Sunday, June 4, 2023
The Prince of Wales review

The Prince of Wales review

It’s got history, humour and high jinks.And the end result is slightly hysterical in a highly amusing way.

The new play from Buggerall author Jon Tregenna is a fast-moving, cleverly-staged development of a radical idea. What if there is a descendant of the last great Welsh king, Llywelyn Ap Gruffudd?

Will it be the end of the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles?

Will it spark a constitutional crisis?

There’s razor-sharp humour in sackloads played across a backdrop of serious themes about Welsh nationhood, friendship, mistaken identity, love, passion and the consumer culture. Throw in a few swipes about a pretentious arts and media culture and you have a bubbling Welsh cocktail which fizzes and delights through one long act with multiple scene changes. The Welsh love their heroes – and the discovery of a descendant of Llywelyn Ap Gruffudd living secretly in a West Wales town sparks a whole host of questions for the nation.

Have the Welsh people been waiting for the day when a great nation will rise again?

Is the 2017 ‘Llewellyn’ up to the job of being a new hero?

How has the secret of his identity been preserved by the shadowy group of colourful Druid-like Elders? (Elders, by the way, who are described by play director Chris Rees as a cross between Hot Fuzz and The Vicar of Dibley.)

The Prince of Wales is an irreverent dance through some very hot topics. It’s occasionally frantic, but it’s very funny.


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