Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

At Theatr Clwyd

Theatr Clwyd- Stone City Blue , Theatr Clwyd, Mold , November 4, 2004
At Theatr Clwyd by Theatr Clwyd- Stone City Blue I can't imagine what a trouser press ever did to Ed Thomas, but it must have been painful. He can't even mention the things without becoming steamed up. "Every time I see a trouser press, I think of them," he snarls. "They" turn out to be innocent travelling salesmen who stay in a certain class of hotel - or "businesscunts" as he prefers to call them.

Thomas is known as one of the edgiest stage, film and television writers to have emerged from Wales, though this Theatr Clwyd commission is his first theatrical outing for five years, during which time he seems to have forgotten how to write a play.

Stone City Blue has no discernible plot, setting or characters. Instead we have a quartet of young actors designated R 1-4, who scuttle around the stage in a kind of synchronised choreography, complete each other's sentences and dress like models from a casual-wear catalogue.

R1 describes herself at one point as a lapsed Christian. R3 may be a whore; R4 is possibly a failed poet while R2 is the one who has a thing about trouser presses. They communicate in a series of bilious outbursts against the corporate world interspersed with rapid-fire question-and-answer sessions of the "Who am I? What am I? and What am I doing here?" variety: to which the answer is I haven't the faintest idea nor do I particularly care.

Thomas's formal experiments would be tolerable were there some verbal acuity to match. But instead there's simply a barrage of twee formulations (do "four mes" really make an "us"?) and at the nadir, a portentous game of drama school roulette, in which one character fires at another and someone else falls over. Very much a case of shooting oneself in the Rs.

Until November 6. Box office: 0845 330 3565.

Reviewed by: Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

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