Category Archives: Now You’re Talking 2007

Spring 2007 season.Compelling interviews with many well established Welsh and Wales-based playwrights can be read in Hazel Walford Davies’ recently published book, ‘Now You’re Talking – Drama in Conversation.

Rosebud, Playing Burton, Nora’s Bloke by Mark Jenkins

Performance

Chapter, Cardiff, Sun 18 Mar 2007, 8pm, £3 on the door


Cast (Nora’s Bloke)

Narrator/Michael – Toby Harris

Cathy James – Roisin Clancy-Davies

Deirdre Mahoney – Julie-Ann Dean

Molly Stack – Marie- Claire Costley

Nora O’Rourke – Gwynfa Bawler

Lottie Mutton- Liz Edney

Grandmother James – Gill Rees

Cast ( Rosebud – The Lives of Orson Welles)

Orson Welles – Christian McKay

Cast ( Playing Burton)

Richard Burton – Josh Richards

 

In Sunshine and In Shadow by Alan Osborne

Performance

Chapter, Cardiff, Wed 14 Feb 2007, 8pm, £3 on the door

Cast

Vee- Christine Pritchard

Day – Tony Leader

Babes – Lisa Zahra

Ga-Ga – Alex Harries

Cissie – Terry Victor

Stack – Brian Hibbard

Bernie – Aled Herbert

Dai Death – Michael Kelligan

Director

Michael Kelligan

Review

In Sunshine and In Shadow is the second play from the brilliant welsh playwright Alan Osborne’s Merthyr Trilogy. Part of a series called On The Edge, it presents script-held performances of plays by Wales’ best dramatists as featured in Hazel Walford Davies’ 2006 book, Now You’re Talking.In Sunshine and In Shadow portrays a family torn apart by poverty, addiction and secrets from the past. Set in Merthyr Tydfil, “the biggest council estate in Europe,” it explores how a cruel and ignorant society represses its natural artists, marking them out as different and wrong.

Gerri Smith shines in the lead role of the Mother, Vee, a wilting songstress wrought to death by her failed dreams, personal tragedy and raging drug addiction. Her exchanges with her severely disabled but gifted son Ga Ga, played by Alex Harries, vividly communicate how their creativity alienates them from their neighbours on the estate.

Despite being more than 20 years old, the play has lost none of its power, seeming more relevant as a piece of social commentary in a culture of Hoodies and ASBOs and where the wealth divide seems as strong as ever. Osborne’s gift for emphasising the poetry of the south Welsh vernacular breeds dialogue that is believable and haunting, animated to great effect by a sterling cast.

Packed into a small hot room it feels like a genuine piece of underground Welsh drama has been resurrected for one night only, with all the power and trepidation that a single performance can bring. A low-tech renaissance indeed and simply stunning.

Reviewed by: Nat Davies, Big Issue