There is something to be said for being able to offer that as a response when being asked what you’re doing after work.
Mr. and Mrs. Laughton is the third such offering from a partnership between Sherman Cymru and Òran Mór, and my first outing for such a concept.It was great- because it’s such a great concept.
I love that the Sherman are offering another point to access the theatre- for me, they’ve proven they do great children’s theatre, they do great ‘proper’ theatre, and they have the studio to offer shorter, punchier theatre.
And now I’ve discovered ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’. What could be better than finishing work, popping across to the Sherman, and being fed and watered before having your fill of great theatre. And then, you can be home with enough time to enjoy the evening. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Mr. and Mrs. Laughton. As I wave my hand in the air and declare I can’t recall ever overhearing the names Charles Laughton or Elsa Lanchester. So, I imagine it must have been even better if point of references were understood.
But for me, it was all the elements coming together. Steven McNicholl as Charles Laughton is masterful; bumbling, commanding and a thespian, the performance carefully stays on the side of engaging, the genius of the humour behind reading one’s review was a real moment, but there were many other elements of humour successfully entwined to maintain an empathy with the character.
I loved Abigail McGibbon’s portrayal of Elsa Lanchester. Undoubtedly there is much intrigue here, not least around our changing times, that this relationship would be acceptable to Elsa, the complexity of a woman’s need to marry- yet lose her career due to it, that for all the judgement in the world if love underpins action, there should be no question.Directed by Gethin Evans, a fantastic canvas has been created for Michael-Alan Reed’s script. The set is cleverly designed by Johnathan Scott to allow focus to the meaningful elements of the story, with Ross Kirkland’s lighting and Andy Cowan’s sound, the underpinning emotion of the dialogue was underlined, without overpowering.
The Sherman has added another string to Cardiff’s bow, another way to enjoy the theatre, and fortunately quality theatre, which leaves you wanting to read, wanting to explore and wanting to see when you might next be able to enjoy a play, a pie and a pint.
Mr. and Mrs. Laughton is at the Sherman Cymru until March 12th.
Disclosure: I was invited to the performance for the purposes of this review. All opinions and views are my own.