Before the pantomime dames take their final bows and a new year of touring theatre shows begins, Entertainment South wales looks back on the theatre of 2017. Andy Howells recalls five of his favourite moments at South Wales venues during the year.
Not About Heroes, Newport Riverfront
“It’s the feeling that is put into the recitations of Owen and Sassoon’s writings interspersed with the on-going story that give this production further appeal. While Iestyn Arwel recites Owen’s letters home to his mother, Daniel Llewellyn -William’s interjects with fragments of Sassoon’s own war poetry. This creates a sense of personalisation with both characters, bringing them and their words to life.”
Cilla – The Musical, New Theatre, Cardiff
“Kara Lily Hayworth fully embodies the persona and spirit of the young Cilla through sassiness, song and performance. Her transformation from Cavern Club rocker to pop balladeer is pure magic, while her rendition of Anyone Who Had a Heart is a real hair standing on end moment. Hayworth achieves this time and again as the musical progresses bringing Cilla’s greatest hits including You’re My World, Alfie and Step Inside Love back into the live forum after so many decades.”
Slava’s Snow Show, Wales Millennium Centre
“As the lights came on and Slava Polunin stepped on to the stage in an oversized yellow clown outfit allowing his form to shift and change with animated fashion. It soon became apparent why this theatrical production has gained popularity with adults and children around the world.
Taking snapshots of comedy inspiration from Marcelle Marceau and Charlie Chaplin, the humour, sketches and stories are all stitched together by the universal language of mime.”
The Ghost’s Touch, New Theatre, Cardiff
“A good imagination fuelled by (Mark) Homer and (Terri) Dwyer’s strong believability enables the audience to see the invisible characters through their minds eye and it becomes apparent as the play reaches a climatic crescendo of emotion towards the second half that there’s a very good reason why The Ghost’s Touch works as a two-hand performance.”
Just Like That! The Tommy Cooper Show, Newport Riverfront
“John Hewer as Tommy Cooper, complete with suit and fez got three notable bouts of laughter from the audience before he said anything. When the laughter stopped, he began, “I can tell if an audience is going to be good or bad… Goodnight!”. The audience laughed more and the spirit of Tommy Cooper was well and truly back home in South Wales…”.