Posts Tagged ‘Hoipolloi’

For this show, Shon Dale-Jones has stripped it back to pure storytelling – no other characters, no props, no sound or lighting. It proves to be as captivating, but more unpredictable. That barometer of whether I’ll like something, the Standard’s Fiona Mountford, hated it, so it must be good – and it is.

He links the story of his childhood obsession with Robin Hood and his present day preoccupation with unfairness. The early story takes in under-11’s football, the relationship between his dad and grandma, 70’s politics and a bank robbery. The contemporary story takes in protest, arrest, therapy and his perilous financial state. It seems to move between the two randomly, but it’s clearly well made theatre. The big surprise is the genuine emotion, anger and passion on display, which sometimes makes you uncomfortable, whilst at the same time underlining its integrity.

This is the sixth of his shows I’ve seen. It’s just as charming, just as eccentric and as off-the-wall as the rest, but somehow more edgy. You never know how much of the story is true, but it doesn’t matter as it’s an effective combination of personal, ethical and political themes. He leaves you suggesting you donate (and top up) the difference between the actual ticket price and the normal ticket price (his profit) to Street Child United. He didn’t rob the rich, but persuaded them (us) to part with some dosh nonetheless.

A true original .

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It’s so hard to categorise, describe and review Hugh Hughes, the alter ego of Welsh ’emerging artist’ Shon Dale-Jones. This is the fourth of his shows I’ve seen since coming across him at the Edinburgh fringe with a piece called Floating, about the day Anglesey floated off into the Atlantic Ocean! In essence, he’s a storyteller, many of whose stories are, or seem to be, biographical. He’s also quirky, charming, and completely off-the-wall.

His new show is part of a project about memories. Take a look at the web site that is also part of the project www.invisibletownstories.co.uk and you’ll probably get a flavour of the eccentricity of it all. He’s on stage with his ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ , a keyboard player and a technician. They talk about and recreate memories, with some on video, that are ignited by their ‘mother’s’ illness and subsequent home move. They cover their childhood, their relationships as children and adults, their dead father and their family home.

It’s a slower burn than usual but when it draws you in you are captivated and enthralled and you find yourself delving into your own memories. There’s a lot of warmth and a lot more depth than it seems at first. I would imagine some people find it difficult, but I find it an oasis of uniqueness in a copycat world and a highly addictive habit which, after four shows, I now feel I have developed. I’m now thinking ‘whatever next’ and I can’t wait to find out.

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