Adapted by: Daf James
Director: Mathilde López
Reviewer: David Doyle
Who is Yuri? That’s the question at the centre of August012’s new farce Yuriat Underbelly. Patrick and Adele can’t have a child and then Yuri appears, or more correctly Adele finds him at Lidl one day and decides to take him home. His presence in their small Cardiff home changes everything and sets in motion an often hilarious hour of theatre about scrabble, sex, and supermarkets.
This is one of those Fringe plays that defies description. Audience members butter bread, glitter is thrown around, and the stage manager becomes actively involved as everyone tries to work out just who Yuri is? Is he Russian, Congolese, Chinese, or maybe even Welsh? This odd assortment of events offers the basis for an intriguing exploration of nationalism, and just why anyone would bring another person into this chaotic world.
There are some accomplished performances throughout the piece. Carys Eleri as the perpetually teetering on the edge Adele and Ceri Murphy as the initially displaced father Patrick both command the stage with fine performances. It is though Guto Wynne Davies as the titular Yuri who steals the show. His near silent performance is a real treat to watch.
Yuri is often bizarre, frequently hilarious, and always endearing. While sometimes the deeper issues of the piece get lost, its madcap nature never takes away from the story that it’s trying to tell, and some fine performances mark it out as a thoroughly enjoyable modern-day farce.
Runs until Sunday28 August 2016 (not 10, 15, 22)