by Mike Kenny
Performed by Christine Kempell
There’s a moment in the play where Caitlin asks us just why audiences want to watch others’ pain. And in a month where the world is watching two stars rip each other to bits in public – it’s a great and timeless question.
This piece by Mike Kenny shows us Caitlin’s pain – married to the genius Dylan Thomas, she was a dancer, but if she hadn’t married him, would we ever have heard of her?
Visceral, passionate and raw, the writing opens up old wounds and reveals deep and dreadful love for an unfaithful alcoholic slob.
We’re drawn into their world – the babies and the ghastliness of childbirth, infidelity, violation and violence, including her own attack on Dylan, the stifling little Welsh world she found herself trapped in, the glorious landscape, the mother in law she loathed – and there are moments of laughter, observations on the ridiculous situations she somehow found herself in. This just wasn’t the life she’d thought she’d have, but there’s a sense of inevitability here, the feeling that they’re both trapped and doomed by their mutual fatal-flaw addiction to the booze.
Racketing between loathing and love, indifference and absolute possession, Kempell gives a powerhouse of a performance. Rich-voiced, physical and athletic, she’s absolutely magnificent in Caitlin’s tenderness, eroticism and rage.
Currently in performance at the Rialto for Brighton Fringe and heading to Edinburgh this August