Ugly, Lovely, Ffion Jones’ darkly comic eulogy to Swansea

Ugly Lovely

South London-based theatre company Velvet Trumpet present Ugly Lovely, the grimy, dark, bittersweet and, above all, funny debut play from excitable Welsh playwright Ffion Jones. It opens at Islington’s Old Red Lion Theatre tonight.

“But where else can you go bird? All we’ve got is Swansea. You haven’t got nowhere else”.

It’s Shell’s birthday and cradling her only gift, won at the local arcade, she’s finally woken up to smell the vodka.

Between nights out with her only friend and chats with her Nan’s ashes, she tries to unravel what she wants from life in the pretty sh*tty city of Swansea.

“We’re the theatre company that hates theatre,” says Velvet Trumpet. “We don’t come from money so we understand the importance of championing the work of people, who wouldn’t normally get something on stage, and aim to produce work that’s relatable, honest and genuinely funny”.

The title comes from a Dylan Thomas quote: “… an ugly, lovely town … crawling, sprawling … by the side of a long and splendid curving shore. This sea-town was my world.” He, at least, loved Swansea. Someone has to.

Directed by Nikolai Ribnikov the cast is Ffion Jones, Sophie Catherine and Oliver Morgan-Thomas.

Ugly Lovely plays at the Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington until July 16.

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