"So here I am, a boy from Bradford doing Dylan Thomas in Wales!" proclaimed former Likely Lads star Rodney Bewes as he opened his new show A Boy Growing Up to an attentive audience at Newport Riverfront on Thursday evening.
Inspired by Emlyn Williams presentation of A Boy Growing Up this was Bewes own presentation of Dylan Thomas classics including Reminiscences of Childhood, The Outing, The Fight, A Fantasy and Return Journey.
Reading the stories into an old BBC boom mike with a solitary on-air light to recreate the style Thomas originally presented the stories on BBC Radio in the 1940s. Bewes suitably attired win a cream suit and red handkerchief draped from a back pocket, delighted the audience with a jovial, happy and energetic performance.
His enthusiasm for Thomas came through displaying that it isn’t always a necessary qualification to be Welsh to read Dylan Thomas as Rodney pointed out they are "beautifully written fantastic stories" and in this case wonderfully performed.
Bewes’ ability to engage the audience with interaction was also wonderful, from providing a member of the audience with a nasty cough a cough sweet to remarking on an intrusive noise from outside: "I’m told there was a ship found under here, perhaps it was the sailors".
A true delight to watch, Rodney Bewes, a Boy Growing Up is a real theatrical treat. It gets a repeat run at Abergavenny Borough theatre on March 3, don’t miss it!