CONCERNS over diversity in the arts continues to be on our lips and in our minds as we reach the end of 2018.

As the Wales Millennium Centre continues its Performances for the Curious, a larger variety of diverse practice is being seen.

The Last Five Years is a musical by Jason Robert Brown, most famous for the runaway hit Parade.

Leeway Productions has taken the show and made the wise decision to incorporate BSL and CC into the show. Here, two deaf dancers, Anthony Snowden and Raffie Julien, move and sign as our two lead characters’ sort of doppelgängers.

The lack of chemistry is proven by the characters never interacting, apart from a plummy wedding scene in the middle of the show. The dancing here tends to clutter the stage, though the signing added an extra dimension, which is vital in today’s stage world.

The post-Sondheim music and lyrics by Brown are a bland and mushy mix of attempted wit, insights about relationships and a weird look at how Millennials (or near enough) view life

Michael Hamway is Jamie, our cute, New York writer, who gets a lucky break when his publishers call. He falls for Cathy, played by Lauren Hood, a bushy-tailed singer auditioning for a show (not much of a stretch of the imagination).

Both find themselves enveloped more in their career prospects than themselves, leading to an absurd marriage that should have never been. Again, the lack of chemistry proves the futile nature of both the themes and the show itself, leading to little effect.

Director, Angharad Lee, has made the best of what material she has been given; the dance work by Mark Smith might not always work or be needed.

Hamway made a good Jamie, with an energy and a voice which is strong, but easily falls into the trappings of that typical musical theatre voice.

The Christmas story song was another highlight, evoking A Christmas Carol and Fiddler on the Roof. Lauren Hood is a quirky and delightful Cathy, with some funny moments, such as when she does her own audition.

A small band of players did what they could with Brown’s score.

Lighting design by Jane Lalljee is unnecessarily busy, bleeding away any attention that might be given for the story, or lack.

Becky Davies’ set is a bizarre mix of unsafe looking stairs, cheap neon colour screens, and the cluttered mess of a young person’s bed room.

The Last Five Years continues at the WMC until November 17, 2018.

By James Ellis.