary. We are here to hear argument and viewpoint. Producers need more confidence in the human voice. An interview mid-programme drags the pace down but the remainder has a sparky pace to it.

The selection of four from 15 productions of Wales chooses two well-established voices of Wales and two that are new. Selections with timings:

0600: Dirty Protest “How to Be Brave”

“Sad, charming, not patronising, wonderful euphoric moment, whoops and cheers, very honest, authentic piece of writing, wonderfully performed, really fresh, amazing so much packed into 55 minutes”

0900: Theatr Clwyd & Paines Plough- “On the Other Hand, We're Happy”

(Theatr Clwyd & Paines Plough repeat the successful partnership of prior years with a repeat of actor and director in the same bespoke venue, bare of set and props.)

“I absolutely loved this. It was so emotional and involving. They use the space so well. The audience interaction was fantastic. It was just very powerful, emotional, about grief, about love, about what it means to be human...An incredible piece of writing...Charlotte O'Leary was absolutely fantastic...Nicely directed by Steph O'Driscoll.”

16:00: Remy Beasley/ Francesca Moody Productions in assn Underbelly: “Do Our Best”

“I came out of it, it was monkeying around in my head for ages. It was doing something quite extraordinary. It gets quite emotional. There's physical theatre in it. It got quite dark. Very raw and very powerful. The writing was wonderful, really authentic. Full of raw emotion, rage. ”

“Writing quite mature and sophisticated. Director Hannah Bannister, a lot of pace and energy injected into it. As a performer Remy Beasley had an enormous amount of talent, charismatic, warm.”

23:00: National Theatre of Wales: “For All I Care”

“A wonderful hymn to the National Health Service, what it should be, and often is, but often isn't. Hannah Daniel I don't know how she did it, absolutely brilliant. Really interesting. I loved the way she carried around in her pocket the original charter of the NHS which she reads out. Alan Harris' brilliant writing, the way he knits everything together. Everyone who works in the Health Service should see, the Health Ministers to be marched along to be reminded of what the NHS stands for.”

26:00 Conclusion on Edinburgh as a whole- “supreme confidence, a European capital that knows exactly what it is. So what can Wales learn?”

Gary Raymond answers his own question at

The Review Show, repeated on Radio Wales 1830 11th August

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0007dlm

Reviewed by: Adam Somerset

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