Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Friday night disco at the Pavilion is the last one ever.

Pavilion by Emily White

Theatr Clwyd , Theatr Clwyd , October-14-19
Pavilion by Emily White   by Theatr Clwyd Somewhere in South Wales the Friday night disco at the Pavilion is the last one ever. The Pavilion, like the public library and the school, is going to be closed down.

The local crowd has turned up to dance, drink, snog, puke and fight. Emily White's new play is billed as a dark comedy but it's only at the end that just how dark it is becomes clear. Before that it's loud, raucous, foul-mouthed, very funny and energy packed.

A cast of eleven bring this teeming final evening to astonishing life, leaving the audience breathless in their wake.

Amidst the crowd there are some stand-out performances. Ellis Duffy as Gary, the young love-struck quiet still centre. Caitlin Drake as Myfanwy, the chip van girl with the stunning singing voice who is the object of his adoration.

Carly-Sophie Davies as Jess, the teenager with attitude. Lowri Hamer as Bethan the teenager who is pregnant and is embracing every second of her condition.

Victoria John as Big Nell, the barmaid who has seen it all and who acts as a narrator.

Ifan Huw Dafydd as Dewi, the ex-miner and unemployed drunk, incoherent spokesman for the old romantic Wales. Tim Treloar as Dylan the school teacher who wants to be the reasonable link between Dewi's Wales and the teenagers' Wales. Kristian Phillips as Lloyd, resentful of life and out for a fight.

As well as her large cast director, Tamara Harvey, has to keep everything moving because Jacob Hughes' set revolves to show now the exterior, which includes the very convincing chip van and now the bar. And the cast flow from one to another as well as doing some highly energetic disco dancing. So we see a crowd but we never forget the individuals that make up that crowd.

Which is what gives the ending such power and is why I found it so disturbing. It's rare to find a new play, and a first play at that, which is so large in scale and so ambitious in emotions. This is quite a theatrical experience.


Victor Hallett



Reviewed by: Victor Hallett

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