Cardiff Boy is a short play written by Kevin Jones and is focused on his upbringing in the city as the turn of the 21st century nears. The one-person performance explores subjects like the highs and lows of friendship, about the selfishness but also about the laughs and love shared between friends.
Jones’s monologue also addresses the issue of toxic masculinity in a way that allows the audience to see aspects of themselves within the main character and his peers. It leaves you feeling captivated as you are taken on an emotional rollercoaster by actor Jack Hammett, through the pub-like configuration of the Other Room theatre as he dances around and into your personal space and all to the sound of late 90s tunes.
Directed by Matthew Holmquist, the short performance takes many turns, leaving you feeling more and more attached to the character and with the sense that you’ve known him for years. The awkward jabbering and teenage traits are something that will resonate with many and was clearly something that the crowd related to. Being a Welsh play set in Wales you could also see the fond looks on the faces of the crowd as their local neighbourhoods and former residences were mentioned and they could relate closer to the actor’s words.
I feel that, often, a monologue can seem contrived, and feel like the character is trying too hard to be something they are not. This wasn’t the case with Cardiff Boy. In fact, it was the complete opposite; the performance was gritty, yet light and it felt real, it felt as if you were actually there at the time.
It was a brilliant performance that I would recommend to anyone.
Cardiff Boy was originally developed by Chippy Lane Productions as a part of their Chippy Lane Scratch.
Red Oak Theatre
At The Other Room until November 11