Category Archives: Everybody Back On Stage 2012

Downtown Paradise by Mark Jenkins


Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 29 May 2012, 8pm, £4 on the door

The Riverfront, Newport, Thurs 31 May 2012, 7.45pm, £4

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, Friday 1st  2012, 7.30pm, £4



Rachel Bloom – Claire Cage

James Wilson – Sule Rimi


Michael Kelligan



The latest in the Welsh  Fargo Stage Company’s “On The Edge” series of play-readings (at Chapter, Cardiff) was a presentation of Mark Jenkins’ “Downtown Paradise”, an account of a collision between black and white radicalism in 1970s America, first produced by the author himself in the 1990s. From the outset, it is made clear that the story of Jewish lawyer Rachel’s attempt to secure the release from prison of the articulate and politically engaged Wilson will have an unfortunate conclusion; but the journey is a fascinating, engaging, and, on occasion, darkly humorous one. Sule Rimi is remarkably charismatic as the radical and defiantly imperfect jailbird, Claire Cage all tough tenderness as the cynically idealistic heroine, the writing is slick and convincing (at least to my non-American ears), and director Michael Kelligan keeps things flowing with great deftness for the most part (although I felt that the violent climax could have been handled more subtly). This is absorbing political theatre of a kind which seems, in the post 9/11 age, to be growing rarer – the kind which asks questions of the audience rather than simplistically demanding its agreement. Cage

Othniel Smith (


Love In Plastic by Ian Rowlands


Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 1o Apr 2012, 8pm, £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 7.30pm, £4

The Riverfront, Newport, Thurs 12 Apr 2012, 7.45pm, £4

IF the amount of laughter during rehearsals is anything to go by, audiences watching Ian Rowlands’ Love In Plastic are in for a side-splitting time. The play, featuring Boyd Clack, is being performed as part of artistic director Michael Kelligan’s On the Edge season of script-held plays with venues including Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. The On the Edge seasons are presented by Kelligan’s Cardiff-based Welsh Fargo Theatre Company.

Actor and director Kelligan said: “Love in Plastic is a very funny play telling us the story of Harold seeking out his new love, wearing a space suit, in a low-life Cardiff cafe. “The dive is run by the hilarious television comedy performer Boyd Clack who has, along with the other members of the cast, been in fits of laughter throughout the rehearsals.”

The other cast members are Philip Michell, Kathryn Dimery, who has recently completed a national tour of Cranford, and Dafydd Wyn Roberts.

Both Kelligan’s On the Edge project and Rowlands’ theatre company, Theatr Y Byd, cut their teeth in a pub in the Welsh capital, opposite Cardiff Castle. Both have gone on to produce works that now play a very important part in the Arts scene in Wales. Kelligan said the play makes some interesting observations on the nature of love, life and laughter. “Author Ian Rowlands writes metaphors to die for and displays an intriguing line in plot development and his roots are set deep in Welsh soil,” he said.

Kelligan’s artistic association with Rowlands began more than 30 years ago. They met as actors in a production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which was the first On the Edge production this year, with The Wales Actors’ Company at the then Sherman Theatre. Kelligan added, “Ian’s work has been described as having a depth and originality from a playwright whose writing and ideas are forcing Welsh Theatre on to an international stage – an aim shared by my own Welsh Fargo Stage Company.”



Man – Philip Michell

Waiter – Boyd Clack

Woman – Kathryn Dimery

Agent – Dafydd Wyn Roberts



Julie Barclay


The Custom House by Kit Lambert


Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 13 Mar 2012, 8pm, £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, Wed 14 Mar 2012, 7.30pm, £4

The Riverfront, Newport, Thurs 15 Mar 2012, 7.45pm, £4



Josef – Simon Morgan-Thomas

Stefan – Alex Harries

Anita – Alison John

Maria – Zoe Davies



Simon West