AFTER a gap of more than three years thanks to plague and theatre refurbishment, it was great to see Abergavenny Theatre Group back on stage at the Borough and back on top form.

After the enforced break and the tragic loss of several key players, the future was looking uncertain for ATG, but thanks to a dedicated cast and crew, the company has burst back onto the theatre scene at full pelt.

It would perhaps have been an easy choice to have kicked off its post pandemic incarnation, with something light and airy, but ATG rarely takes the easy route heading rather than to a comedy, to the emotional minefield of 1966 Aberfan.

This clever choice almost reflected the world we live in now, set as it is in a damaged community seeking to rebuild with all the pain, reflection and often humour that involves.

The Revlon Girl looks into the lives of four Aberfan mothers as they seek to come to terms with the sudden and horrific deaths of their children in the catastrophic landside which shook not only Wales but the world.

For ATG this was truly an ensemble piece with the five actors involved working seamlessly together to produce a memorable evening of theatre.

Unusually it’s almost impossible to single out one for mention, because each had their moment to shine, and grabbed it with both hands.

What makes it more impressive is that while some of the cast were vastly experienced, other had rarely taken leading roles before being thrust into the limelight.

Rachel Beck, Daisy Edwards, Kesia Alise Elliott, Molly Brickley Clark and Laura Iwanski all deserve the hightest praise for not only pulling off this most difficult of plays, but doing it with the lightest of touches.

Their delicate handling ensured the action never felt forced, the humour was delivered well and the emotional outbusts never became over dramatised and uncomfortable for the audience - which undoubtedly accounted for the audible sniffing at countless points of the evening

Some of the credit for this must surely go to the production team of Snowy Clark and Jon Vaughan who clearly worked tirelessly to bring this production to the stage.

As always there were things which didn’t quite work. There was a slight lack of attention to detail over the costumes and the script was at times slightly formulaic and predictable but that does not detract in any way from what was a well produced, well acted, thoroughly impressive production. I look forward to seeing what this cast will do next.