Red Oak Theatre – Cardiff Boy
The Other Room, Porter’s Bar
Friday 2nd November 2018
We are all a product to our surroundings. Well, at least we are told this and those around us have a huge impact on our upbringing. Cardiff Boy by Kevin Jones is a local trip down memory lane for all those 90s kids, millennials who lived off the music of the time. Here our Cardiff Boy is played by Jack Hammett, going through all sorts of exploits, growing up in an ever changing city.
Jones’ script is powerful in its vivid recounting of a Cardiff long gone and music of the era which complements the mood of our boy. There is plenty of humour, much of which through how his friends would act and random people that they might encounter. A telling monologue where he recounts a bygone summer, as he captures the photographic defining moment of a sunset, as dream pop synths sooth. There are some elements of bromance heard from the character as he speaks of some male friends with a nearly affectionate nature.
The set by April Dalton is a super realistic vision of an old grimy Cardiff pub, with stools, chairs and random carpet colours. The Other Room has never looked so open than here, just as much as it was effectively compact for Constellation Street. Photographs are wrapped around the space, as he proves his worth as an “artsy fartsy” photographer of worth. Lighting by Ryan Stafford is a challenging array of dance floor hysteria and smooth colour schemes, a brilliant set of tricks for the small space we were in.
Jack Hammett does a convincing jack the lad type here. His Cardiff accent is almost there, though some odd inflections were hard to see as locally convincing. His bravado is what makes him so likably, cheeky in his mannerisms, as he floats around us all. He captures the ageless teenage angst with aplomb and often bring a smile to our faces and laughter to the air.
Since this work started off at a scratch night, it feels it has developed into a fuller piece, with some fond memories of Cardiff and Matthew Holmquist does a lovely job of bring all these components together.
Weeping Tudor Productions present Bernstein Bash! At St Edward’s Church, Cardiff on Saturday 1st December 2018. Join us for songs from West Side Story, Candide and other shows. Expect recital songs and also stimulating piano piece. Join us for the rumble! Book here
Photo Credit: Kirsten McTernan