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Review: Thick As Thieves – Theatr Clwyd

Theatr Clwyd’s latest co-production is well and truly underway. Clean Break is a theatre company committed to shining a light on the injustices women experience both in and beyond the criminal justice system. Thick As Thieves represents the desperation, fight and years of pent-up emotions of two siblings on the brink.

By Emma Tattum , Egwyl Editor | @emmat1995 


“It’s not that we just love our kids. We’re addicted to them.”

Set in the Emlyn Williams Theatre, the audience is seated in the round with a 360° view of the entire production. At times, you feel a part of the scene in such close capacity and you truly really get immersed into the narrative.

We’re promptly introduced to Gail (Polly Frame), who waltzes onto the stage to Nina Simone’s Classic, My Baby Just Cares for Me, and into the office of Karen (Siwan Morris), who is taken aback when she sets eyes on the ecstatic and jubilant arrival.

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Gail dances into the office (Photo: Pamela Raith)

As the confrontation unravelled, there was an instant dark and foreboding atmosphere. Something isn’t right, but what? Contributing to its already thought provoking plot.

“Is there a reason you’re here, Gail?”

You learn early in the show that both Gail and Karen grew up together, but were separated along the line. Both women live very different lives after separation. Karen has it all, the perfect family, a great job in the care system and money, whereas Gail has led a very problematic life which is why she’s so desperately in need of Karen’s help.

The initial meeting of the two characters leaves the audience feeling awkward and uncomfortable, but we’ve all been there. We’ve all been in the position where we’re having a conversation that we want to get out of and that’s where the story begins.

“I hope you don’t mind, I’ve been in meetings all day.”

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Gail and Karen reunite (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Each them reflects on their experiences since life separated them all those years ago. They’ve individually lived through harrowing events and dark times and all those underlying feelings come pouring out in an explosive manner. The emotions build and build, as does the language!

“I got myself into some bother. I got caught up in things”

Polly Frame and Siwan Morris have to be commended on the gradual physicality of their characters as Gail’s desperation and need of Kate’s help grows. The simplicity of the set design by Alyson Cummins depicts a normal everyday workplace, a complete juxtaposition to what we see from Gail and Karen.

The show culminates in high emotional scenes with limited verbal exchanges. Sometimes, the best things we can say aren’t through words themselves. A powerful, heartwarming moment for many.

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Tension starts to rise (Photo: Pamela Raith)

The entirety of the story echoes what Clean Break has set out to do. It truly deepens the understanding of important female situations and creates that intimate connection with the audience.

Another thought-provoking piece from Theatr Clwyd.

Thick As Thieves runs until October 27. For more details and ticket information, click here.

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