Welsh theatre company, Living Pictures is producing a new comedy drama, Say When, about one man’s ‘Wrestle’ with all things diet, and tours across South Wales this autumn.
Set in the present day, this solo, darkly comedic piece examines the travails that an ordinary, middle aged man faces when wrestling with the battle of the bulge.
Performed and created by award winning actor, director and onetime wrestler Robert Bowman, this piece sets out to entertain and inform.
Robbie wakes up choking in the middle of the night. He fights for breath struggling to understand what has gripped his body. The attack subsides, but the shock remains. Looking in the mirror he sees a bloated stomach and body, much like his Dad’s. He swore he wasn’t going to be like his Dad. How did he get here and did that doughnut just wink at him?
Say When looks at weight loss, the diet and food industries, wrestling, the environment, Native Americans and Robbie’s relationship with his Dad.
This is the third solo piece Robert will have performed in, having previously performed in Living Pictures award winning Diary of a Madman, which toured Wales and Internationally. He has also performed in and will be touring Paul Whittaker’s Gods and Kings this autumn throughout South Wales. Say When is directed by Elen Bowman, who has directed for National Theatre Wales, Theatre Genedlaethol Cymru, Sherman Cymru and for film and television.
Robert said, “What started as a project about weight loss has led me down many rabbit holes of discovery, both personally and globally with a side salad of existentialism thrown in for good measure. There is more to this losing weight lark than meets the eye. We want to share this with audiences as an entertaining and thought-provoking piece and also with the after-show discussions where we can share more of the facts we encountered while working on this project.”
Following the performance at each venue, there will be a panel discussion with representatives from the diet, health, environment and political worlds, who will discuss with audiences some of the themes explored in the play.
Although a solo piece, voice over will be used in the piece with Alexa being voice by Elen Bowman and Living Pictures are excited to confirm that John Humphrys and Iolo Williams will be providing voice overs specifically written for the piece.
The project first started with a development grant from the Chrysalis Initiative at Pontardawe Arts Centre, which was followed by a further R&D grant from ACW and is being funded with a production grant from ACW.
In addition to the performance, at each venue there will be a Foyer Installation piece that will consist of a tele screen, a comfy chair and a refrigerator, where people can encounter aspects of the project, engage in the question posed by the production and discover what is inside the fridge!
The research done on the shows and encountering peoples’ own stories about food, health and weight loss has inspired the team to create their own FAT CLUBs for MEN at the venues the show will perform at. They are for all men who want to lose weight or make a lifestyle change. We want to hear from those who have succeeded, those who’ve failed and those who are still on the road with it.
Further information about FAT CLUBS can be found by emailing Robbie Bowman on firstname.lastname@example.org
Say When will be at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff 18th – 21st September, Pontardawe Arts Centre 24th September, Torch Theatre, Milford Haven 25th and 26th September, and Ffwrnes Stwdio, Llanelli 1st and 2nd October.
Further information can be found at livingpictures.co.uk