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Posts Tagged ‘Alistair McGowan’

Dylan Thomas’ ‘play for voices’ was never meant to be staged, but it was meant to be listened to rather than read. The staging here is minimal, though you are seeing the characters and the narrator, but they haven’t attempted to match them by age, sex, shape or size, and voices come from all directions, sometimes from unseen characters. Somehow that makes it feel like it was meant to be.

If you’re Welsh, like me, it may occupy a special place in your heart. I have no idea what it’s like if you’re not, so this is one Welshman’s subjective view. It’s the aural equivalent of an impressionist painting of life in a small Welsh seaside town. The characters are archetypes rather than caricatures; you recognise aspects and characteristics of people you may have known. A list of products in a shop raises a smile of recognition which sometimes becomes a wave of nostalgia. It’s music to the ears, words put together beautifully, making something that’s often funny, sometimes rude and always evocative. It’s an expression of Welshness in a time gone by.

Alistair McGowan narrates as ‘the voice’ and five other performers create the thirty-seven residents of the cheekily names Llareggub (try it backwards). There are changes of lighting, some sound effects, children’s voices and the odd scarf or other piece of clothing, but no set or props. A pose or expression are the only addition to the voices. It made me feel cosy, warm and nostalgic. Lovely.

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