Article by Yasmin Sulaiman | 14 Aug 2006
Hugh Hughes is all about 'connection'. This may have something to do with the fact that his entire story is about 'disconnection', both literally and figuratively. First there is his 'disconnection' with his grandmother, following her death. Then there is his 'disconnection' with the island of Anglesey, his home, as he resolves to leave for London. But most crucially, there is the 'disconnection' of Anglesey itself from the Welsh mainland, with the collapse of the Menai Bridge the moment Hugh steps foot on it.

At the beginning of Floating, Hughes and his co-star, Sioned Rowlands, explain to the audience that they aim to address three main themes: family, community and friendship. But in truth, they manage to cram into their 80-minute show a heartfelt exploration of life's myriad of complexities, all handled with the same simple tenderness they show towards the audience and each other. Utilising many forms of media, Hughes and Rowlands embark on a journey of revelation, and take us with them. Both are wonderfully genuine actors, but their apparent innocence is belied by their refusal to comply with the rules of the traditional narrative: these are artists who clearly recognise the gap in modern theatre and are striving to fill it. Hughes' journey is genuinely funny, although the atmosphere today is a little more hysterical than is perhaps necessary. However, Floating is charmingly unaffected, and the delicacy of its script ensures that Hughes reaches his goal: we cannot help but be completely absorbed in this big tale about this small island. We cannot help but connect.
Pleasance Courtyard, until Aug 28, 17.30, £10.50/£9.50 (£9/£8). Hoipolloi & Hugh Hughes/Escalator East to Edinburgh.