John McGrath and the National Theatre of Wales started five years ago at Blackwood Miners Institute with 'A Good Night Out in the Valleys.' Last night at the Merthyr Labour Club they gave me and the rest of the first night audience a GREAT NIGHT OUT IN THE VALLEYS!
The evening started with karaoke tunes, a theme which carried on throughout the night - both in the play and in the Labour Club bar!
Dafydd James skillfully transports Brechts songs into modern age tunes and Ed Thomas' superb adaptation brings his muscular Valleys language to the text- including many 'Old English' words rarely spoken by 'ladies.' These particular ladies, however, are some of our finest Welsh actresses playing Soldiers, Spies and Scavengers, all dealing with the ravages of War.
An excellent cast throughout are ably assisted by members of the local community during the play, and Rhian Morgan carries the action with an outstanding performance as Mother Courage. She brings laughter and tears as she deals with the hardships and struggle of survival, despite losing her children one by one to the brutality and folly of War.
I urge you all to see this 'Not to be Missed' production it's a ***** (That's not 'Old English' it's five stars!)
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