The Welsh Fargo Stage Company was first established in 1998. It was Artistic Director, Michael Kelligan’s, pathway to re-establishing his career in professional theatre after a long illness, which was resolved with a heart transplant in Papworth Hospital in 1991.
The First Production
‘The Sprit of Enniskillen’
A one man play performed and adapted by Michael Kelligan from the book ‘Marie’. A story from Enniskillen in which Gordon Wilson recalls the cruel events on Remembrance Day in Enniskillen in 1987 and tells of the life of his daughter who along with ten others was killed in the bombing.
The play was performed at Chapter Art Centre, Cardiff and at St Donats Arts Centre in the Vale of Glamorgan.
The Second Production
In 2001 was Michael’s Emlyn’s Dylan, another One-Man play based on Michael Kelligan’s experience as a young teenager seeing his first West-End play, Emlyn William’s ‘Dylan Thomas Growing Up’ at the Globe, now the Gielgud Theatre, in 1955. He performed some of the stories presented by Emlyn Williams and an account of his own encounters with the work of Williams and Dylan Thomas. Again the play was presented at Chapter Art Centre, Cardiff and at The Torch Theatre in Milford Haven.
Kelligan entered the world of full time professional theatre joining the Contemporary Players from a summer season of weekly repertory at Seaford in Sussex in 1959.
He has always been keen to create his own work. In 1970 he rented the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis and presented his own company in a season of summer comedies. The following year he returned to Wales, first to work at The Welsh Theatre Company at The Casson Studio Theatre in Ruby Street in Splott. Then with the opening of the Sherman Theatre he joined The Welsh Drama Company and as Production manager was responsible for the technical staging of the first major play presented there: Nicolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector.
In 2004 he embarked on the company’s most successful enterprise to date:
THE ON THE EDGE PROJECT
A series of continually developing rehearsed readings of plays by mainly Welsh authors and authors based in Wales was started by Kelligan in September 2004.
With generous support from Chapter Art Centre, six readings were presented at the Cardiff venue establishing an extended rehearsal period that allowed the text to be explored in a greater depth. Each play is moved, costumed and lit, often giving a near-finished and deeply revealing production.
The term script-held performance is now used, giving a more accurate description of the experience.