Mess Up The Mess is a well-known fearless theatre company that empower young people to find and have a voice. This bi-lingual play with music sees them pushing the boundaries once again. This time they have collaborated with Cwmni Pluen, Aled Pedrick, Ifan Davies and National Youth Arts Wales.
Us Proclaimed throws a spotlight onto a group of young people, about how they feel about and their place in the world and how society sees them. It’s at times funny, painful, awkward, moving and everything in between. It is made more poignant by the fact that all the stories and feelings are true and all the people in the show have been brutally honest about who they are and how they see the world.
Gethin Evans sensitively directs a group of young people with a whole host of political and personal issues. They start by putting themselves into categories, very reminiscent of how MUTM sessions always begin. Happy or sad, male or female etc. What this throws up is a plethora of comedic but often quite painful revelations about their lives. It gives us a glimpse into their complex and seemingly tumultuous lives. This is this a snapshot of life for young people in Wales.
Depression, gender disphoria, LGBT issues, grief, body image, physical disabilities, cerebral palsy are some of the issues exposed and explored. MUTM’s mission statement is that they “make awkward and brave theatre, by, for and with young people. This show is the epitome of what they are trying to do. I was very moved by the sense of realness, passion and brave honesty that these young people have produced
The lighting design by Ceri James is bold and dynamic reflecting the actor’s performances and revelations. The set is functional and serves the show well with lots of levels. The overall feel of the show is that of a company who are a close-knit team and are able to be themselves and show the world who they are. It is credit to MUTM and their creative team that they can produce an environment where the participants can create such honest, raw and real performances that make the audience feel many emotions in one show. I was expecting more bi-lingual content, but this does not detract from an excellent illumination of life for young people in modern Wales .
As always, the actors give strong and committed performances that really give a sense of the pain and laughter that fills their lives. Depression and confusion seem to be common themes. It throws up debate about how society is trying to make them fit and conform. They are a unique group who have been bravely honest in illuminating their inner most feelings. MUTM really are an empowering company and this is why this show is such a success on many levels. The run of the show is now over, but it is a show that should have a further life and be seen by a lot more people.