33 at Bristol Old Vic

Directed by Tom Brennan

Devised and performed by ‘The Wardrobe Ensemble’

We arrived at the beautiful Old Vic in Bristol to a queue waiting to go in to the ‘Studio’. I was surprised at the age range in those queuing. There were the over 60’s to families with kids. We went in and took our seats. Whilst waiting, a young lady came over and started to talk to us. She asked what we remembered about the mining disaster. I told her I remembered the guy who had a wife and mistress waiting for him. It turns out she was one of the cast and mentioned my memory on stage as did a couple of other cast members!

The production was beautifully choreographed, very well thought out and the special effects worked a treat. Without giving too much away they all helped me to believe they were the miners trapped in that mine.

The cast is made up of fairly young members but all performed with confidence and believability. I was very impressed with the changes in costume and character seen throughout.

We were taken on a funny, desperate and at times sad journey through the mining disaster. We saw a perspective of what was happening above and below ground. My favourite moment is a scene involving ‘Edison’ one of the miner running through the mine. The way this was done was inspired, just a brilliant moment.

The production is playing all week and there is a matinee on Saturday. It lasted about an hour which was just right. The group will be taking the performance to the Edinburgh Fringe where I have no doubt it will do very well.

The cast should be very proud of what they have created, this was the premier and I have no doubt it can only get better.

I thought it magnificent and would happily go again.

33 is showing at Bristol Old Vic until 13th July

– Review by Catriona Daynes

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