National Theatre Wales

Edfest Bouquets 2016

 

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31/08/16

It’s been another amazing August for us at Bouquets & Brickbats. We’re exhausted after a month of non-stop theatre and comedy! We have seen some absolutely fantastic stuff, covering a huge range of ideas. Here’s our pick of the best we’ve seen at this year’s Fringe:

Drama Bouquets

  1. Neontopia / Wales Millennium Centre – A Good Clean Heart by Alun Saunders
  2. Aurora Nova – The Blind Date Project by Bojana Novakovic
  3. Rainbow Class by Vivienne Acheampong
  4. Gaggle Babble / National Theatre Wales – Wonderman by Daf James
  5. Something for the Weekend – Royal Vauxhall by Desmond O’Connor

Monologue Bouquets

  1. NJC Productions – The Way the City Ate the Stars by Will Greenway
  2. George Dillon – Stunning the Punters (& Other Stories) by Berkoff, Sproat and Dostoevsky
  3. Lorenzo Novani – Cracked Tiles by Lorenzo Novani
  4. Impi Theatre Company – The South Afreakins by Robyn Paterson
  5. Berk’s Nest – Vaudeville by Tom Neenan

Stand-up Comedy Bouquets

  1. Bridget Christie – Mortal
  2. Sarah Kendall – Shaken 
  3. Loyiso Gola – Dude, Where’s My Lion?
  4. Garrett Millerick – The Dreams Stuff is Made Of
  5. John Robertson – Arena Spectacular

‘Ones to Watch Out For’ Bouquets

  1. Phosporos Theatre – Dear Home Office
  2. Chris Dugdale – Full Circle
  3. Flabbergast Theatre – Tatterdemalion
  4. Teateri – Evil by Jesper Arin
  5. Amy Howerska – Smashcat
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Yuri

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24/08/16

Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh

Who is Yuri? It’s a good question and one that lies at the heart of this entertaining and unsettling farce from August012, in association with Chapter Arts Centre and the National Theatre Wales. Maybe he’s exactly what he appears to be – a teenage Russian orphan, discovered by Adele (Carys Eleri) sitting amidst the pretty Christmas things in Lidl, all ready to be taken home. Or perhaps he symbolises the inevitable fears and anxieties visited upon any couple when they become parents for the first time, bringing a demanding, wordless stranger into their home and relationship. In any case, Adele and her husband, Patrick (Ceri Murphy), have been wanting a child for ages and now, it would seem, they have been blessed with one. But Yuri (Guto Wynne-Davis), is challenging to say the very least…

Despite being staged in one of the scuzziest venues on the Fringe, Yuri is a warm, absurd and, in many respects, rather scary play, that exerts a powerful pull on the audience’s emotions. The cast work hard to embody their characters – and do a fabulous job of it. There is a certain deftness at play here, which makes the complex issues at the heart of this piece seem somehow light and whimsical. It’s fascinating to watch. We might not always be entirely sure of what’s going on, but by golly, we aren’t bored for one moment.

This is a challenging piece that’s well worth seeking out.

4.8 stars

Philip Caveney and Susan Singfield