Category Archives: Deadlier Than The Male 2010

Talking To Wordsworth by Gillian Clarke + Wishful Thinking by Hijinx Theatre

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff Tues 14 Sept 8pm – IN THE THEATRE – £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Wed 15 Sept 7.30pm – £3

Park and Dare, Treorchy Fri 17 Sept  7.30pm – £3

Cast for Wishful Thinking

Michelle – Adrienne O’Sullivan

Barbara – Nickie Rainsford

Rachel – Claire Cage

Cast for Talking to Wordsworth

Nurse Evans – Adrienne O’Sullivan

Lil – Lynn Hunter

Arthur – Richard Berry

Poet – Claire Cage

Director

Gilly Adams

Review

“Talking To Wordsworth”

The latest “On The Edge” presentation at Cardiff’s Chapter, was a double-bill of rehearsed readings of short plays with a vague mental health theme, directed by Gilly Adams. First up was a revival of one of Hijinx’s “learning difficulties” plays, “Wishful Thinking”, a devised piece with music. It tells the story of three sisters (excellently played by Claire Cage, Adrienne O’Sullivan and Nicki Rainsford), one of whom is a carer for the youngest, while the other has “escaped” – her long overdue return disrupting the family routine. Very poignant, with a beautiful music score, but a more developed narrative might have enhanced its resonance. Heartstrings were also tugged in “Talking To Wordsworth”, National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke’s play which was first performed as a joint Sherman Theatre/BBC Radio Wales production in 1997. Cage starred as the trying-very-hard-not-to-be-patronising poet visiting a hospital for the elderly mentally ill, with O’Sullivan as the hard but caring nurse, Lynn Hunter as the ward busybody, Rainsford and producer Michael Kelligan providing background colour, and Richard Berry as the elective mute who is slowly drawn out by the magic of words. Very effective, if inevitably slightly sentimentalised. Another satisfying evening’s entertainment.
http://blakeson.blogspot.com

Don’t Breathe A Word By Susan Richardson

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff Tues 27 April 8pm – chapters – £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Wed 28 Apr 7.30pm

The Riverfront, Newport Thurs 29 Apr 7.45pm – £4

Cast

Journal Writer – Polly Kilpatrick

The Other – Rebecca Knowles

Director

Bethan Morgan

Review

“Don’t Breathe A Word”

The latest “On The Edge” production at Chapter was a semi-staged reading of “Don’t Breathe A Word” by Cardiff-based poet Susan Richardson. It traces a writer’s relationship with her journal, from childhood to old age and beyond; the main protagonist played by Polly Kilpatrick, and the voice in her head (variously encouraging, undermining, censorious and ignored) by Rebecca Knowles – both excellent. While the life itself seemed somewhat idealised (numerous uncomplicated love affairs, a comfortable lifestyle despite only modest literary success), the story (played out on a set comprising only an armchair and several small piles of books) was told with great charm and fluency, Bethan Morgan’s direction foregrounding the humour, and her scoring subtle and sensitive. I guess the author’s aim is to highlight the general invisibility of women’s stories; I found it somewhat more inspiring than I had expected to.
http://blakeson.blogspot.com

Gryfhead by Lucy Gough

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff Tues 9 Mar 8pm – IN THE THEATRE – £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Wed 10 Mar 7.30pm – £3

The Riverfront, Newport Thurs 11 Mar 7.45pm – £4

Park and Dare, Treorchy Fri 12 Mar 7.30pm – £3

Cast

Ella – Katy Owen

Poet – Alastair Sill

Wolfskin – Robert Harper

Enzo/The Head – James Ashton

Director

Sita Calvert-Ennals

Review

Gryfhead

I attended the Chapter performance of the latest in the On The Edge“Deadlier Than The Male” season of work by female playwrights :- “Gryfhead” by Lucy Gough, an everyday story of boy meets girl, girl’s brother kills boy, girl digs up boy’s body and keeps his head in the fridge. Based on a story from Boccaccio, via Keats, it starred Katy Owen as the feisty heroine, James Ashton as the unfortunate lover, Robert Harper as the unhinged, thuggish brother, and Alastair Sill as the Poet who alternates between observing, devising and participating in events, ultimately losing control of his creations, as Ella inconveniently refuses to fade prettily away. Less densely poetic than previous Lucy Gough plays that I’ve seen, “Gryfhead” is a grippingly gruesome tale of female empowerment set in a sink-estate/Grimm fairytale landscape (although it could probably have worked without the lupine trimmings). Despite the inevitable, distracting moments of awkwardness involving the juggling of scripts and props, this being a semi-staged reading, director Sita Calvert-Ennals kept things moving, striking a good balance between tragedy and absurdism. I went expecting edification, and ended up being thoroughly entertained.
http://blakeson.blogspot.com


 

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Photographs by Michael Kelligan