Review: Rape of the Fair Country, Swansea Grand Theatre
Rape of the Fair Country
Swansea Grand Theatre
FOR some Welsh men, beating the old enemy in the Six Nations title decider last weekend was a matter of life and death.
But a much more literal life and death encounter between the two sides was fought out on stage in Clwyd Theatr Cymru's new production of Alexander Cordell's Rape of the Fair Country, the seminal tale a 19th Century iron-making community who fight back against their oppressors
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From the staggering drunkards to the gossiping busybodies, the working class people of Blaenavon were brought to vibrant life by a strong cast who fought, slept and died together as they struggled to deal with the ever-increasing complexities and hardships of their lives.
Leading man Sion Ifan did a wonderful job of driving the narrative as Isetyn Mortymer, who develops from a bright-eyed eight-year-old into a hardened fighter.
Swansea-born actor Christian Patterson, who played several roles, shone as Tomos Traherne, a booming and blunt priest who's bleak and honest outlook set the tone of the production.
Special mention should go to the ingenious set, which saw smoke and fire spewing from the ground in scenes more reminiscent of something from Lord of the Rings than a dreary Welsh mountain. A captivating, powerful production.