Here we are! Me drinking a three ginger tea, Trump tweeting something harrowing and you looking through the listings of a comedy festival in Mid Wales. How we all ended up here involved a series of incremental decisions, non-decisions (is that a word?) and probably some Grade A procrastination. It is these incremental moments that binds this year's theatre programme through stories of war, disney towns, fake news and pens.
Sort of. Stick with me.
In History History History, mega award winner and theatre hero Deborah Pearson brings us a documentary, performed live alongside a Hungarian comedy film about football. It's a magnetic and poignant performance that makes for an extraordinary show rooted in the past and utterly relevant today. Everyone should see it.
Even people from Celebration, Florida – a town designed by Disney and introduced to us by two un-rehearsed performers wearing headphones who meet for the first time on stage.
“It burns slow and sure, leaving both sadness and hope hanging fog-like in the room.” The Stage
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. I don't need to say anything else to get you to come and see My Body Welsh do I? Any show that has that in its blurb is a bold as brass winner. A contemporary look at national identity accompanied by a live-soundscape. Erm, yes please.
John Osborne is a writer of non-fiction books, a tv show and good old Radio 4 and sold out his Mach debut with John Peel's Shed a few years ago. In this new show Osborne has found a series of clues in a pile of Radio Times magazines – each day timetabled with deliberate red circles. See it here first – toot toot.
Good Grief was named one of New York Times' four highlights of the Edinburgh Fringe. Four highlights seems a strange number of highlights, but don't focus on that. Focus on the fact that Jack Rooke and his 85 year old Nan Sicely (great name) invite you to the happiest town in Britain to explore death and lasagne.
“Rooke is a delight to spend an hour with, cheerily but sensitively tackling the most painful of subjects and finding hope in them.” The Scotsman.
Catriona James is an actor, a lover of true stories, a physical performer and a depressive. Sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes funny and always engaging Worse Things Happen combines all of those elements and does what all good theatre should do – it makes us look again.
1 billion pairs of running shoes were bought last year. Nicola Burgess has two of those. Runner, theatre maker and Machynlleth resident Nicola explores in this new show how running sneaks into our lives and what is means to people all over the world.
Finally after all this plundering into what makes us human – come and have a go at a musical coconut shy made of massive balloons. Composer Timothy Tate and artist Jay Harrison met at last year's Machynlleth Comedy festival over an electromechanical lithophone (great words) and went on to make a giant balloon based interactive musical instrument (great idea) and now you can wang balls at it (great vibes). It's a genuine delight.
Tea drunk. Harrowing tweet sent. Trainers on.
See you at the clock.
Lisa Jones - MCF Theatre Manager