35 Times is an immersive production, by Mercury Theatre Wales, about domestic abuse, and the debut solo-written play for writer, Bethan Morgan.

It focuses on a coffee morning for six women that includes singing, dancing, and speaking out. Based on real experiences of survivors of abuse, each cast member had her own story to share, based on various forms of abuse. They all did this with such incredible conviction that many audience members got teary-eyed.

The characters each had distinctive, varied personalities, from the daydreaming nature portrayed by Olwen Rees, to the anger exhibited by Francesca Goodridge, and the nervousness demonstrated by Elena Thomas.

The audience, of both men and women, were gripped by the performance, although clearly uncomfortable at times. This may have been the purpose; it is not a comfortable topic, but by addressing it we open up a dialogue.

The performance was intense, but completely spellbinding, with a realism enhanced by the use of facts and statistics.

Although based on a serious topic, there were light-hearted moments throughout, with a lovely ending.

The aim of 35 Times was to open up a discussion about domestic abuse, which it excelled in; the entire audience remained at the end to talk about the production.

35 Times will next be performed at Blackwood Miners Institute on September 17, before touring to Chepstow, Merthyr Tydfil, Cardiff, Penarth, and Swansea.

Leah Powell