REVIEW: Grav , Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe ✭✭✭✭✭

Last Updated on 17th August 2022

Paul T Davies reviews Grav, a play by Owen Thomas now playing at the Gilded Balloon as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.

Grav Edinburgh Fringe

Gilded Balloon Edinburgh
Edinburgh Fringe
5 Stars
Book Tickets

Ray Gravell, Welsh rugby legend, sometime actor, and cultural icon. Played for Llanelli, 23 caps for Wales, part of the British Lions. You don’t have to be Welsh, or a rugby fan, the play is one of the universal themes of achieving your dreams, love, loss and life. It’s deeply moving yet sings with pride

A perfect script scrums down with the perfect actor. Gareth J Bale wears the role as comfortably as his rugby shirt, with a commanding voice and taking us through Grav’s life. Speaking to his dead mum from a worn dressing room, it’s a play of huge emotional depth. Central is a legendary game when Llanelli beat New Zealand 9-3 at home, the passion, the pride the glory. This contrasts beautifully with the tragedy, his leg amputated because of diabetes, and the devastating discovery of his father’s body when he was a teenager. When the tale becomes to much, Bale turns his back to us because that generation never showed their emotions in public.

For me, it was a hugely emotional experience, but don’t think this review is a rave because my Welsh heart overflowed. Every heart will fill with pride, every eye will shed a tear in this theatrical tour de force.

Aug 16-21, 23-28

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