Review: Magnificent Myths of the Mabinogi

Review: Magnificent Myths of the Mabinogi

17 April 2009

Tuesday, 17th April 2009 at Pontardawe Arts Centre

Celtic magic came to the Swansea Valley this week with this delightful show from Class Act Theatre Productions, a youth company best known for its high quality versions of popular musicals such as High School Musical and Les Miserables.

Never has the sumptuous auditorium of this beautiful venue been used to such great effect as it was here: no less than 130 youngsters filled the stage which was extended with a catwalk to bring the audience closer to the action and flitted in and out of the aisles, both upstairs and downstairs. The logistics must have been a nightmare, but not one of the performers missed a cue.

Director Jill Williams has a talent for bringing out the individual character of every single performer on stage, even if they are simply in a crowd scene: it is fascinating to see the animation with which each player goes through their paces, and this was certainly the case here.

In this instance, it is impossible to single out individuals for praise as this was very much a team effort and the performers were credited as a group in the programme instead of being listed as a cast of characters. Suffice to say that the entire company had clearly worked hard towards making the show a success, and the results of their efforts were up there on the stage for all to see.

Sadly, the Mabinogion is not as widely known as it should be I am ashamed to say that I only knew about the legend of Bloddeuedd from a 1960s TV series called The Owl Service but this was a fabulous way of getting these magical stories across to a wider audience.

Written by Manon Eames with a haunting musical score from Dyfan Jones, this was a wonderfully accessible and slick production which went down a storm with a capacity crowd.

Graham Williams
South Wales Evening Post

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