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Llwyth (Tribe)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Don't get me wrong: Dafydd James' play is well written and finely directed, and it has excellent performances. It's a tale of four gay Welsh friends on an eventful night out, during which relationships are strained to breaking point and a new arrival causes friction within the group. Danny Grehan as the older Dada and Joshua Price as the teenager Gavin give exceptional performances. But I've got two main concerns about the show.

First is the decision to present it in Welsh and English, often mixed up within the same sentence with rapid switches between the two languages. There are surtitles throughout (even for the English text) but the fact that the dialogue constantly changes back and forth means you have to read them all the way through, which takes a bit of getting used to.

Secondly, its presentation of gay lives hardly does anything to dispel the stereotypes that we are all sex-mad scene queens who spend our lives snorting coke and picking up meat at nightclubs. And its underlying message - which seems to be that gay friends can be as strong as family - while positive is hard to accept after the destructive and questionable behaviour depicted during the play. It left me disappointed by its lack of ambition.

- David Kettle


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