The Hall , a new observational comedy from the pen of emerging Welsh playwright and Rhiwbina resident, Claire Erasmus, is to make its debut in Cardiff this June.
Set in a Community Hall threatened with closure, the one-act play explores the relationship that develops between three mothers, Lisa, Shaza and Mel in the weekly hour that they spend together chatting and waiting for their children.
“They say “ write what you know”, says Claire, “and in a community hall I found a perfect setting for a host of characters . I run my own theatre group, Erazzamataz, from a local community hall and as a parent waiting for my children to finish various clubs they attend I have also spent my fair share of time in many others.”
“What I love and value about these places and what makes them such an ideal setting for a drama is that you get such an eclectic group of characters thrown together under one roof . All generations, conflicting interests and eccentricities provide a hotbed for comedy.”
“The characters in my piece – Shaza , Mel and Lisa are all mothers , sat together once or twice a week because their kids go to Taekwondo and in The Hall we watch as their relationship develops. Women, particularly in my experience – open up very quickly to one another and within moments of meeting someone, you can be having a very revealing conversation about your hemorrhoids ( just an example about a friend .. someone I know .. not me .. somebody else. Definitely not me !! )
Claire reveals there’s an element of classic comedy influence which reflects motherhood in The Hall.
“I also wanted the piece to show that women are jugglers and the “Joyce Grenfell“ style interjections from the invisible children offstage are there to highlight the fact that mothers often miraculously manage to get things done and communicate with each other despite being constantly interrupted!”
Like all good comedy there are elements of The Hall that are grounded in stark realism as Claire explains.
“The Hall in this comedy is under threat from private commercial interests. Growing up in South Wales, I have watched in horror as Miners Welfare halls housing libraries, working theatres and providing social and educational opportunities for the community have been closed due to lack of funding or sold off to private enterprises! “
“The arts in our communities are under attack and halls like these dotted all around the country provide vital hubs where the arts and communities can thrive . We must protect them ! “
The Hall, while been hilarious also promises to reveal cathartic revelations about the big.. the small, the funny and the random and plays for one night only at The Tramshed, Cardiff on Wednesday 6th June.from 7.30pm
- Tickets are available from tramshedcardiff.com