My Body Welsh
Tara Robinson and Steffan Donnelly
Invertigo Theatre, Pontio and The Conker Group
Maybe it’s just me, but the thought of a consideration of national identity in the current climate was not top of my list of ways to shake off the January blues.
However, it’s good to report that Steffan Donnelly’s one-man show couldn’t be further from any negatives and is a thoroughly engrossing meditation on myth, folklore and what makes us what we are. Or more accurately, what doesn’t.
The tone for the evening is set as you enter the theatre and Donnelly is mingling with the audience before embarking on a part-bilingual performance of smart and light-hearted prose.
The story, not that it matters, is centred on the apparent discovery of a skeleton in a well that is on land that is disputed between Jones and Davies. However, the real beauty is this a just a canvas for Donnelly to doodle on as he gently leads us through a range of situations and ever-shifting scenarios.
With a blend of wit and vulnerability, you can’t help but warm to Donnelly, a self-confessed tall and skinny Welshman, as he muses on the Mabinogion and delves into druidic legend. This is a compelling performance and he is very much a ball of energy, utilising a range of everyday objects as props.
An intriguing element of the performance is the use of these props, often involving audience participation, and the recording of them to create a unique soundscape for each performance.
This is a gentle yet relevant production that examines one of the burning themes of our times in a witty, original and ultimately mature fashion.
Reviewer: Dave Jennings