On April 1st 1982, Anglesey was hit by an earthquake and the bridge connecting it to Wales collapsed. The delighted islanders build a huge mast and sail to take the island on a journey across the Atlantic, to the Arctic and finally home again. This fantastic event went unnoticed by the rest of the world.

The fantasy is the stepping-stone for Hugh Hughes’ fantastical journey in a performance that includes burlesque, slap-stick, comedy, semi- tragedy, pantomime and just about every theatrical trick in the book, including improvisation to connect the audience with the action.  And it works.

Tasmania’s Ten Days on the Island festival show begins when Hugh Hughes (Shon Dale-Jones) is about to step off the island at the very moment the earthquake severs its link to Wales. While the islanders seek to get away from the mainland, Hughes wants to leave his tiny world.

When Anglesey slips its moorings and sails off into the yonder blue, our hero continues his efforts to escape without success. When the island finally returns to base and the bridge is rebuilt, he is able to leave. Or does he?

In an interview with Penny Thow in the Mercury (March 12), Dale-Jones said the play was inspired by the feeling he had each time he returned to Anglesey: ‘‘The metaphor is about how difficult it is to leave. The movement of the island (when it floats away) is about the kind of struggle you have to leave where you came from.”

Aided by his terrific side-kick, Sioned Rowlands, who takes on several roles in this multi-media show, Dale-Jones’ Hugh Hughes is an innocent abroad, one with a joyous appreciation of the absurd yet also someone who suffers the question of identity.

Playhouse Theatre,
Hobart.
April 4th at 8pm.
April 5th at 6pm.

 

 

 

Margaretta Pos Review courtesy of Oz baby boomers
“Floating” is a wonderfully strange show. It’s based on the premise that we never travel far from our origins, even when we want to get off the boat. The boat in this instance, is the Isle of Anglesey.