Paul T Davies reviews How To Be Brave presented by Dirty Protest Theatre at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.
Dirty Protest theatre have forged a strong identity for producing excellent work reflecting contemporary Wales and it’s people. How To Be Brave enhances that reputation, with Sian Owen’s brilliant play. Katie has gone from being a confident little girl who feared nothing to a single mum who worries about everything, and now lives back with her mum in Newport. On the day that her daughter has an operation to repair her heart, Katie flees throughout the town, unable to face the day.
It’s a tremendous performance from Laura Dalgliesh, vividly bringing to life not just every character, but the town itself. As she struggles through mud, nicks a BMX bike and faces people from her past, Katie realises she is going to have to be the bravest she has ever been. Her nemesis, police officer Gemma Tanglethwaite is a wonderful creation, and you will want to cheer Katie through her day. It’s worth the entry to find out why her nickname is Iceland and I’ve Got The Power!
Owen wrote the play for her Mum and Gran, but it’s a hymn for women everywhere and a love letter to Newport. Brought to life by the performance, the inventive choreography by Bridie Smith and Catherine Paskell’s inventive direction, this is a warm cwtch of a play that had me wiping away tears of laughter and pride. Don’t miss it!