Inspired by Dylan Thomas's nostalgic anecdotal tale, Mark Watson's observant comedy is set in the household of young Owen Rhys (Oliver Bunyan/Mark Williams) over a series of Christmases in 1980s South Wales. Every year, the peace of the family home, where Owen lives with his gloomy father (Mark Lewis Jones) and obsessive mother (Ruth Jones), is disturbed by the yuletide arrival of Owen's two uncles (Steve Speirs and Paul Kaye) and nephew (Jamie Burch/Rhys McLellan). In a glimpse of three of these gatherings, while Owen and Maurice are seen maturing into young men, their male elders merely engage in ever-more puerile bouts of sibling rivalry.Simon Horsford, Daily Telegraph, 17th December 2009
Ruth Jones of Gavin & Stacey fame is the obvious draw in this adaptation of Dylan Thomas's look back at Christmases past, but perhaps just as interesting is that it is written by Mark Watson, the stand-up comedian who's also popped up as host on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and been something of a regular on Mock the Week. Thomas's nostalgic take on Christmas has been refashioned by Watson for 1980s south Wales, creating a comedic tale about ways in which Yuletide brings out the best and worst in a family.The Guardian, 17th December 2009
She plays a mum so houseproud she stacks her towels in order, measures sliced carrots and washes the soap. Back then her OCD was better known as housekeeping.
Michael Sheen narrates as her now grown-up son, Owen. He looks back at three Christmases, when his mum fussed, his dad vegged out on the sofa, his competitive uncle Huw bragged about his latest success, and his other uncle, Gorwel, lived up to a waste-of-space reputation.
For anyone who grew up in the 80s, it's a nostalgic reminder, especially when Huw gives Maurice a state-of-the-art Sinclair ZX Spectrum then spends the day trying to load a game from temperamental and nerve-shredding shrieking tapes.Jane Simon, The Mirror, 17th December 2009