Dafydd from BBC Wales Playhouse Series

Reviewed in ‘upstart

  • Actors: Richard Harrington, William Thomas
  • Directors: Ceri Sherlock
  • Producers: Gareth Rowlands


BBC Cymru/BBC Wales – Wales Playhouse TV Series

the problem with this 55 minute long program/video/movie (directed by Ruth Caleb, distributed by Pride Video [Currently unavailable] is that it attempts too much and too little.  Dafydd, from Pontypridd, meets David Davies in Amsterdam.  Dafydd is a rent boy (how he got to Amsterdam, why he is a rent boyand not a druggie like the rest of the boys is not explained.  His only characteristic, apart from being Welsh-speaking, is a love of opera).  Davies (William Thomas) is something in music, he tells Dafydd he is a teacher, but appears to be in Amsterdam on administrative business.

Davies’ brutal death, apparently at the hands of a (female) prostitute and her pimp ends the drama.  It doesn’t ring true, nor do a lot of other incidents in this movie, not even as dramatic devices.  The pimp, earlier, sems to have been asking Dafydd for (at least) physical comfort.  The “real” Gay boys in this drama are quite effeminate.  They are seen hanging about the quays and toilets.

Richard Harrington (Dafydd) is the psossessor of the most eloquent nostrils since Kenneth Williams’ heyday.  He’s playing against type here.  David Davies is described in the blurb as having problems with his sexuality.  This is demonstrated by showing images of (her) SM.  In “real life” he’d be bisexual.  It seems that bi’s are going through the grisly murder/pathetic suicide cycle (like lesbians and homosexual men) before being absorbed into drama as characters in teir own right.

This little drama has all of the Beeb’s virtues and failings.  There are brilliant production values, photography and acting.  There is also timidity.  Sex is not a cheerful subject.  The cheeriest scene is where Dafydd and two sissy boys break into a disco and dance – and drink and take drugs – with their kit all the way off.  This video breaks no new ground, other than to put Welsh intto the mouths of the protagonists, and to introduce Richard Harrington to a wider audience.  (He is very comely in the buff, as smooth-skinned and hairless as an Irish boy).

Well, then |NorIrl Beeb and UTV, when are we getting an Ulster spin on matters Gay?  How about a wee (Gay girl from the Shankill meets a wee similar from the (Short) Strand in ’72 and live in connubial bliss in Sunnyside Street?Dafydd (1995) Poster


Reviewer:  Sean McGouran


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