In the Pipeline
A Paines Plough / Òran Mór Production
Part of the A Play, A Pie and a Pint series Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Three monologues, all quite distinct, but linked by the context of the new gas pipeline in a Welsh village and by a style that bears a passing resemblance to Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. Andrew (Rhodir Lewis) is a young train vendor, Dai (Grahame Foxe) a middle-aged power station worker and Joan (Meg Wynn Owen) an older lady living in the country.
The storytellers range from very animated: Andrew moves around all over the room explaining his failures, mainly in relationships with other people due to his insecurities, to the still but intense Dai, and then ending with the very still Joan seated and reading for the whole of her story. This shift does not unbalance the piece as there is no less energy in the later stages and it moves from tragic to more uplifting.
All three performers held the audience well although through different means, Lewis is a great talker, his lines flowing fluidly like a conversation. However I felt Dai's monologue was the meatiest, a tale of redundancy and so much unluckiness that really made you feel for the chap. He was not just the character it was easiest to empathise with; there was also a radical critique of our treatment of skilled workers and employment in general today.
Joan's was a strange little modern fairytale, but after the frustrations of the two men, it was soothing to end with some escapism.
Until 2nd October
Peter Lathan reviewed this production at Live Theatre, Newcastle
Reviewer: Seth Ewin