Theatre

Sinners Club at The Other Room – Review

Sinners Club - Dan Messore, Lucy Rivers, Aidan Thorne (photo credit Kieran Cudlip)

“I bloody loved it.”
It’s the only place to start.

For too long I’ve wanted to go to the theatre and leave with that fire in my belly.
It’s not withstanding what’s happened between now and then. Theatre can move, theatre can be enjoyed. There is a rare experience. “I love it”.
Sinners Club is at The Other Room until 24th February (my mum’s birthday and my parents’ wedding anniversary, oh and Steve Blendell’s birthday if you want it to be pinned in your memory). 

If between now and 24th February you have an evening where you could be in Cardiff, I would get to Porter’s . I really would.

I spent today listening to Faith No More’s ‘Edge of the World’. Just because.
This is what I love about great theatre. The emotion it evokes.Sinners Club - Dan Messore, Lucy Rivers, Aidan Thorne (photo credit Kieran Cudlip)You creep into the amazing space, once again created in The Other Room. Wondering what seat will serve you best. There is no right answer. 

Mark Bailey’s design is simply amazing. The intricacies of the set grow with you within the 90 minutes of the performance time.
The wonder that every inch of the space is a story unfolding, the sound studio, every inch covered,the signage, the photos of Ruth Ellis. The pertinence.

This is the story of Ruth Ellis. 
The last woman hanged in the UK.
A woman born in Rhyl. Lived in London.

This is the story of a studio session.
Creating a soundtrack to the life of Ellis.

Introduced to The Bad Mothers. The irony unfolds. A singer and her session musicians.

At first, I was intrigued. Of actor, musician, writer, composer. 
There must be a weakness.

But no.

Lucy Rivers- actor, musician, writer, composer- sinks within your every bone.
Musician, words, emotion – sinks into your veins and envelops.Sinners Club - Lucy Rivers 1 (photo credit Kieran Cudlip)The story of Ruth Ellis unfolds, in Katy Morison’s light design, in Nic Finch’s video and projection and within the costume of Alison Hartnell.

It is delicate yet all-embracing.

The story, of the need for love, the need for choices, the need for love. 
The symbolism and extroversion.

There are moments of humour, of discomfort, of awe.
There are moments where the audience become a part of the story.

Where you are eye-balled as to your conviction.

And there are moments where you are moved to the conviction of your soul. Sinners Club - Lucy Rivers 1 (photo credit Kieran Cudlip)There are moments where I cursed myself for being so accepting when the school phoned: “You opted for your child to learn violin. It’s out of fashion. Here are some other instruments for might want to consider….” as I breathed the beauty of Lucy Rivers’. And then took comfort in her talent on the piano.

I loved the chemistry as she played alongside Dan Messore, Aidan Thorne and Tom Cottle.

The ability of Titas Halder as Director can only be applauded. Your role in the audience is as spectator, yet involved. The seeming relaxation, yet exposure to the tension created not only in Ruth Ellis’ story, but only in the tension between studio session and producer. 

There are times when the character of the singer and the story of Ruth are intangible. Where emotion starts and ends.

But with this, this music takes you, from country, to blues, to rock, and everywhere in between.

I don’t know how to recommend this.
Absorbed in the story,
Carried by the music.
It is worth the experience.
The music alone is talent.
The creation of the story, the history, the emotion- takes it beyond.

Sinners Club is a new play by Lucy Rivers, performed by The Bad Mothers. A co-production by The Other Room and Theatr Clywd.

Sinners Club is at The Other Room until 24th February 2017, with tickets available on the website.

Disclosure: I was invited to press night for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions contained are my own.

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