A Regular Little Houdini
A family queuing to see A Regular Little Houdini were talking excitedly about what magic tricks and feats of escapology they were hoping to see. They clearly hadn’t done their research but, by the end of the show, they were talking animatedly about what a feat of storytelling they had just enjoyed.
Apart from a few skilful magic tricks woven into the narrative, A Regular Little Houdini is a spell-binding one-man show telling the story of a boy’s life in Newport in South Wales in the first decade of the 20th century. It is written and performed by actor Daniel Llewelyn-Williams, himself from Newport, who plays the young man recalling his early life and childhood obsession with Harry Houdini, the iconic American escapologist. With few props and lots of imagination, it transports you back to the tough working-class world of a family whose livelihood depends on the docks. It starts slowly but, through the strength of Llewelyn-Williams’ performance and writing, you are soon gripped by his tale as it builds in excitement, mixing heart-breaking tragedy with uplifting hope about human endurance. Directed by Joshua Richards, it is a beautifully crafted show that casts a spell that stays with you long after it is over.