After starting this little blog only five months ago, I’ve been invited to some fantastic shows and events. I’ve had tickets to the ballet, Shakespeare, site-specific dance, political comedies and daringly realistic plays. I could not be more grateful that these fantastic, exciting theatres and companies have wanted me to review their brilliant shows; the arts scene in Cardiff is superb, and something I am incredibly passionate about, so to be able to express my opinion on it is a wonderful feeling.
So in good New Year fashion I have decided to post my “top five” events of 2013. Here’s to many more inspiring shows in 2014!
5) Cedar Lake
Contemporary ballet is my favourite form of dance, and Cedar Lake ticked every single box for me. The New York dance company are known for their edgy, adventurous performances, daring to be different whilst providing exceptional talent through their awe-inspiring dancers. This trio of performances was exciting, dynamic and captivating. The time flew by, leaving me wanting more from this exciting company. And more I certainly got, as a few weeks later I won a signed programme from the team – perfect!
In October I followed the first Takeover Cardiff (put on by British Council Wales). I interviewed three fantastic international artists and then attended the day long event before writing a review of the whole event. The event was thought-provoking and touching; a showcase of young talent in South Wales, it took artists to the iconic cultural hubs of Cardiff. These were kids that would normally not be given the platform to play out their talent. British Council Wales gave them the chance to throw it into the public’s attention. The day left me feeling like anything was possible if only you have the passion, confidence and drive to achieve it. A stunning event which I will always remember.
Although not technically a performance, I can’t have a write up of 2013 without mentioning The Selfish Giant. Clio Barnard’s modern adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s fairy tale classic affected me in a way that I’m not sure a film ever has before. It was poignantly beautiful and utterly raw, leaving me quite literally breathless in the closing scenes. It is a film that didn’t shy away from the uncomfortable truths encapsulating modern society, whilst reflecting the most delicate friendships and love in a superb way.
Last month I was invited to a rather unusual show. The advertising around it gave little away. I had no idea what to expect… but always keen to see something new, I went into it with an open mind and intrigue. What I experienced was something I could never have expected. An Anatomy in Four Quarter’s was spellbinding, exquisitely intelligent and overwhelmingly consuming. A mesmerizing combination of drama, music, dance and spoken word, the performance brought the audience into the performance and took us on a journey through the anatomy of the body and the theatre. It really was an exceptional experience, and one of those performances that days later still left you questioning the deep messages behind every movement.
There is no doubt for me that the highlight of 2013 was Parallel Lines by Dirty Protest theatre company. The powerful play depicted the gritty and forbidden relationship between a seemingly perfect teacher and an under privileged student, set on the simple set of two parallel kitchens. Everything about this play was superb; the acting, the script, the direction… it all fell together in a fantastic presentation of class, truth and relationships. The deeply disturbing subject matter was portrayed with maturity, authenticity and skill; Katherine Chandler truly has a talent for the written word. I cannot do this play justice; but what I can say is I cannot wait to throw myself into more of Dirty Protest in 2014.
I hope you all have a beautiful New Year! Let me know of any shows that have made your 2013 special… and remember, email me if you would like me to review any of your shows in 2014! Peace!