Thomas Howells reviews Luke Hereford’s one-man show, Grandmother’s Closet performed at Wales Millennium Centre’s Weston Studio.
“Grandmother’s Closet”, an autobiographical musical one-man show performed by Luke Hereford is an interesting and very funny performance. I found it incredibly enjoyable and I’m certain everybody else did too.
The autobiographical musical recalls 28-year-old Luke’s stories and experiences he’s shared with his grandmother while struggling to grow up in a tight-knit South Wales community. “Nan” is not only Luke’s champion, but also his friend who supports him through his queer childhood.
Grandmother’s Closet covers a broad range of intimate and fun stories from including his first Pride event. At first, these take on the form of addressing a family gathering, before becoming more directly addressed to Luke’s Nan. This displays the strong relationship both family members share.
The set is minimalist, but natural, multifunctioning as both a closet and a bedroom. Everything looks very real and organised, as a grandmother’s bedroom may be expected to be! The set is also reminiscent of an entrance for a drag show or fashion gala enabling the subject to show off their many extravagant dresses and outfits.
Every outfit Luke wears is perfectly selected for each scene and the piano-accompanied takes of songs by Judy Garland, Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Kate Bush. All were enjoyed by many in the LGBT community and made for an experience frequently lost in theatre, while maintaining a respect and love for the music.
It’s undeniable that Luke Hereford’s talent is an integral part of the show and that stands out prominently. His shameless portrayal of many scenes is impressive and shows real passion for the art of acting. He speaks and behaves very casually, further cementing ideas of where the action is taking place.
Grandmother’s Closet is one of the best performances I’ve ever seen for its intimacy, honesty and realism. The presentation deserves 70 minutes of any theatre-goers time and is undoubtedly a sneak preview of even greater presentations to come from Luke.
Grandmother’s Closet continues until April 23 2022. For ticket details visit Wales Millennium Centre’s website.