Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – until 25 November 2017
Guest reviewer: Elisha Harris
Tiger Bay is a prime example of ‘deeds not words’. I am a Cardiff girl myself so to be able to return to my home City and watch the most beautifully portrayed musical, about the history of my heritage was just magical.
Every cast member had exactly the right accent, whether natural or not and it was held throughout. They truly captured the Welsh essence needed to make the show as authentic as it could be. The songs are beautiful and reminded me a little of Sweeney Todd at times.
Love, passion and heartbreak are just three of the elements that bring this radiant story together. The storyline is quite similar to Les Miserables in the way it develops; just substitute the french with the Welsh and you’re halfway there!
I was blown away by the voices of each and every cast member in this production, but the two that stood out for me have to have been Vikki Bebb and John Owen-Jones who play Rowena Pryddy and John (Third Marquess of Bute). Owen-Jones portrays a stern, powerful Marquess yet when he sings, it is tear-jerking and the contrast between the two is stunning. His emotion, and passion during each moment of his performance had me welling up in seconds. He most definitely lived up to what I expected and more.
Bebb, from the moment she started singing took my breath away. From hnote-perfectect harmonies to her precisely timed dancing, she stole the show. I couldn’t think of anyone better to bring the character of Rowena to life- she does a beautiful job.
I had the pleasure of having little Ruby Llewelyn as Ianto for the performance I attended, had you not opened your eyes, you’d never believe she was merely 11 years old. Her confidence and empowering stage presence is overwhelmingly brilliant and she has the sweetest voice -worth the trip alone.
There are an additional 10 ‘waterboys’ in the cast ranging from ages 10-14, each brought such character and the harmonies were absolutely mesmirising.
Zoë George as one of the shop girls is highly impressive also, with her beautiful voice and stage presence. I have seen her in a few other productions over the years and she never disappoints! All I can say is the casting director deserves a pat on the back, as each and every role was cast to perfection.
Playing at Cardiff Millennium Centre until 25th of November. Tiger Bay is a true gem, and you’d be a fool to miss it!
photo credit: Polly Thomas