It’s rugby day, but she’s here anyway! Welcome to Walesland for The Wrong Ffion Jones, where not even the Wales v. England Six Nations fixture will stop the tour guides. Join Ffion Jones as she takes you on a whistle-stop tour around a fully-encased dystopian Wales, complete with Gavin & Stacey World and Catatonia Car Park – unless she inadvertently incites a good old Welsh uprising first, that is…
The bees have died out, and Wales has been under a protective glass dome for years; since the threat to existence seems to be at bay, it’s little wonder that the money men started seeing Bev dollar signs and made the move to turn the country into a living, breathing theme park of sorts. Bevan & Bevan & Bevan & Co. rule the roost, but one night Ffion decides she’s had enough – to the surprise of fellow tour guides Vince and Blodwen, she drunkenly makes a speech about the Welsh rebels of old, and ends up in Thomas Bevan’s office with a surprising offer at her fingertips.
Using little more than a projector, microphone, stool and office chair, the real Ffion Jones expertly breathes life into a range of characters, incorporating video & audio clips – and a floppy leek. Jones effortlessly switches between each colourful character, holding plausible three-way conversations and even maintaining some ridiculous physical gags as characters interact. The use of sound adds an extra dimension here, with ingenious sound design from Ben Everett Riley; Jones has the timings down to a tee and just the right gesture or facial expression to get the extra laughs. She even manages to find a way to keep saying ‘poo’ without it becoming unfunny.
Whilst it’s obviously been put together in a very considered way (and must have been very tightly rehearsed), great strength lies in the informality of the delivery – it’s almost like a guided tour, stand-up comedy set and one-woman show all rolled into one. A cheeky knowing glance here, a meta moment there, and Jones has the audience won over in an instant. There are even sheep puns! Could you really ask for anything more?
“What is it to be Welsh?” Well, if this show is anything to go by, ‘bloody hilarious’ is right at the top of the list. As we go through a time of questioning our cultural identity, this is the perfect antidote and a guaranteed rib-tickler.
My verdict? An absolute treat of a show that’s guaranteed to make you giggle – ewe would be mad to miss out on this trip to Walesland!
The Wrong Ffion Jones runs at the VAULT Festival until 24 February 2019. Tickets are available online or from the box office.