35 Times is a six hander, immersive piece about domestic violence, set in a woman’s refuge in the Welsh Valleys. The story was written by Bethan Morgan, by taking personal stories of women, over a vast range of ages, who have been physically and mentally abused by men.
It is very hard to watch a piece of immersive theatre, about such a sensitive topic and be brutally honest about the piece, without the feeling of insulting the people who these stories were based on. I honestly felt that this story could have been told better. As a man I felt ‘abused’ myself by the end of the play, which made me less sympathetic. I was made to feel that all men and horrible human beings, young and old, and that we all beat women. The play really lacked a positive male character to almost show light at the end of the tunnel.
The play also had no plot and was often ‘over directed’. There was often too much movement taking place while powerful monologues were being delivered. At times I wished there was just a spot light on the character telling her story and nothing else. Sometimes less is a lot more powerful. I also felt that all the characters were trying too hard to prove something. A suggestion of something that did happen, is often a lot more powerful than being told to the tune of ‘Hopelessly Devoted to you’, that your husband spread your legs, pinned you downed and raped you. The juxtaposition is not lost. However it made a humorous moment, rather than shocking.
I feel that this story has insight to offer what goes through the thought processes of women in this horrible position but as a piece of theatre, I feel this piece needs some work to reach out to wider audiences.
Theatr Y Parc a’r Dar Treorci
Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy CF42 6NL
Medi 12 September 1.00pm
03000 040 444 £8/£5
Theatr Riverfront, Casnewydd
Riverfront Theatre, Newport NP20 1HG
Medi 14 September 10:30am + 19:45pm (Audio Described)
01633 656679 £12/£10
Sefydliad Y Glowyr Coed Duon
Blackwood Miners Institute NP12 1AA
Medi 17 September 7.00pm
01485 227206 £12.50/£10.50
Drill Hall Cas-Gwent
Chepstow Drill Hall NP16 5HJ
Medi 18 September 7.30pm
Redhouse Merthyr CF47 8AE
Medi 25 – 26 September 10.30am + 7.30pm
01685 384111 £7
Coleg Caerdydd a’r Fro, Heol Dumballs
Cardiff and Vale College, Dumballs Rd CF10 5FE
Medi 27 – 28 September 10.30am, 2pm + 7.30pm (BSL 28th @ 7.30pm)
Ystafelloedd Paget, Penarth
Penarth Paget Rooms CF64 3EG
Hydref 3 October 7.30pm £12/£10
Theatr y Grand Abertawe
Swansea Grand Arts Wing SA1 3QJ
Hydref 5 – 6 October 7.15pm, 2pm
01792 475715 £11/£9