Torch Song Trology

Date 1st February 2024
Society Newport Playgoers Society
Venue Dolman Theatre, Newport
Type of Production Play
Director Kevin Myers


Author: Dianne Hayes

I do think that walking into the unknown was how I was feeling about joining the audience at the Dolman Theatre, for Newport Playgoers production of Torch Song Trilogy. This was a play I had no knowledge of and no preconceived opinions; it was to be an exhilarating experience.

My congratulations to Kevin Myers [Director] this mammoth production was achieved with great sensitivity but certainly did not lack the hard-hitting reality of society today and the hidden fears of a community that dares to be different and demands unconditional acceptance. It was inspirational.

Rhys Perry as Arnold gave to us an amazing performance and made this central character his own. He too the audience through the highs and lows of a sensitive and caring man, looking for love and acceptance while staying true to himself. The emotion shown by Rhys in this performance was palpable and sometimes discomforting. However, the joy, humour and keen wit gave the audience an insight into the life of a man not always understood or accepted, even by those who loved him. An outstanding performance.

Darian Thomas as Ed gave an emotional and sensitive performance in his portrayal of a man torn between his personal needs and the social pressures to conform to a life without the support of the man he loved. Darian with his chosen wife ,Laural played by Natalie Neering, clearly showed the heartbreaking choices to be made in this three-way relationship.

Alan played by Liam Edmunds had a short-lived relationship with Arnold but left a powerful message that the world has still not come to terms with relationships that they do not or will not understand. The violent end of this character sent out a strong warning of the way society can react, and the impact could be felt throughout the audience.

David, played by William Shannon, took the story to another level another generation. Young, vibrant, and fearless; all characteristics clearly shown in this strong performance.

Clare Drewitt as Ma gave an outstanding performance. The excellent rapport with each of the characters and the depth of the emotional stress between mother and son, through her inability to accept his life choices, gave the second act an intense feeling of reality. Visually and vocally, Clare brought this character to life.

My congratulations on the innovative stage setting. The lone figure of Arnold that opened this production, certainly had an impact and the minimalist open stage in Act one emphasised the loneliness and the reality of the relationships. The contrast of the warmth of the homely setting in Act two was very reassuring.

The movement between each social scene change was very sensitively shown in the musical grace of singer Ellie Hoare and pianist Wayne Beecham. A musical interlude to move the story forward.

My congratulations to you all on a very successful production.

Dianne Hayes NODA Wales and Ireland Regional Representative District 7