Brett Herriot Review

Eye of The Storm, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh Review:

Eye of The Storm, 

**** 4 Stars

A Truth that touches the soul of humanity in all of us”

For Emmie Price (the sublime Rosey Cale) life in the welsh valleys is tough, 15 years old, taking care of her mother who battles her own mental health in the face of the living on the breadline. Emmie has big dreams to change the world through a love of science and developing a way of harnessing the power of a hurricane to generate electricity leads her to discover the big way to change the world around her is to live the biggest of dreams.

This is a production which has been in development since 2004 when welsh company Theatr na nOg held workshops with local single carers and over time thanks to the powerful writing and direction of Geinor Styles and music and lyrics of Amy Wadge this has indeed become a production with a deep sense of truth that touches the soul of humanity in all of us.

Performed by a wonderfully talented troupe of actor musicians, Kieran Bailey, Dan Bottomley, Rose Cale, Llinos Daniel, Caitlin McKee, Dan Miles, Barnaby Southgate (also Musical Director) and James William Pattison combine together to take the audience on an emotional journey that’s always grounded in the reality that we all face in day to day life. Although both Cale and Daniel stand out with a high polished performance of the multi layered Mother and Daughter at the heart of the story. There ability to deliver a multi layered and intricate relationship is both gripping and moving in equal measure.

This is a charming production that sparkles thanks to the production design from Carl Davies that allows the action to flow easily from campsite, to school room and all points in between with ease. Its further enhanced by clever use of AV from Andy Pike and an intimate lighting design from Elanor Higgins. Mike Beer sound design does deliver but there were issues on the night with mic’s dropping out and late cues on the sound desk. These are minor quibbles that will hopefully dissipate as the production beds in.

The success of this production lies in the writing of both the book and the music and lyrics, the sense of truth the pervades it comes across the footlights and genuinely touches the audience and makes us think on many levels. The story tackles human connections as well as what we as humans are doing to the planet around us with the constant battle with single use plastics.

It truly a refreshing change to see innovative new musical theatre writing that doesn’t have to rely on star casting or west end transferability but instead relies on a human story, excellent performances from a stellar cast and a production team that believes with a passion in the ability to move the audience in the most beautiful of ways.

Eye of the storm is a truly must see show and if the technical quibbles can be sorted it’s a sure fire five-star affair. For an emotional, truthful and honest musical journey get down to kings before this storm passes.

Theatr na nOg in collaboration with Swansea Grand Theatre presents “Eye of the Storm”, Runs until Saturday 21st September, UK tour continues. For tickets go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/eye-of-the-storm

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