Review by: Paul Towers, 25 October 2018
Fly Half by Gary Lagden, music by Gareth Moulton
Upstairs @ The Western, 25th & 26th October 2018
“a classy, emotional story of the allure of rugby.”
I have to admit that I am a sucker for a Welsh accent and Gary Lagden’s lyrical, almost musical use of the English language is sublime. Add to this Gareth Moulton’s virtuoso guitar playing, atmospheric electric and folksy acoustic soundtrack and this play is almost like an opera.
Fly Half is, as expected, a hymn to the almost religious fervour that the game of rugby engenders in many men, especially in the working class regions of Wales.
As a young boy Darren was anxious to join his father on the terraces of his local club and fulfil his promise of becoming a fly half.
Through the deprivation that hit the town over the years rugby was the one constant, the thing that held the community together. Darren grew up and, sure enough, followed his father onto the team. Along the way he locked horns on many an occasion with the angry team bully, Barry Highland. It was the calming influence of his wife, Sian, that kept him on an even keel. Eventually there was a son, John, a boy to pass his passion for rugby on to. But, in Darren’s eyes, John betrayed his rugby roots by being swayed by the corporate hold on the game. But he was still his son.
The passion and disappointment come to the fore as Darren raged about the inequity of the modern game.
Gary Lagden as Darren has written himself a great part full of humour, emotion and an obvious love for the game.
Gareth Moulton, sat at the side of the stage with just a couple of guitars, provides a beautiful background soundtrack until he switches to an acoustic instrument to sing original folksy songs as scene changes.
This is a classy, emotional story of the allure of rugby
Fly Half is at Upstairs at The Western again on Friday 26th October. Further performances and full details can be found on https://tinyurl.com/yd97afmf