Written and directed by Sean Mathias, A Prayer For Wings is a very interesting study in self loathing where Rita, played by an enigmatic Alis Wyn Davies, is trapped at home as she has to care for her crippled mother whose life has been destroyed by MS. Mam, is played by a very watchable Llinos Daniel, with engaging support by Luke Rhodri who plays the various male roles of the boys Rita brings home. She is in need of male company and will even do hand jobs to boost the family’s coffers.
Mathias brings a beauty to his dialogue adding a poetic and rhythmic charm to it due to the characteristic Welsh accent and lilt – and via the very clever use of overlapping monologues between the two actresses, the story is brought to life.
Mathias also injects humour into the play tinged with tragedy as Rita dreams of escaping and even fantastising about ‘doing her mam in’ as she relentlessly demands cups of tea and baked beans on toast, and their regular weekly treat of fish and chips. She has become equally tortured; trapped on life’s merry go rounds with no hope of getting off; having to come to terms with the day to day drudgery on an endless all consuming loop.
Both actresses are ideally cast and show great skill especially in the moments of pure rage and uncontrollable anger. Mathias also has great skill in building the tension and at times when the play becomes darkly comic, reinforces the message of the play that life, despite what it throws at you, proves that your sense of will power will triumphant in the end.
A Prayer For Wings is a well written look at finding salvation, handling recriminations and the need for mutual respect.
Photos by Ali Wright