… But the swans have don’t they’ And it’s true, they do. Not the Worst Place, a three-way collaboration from producing powers, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Sherman Cymru and Paines Plough, see’s pregnant teenager Emma coming to terms with the path paved in front of her. Set in front of a striking, cleverly lit backdrop, the well designed stage transports it’s audience from the Sherman’s studio space to the Swansea seaside.
Alongside hopeless boyfriend, Rhys, who can wonkily knit and and claims to be an expert in blagging, Emma is looking for an escape route from the life that Swansea has planned for her. With her overbearing, academic mother, and hypochondriac younger brother, Emma (played by Rachel Redford) compares her life to that of a Greek myth, and the battles she faces in the decision between her home security and boyfriend Rhys. Although the fascination with Greek mythology isn’t entirely clear and leaves the story a little muddled, despite the repeated links to Swans and tales of Zeus from her childhood.
Despite the reality of the context, the production as a whole was lacking grit and rawness for me. With little pause in the quick paced dialect to allow the audience to connect with the dysfunctional group of characters, the direction seemed to touch on some glimmers of hope and beauty and glaze over others. However, clever performances from some of the younger cast members and a witty debut from Sam Burns, it will be interesting to keep an eye out for her in the future.
Not the worst place runs at Sherman Cymru until Saturday evening.