Tag Archives: Aled Herbert

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard


Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 14 Feb 2012, 8pm, £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, Wed 15 Feb 2012, 7.30pm, £4

The Riverfront, Newport, Thurs 16 Feb 2012, 7.45pm, £4


Rosencrantz – Aled Herbert

Guildenstern – Jonathon Holcroft

The Player, Claudius – Gary Knowles

Hamlet – Tom Mumford

Polonius – Michael Kelligan

Ophelia, Gertrude – Bethan Morgan 


Michael Kelligan


Bethan Morgan


For the first play in this year’s “On The Edge” season Michael Kelligan chose Tom Stoppard’s” Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”. This play opened at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 1966 and is sporadically produced nowadays. Tom Stoppard was the king of the British theatre scene for the following twenty years. an impressive feat for someone born in Czechoslavakia. While Alan Ayckbourn dominated the “cosier” world of suburban life Stoppard was more intellectual. He is capable of the killer one-liner but you have to earn the laughs by following the often compex plots and thought-processes within.

This play follows the characters who appear intermittently throughout “Hamlet”, so an understanding of that play is extremely handy. We were very fortunate that having seen Michael Sheen’s stunning performance in the title role last month, the plot was fresh in our minds. Other members of the audience were less lucky. A lot of people I knew struggled to follow what was happening, especially the opening over-wordy sequence which sent the gentleman to my right into a noisy sleep. He failed to return for the second half and there were other noticeable gaps after the interval.

“On The Edge” was founded in 2004 to produce drama for audiences with few theatrical frills, concentrating mainly on the text with the actors using the script when necessary. It is a credit to the performers and the playwright that almost immediately you forget it is not a fully staged production. The acting is of a high order, especially from Jon Holcroft and Aled Herbert in the title roles. From an audience persepective, this was a long evening. Modern plays are generally (“Jerusalem” excluded) getting shorter and shorter. I feel this production could have benefitted from an earlier start and cutting of some of the wordier less plot driven scenes. A 10.30pm end on a Tuesday was too late.

Overall, though it was still good to see this over-looked play being given an airing in Cardiff. And for £4 “On The Edge” again provides astonishing value for money.

David Cox

The Perplexing Puzzle of the Pedigree Pet and the Policeman by Terry Victor


Chapter, Cardiff Tues 26 April 2011, 8pm – £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Wed 27 April 2011, 7:30pm – £4

The Riverfront, Newport Thur 28 April 2011, 7:45pm – £4


Joan H Watson SRN – Mrs Liz Gardiner

Ms Shirley Holmes – Miss Rebecca Knowles

Joan H Watson – Miss Rhian Cheyne

Miss Mary Morstan – Miss Natalie Paisey

Jake Jejune – Mr Aled Herbert


Terry Victor



“The Perplexing Puzzle of the Pedigree Pet and the Policeman”

The latest play-reading in the On The Edge season at Chapter was a rare foray into comedy – Terry Victor’s “The Perplexing Puzzle of the Pedigree Pet and the Policeman”, first produced in 1981, in which supercilious detective Shirley Holmes and her hapless assistant Joan Watson investigate a particularly icky murder. The author also directed, cleverly making a comic virtue of the script-in-hand aesthetic, and the performers Rebecca Knowles (Holmes), Rhian Cheyne (Watson), Liz Gardner (the older Watson, narrator and MC), Natalie Paisey (damsel in distress) and Aled Herbert (stagehand and chief suspect) were obviously enjoying themselves. The play would certainly have benefited from having some of the references updated (the SPG, Sham ’69, etc), and the integration between the old-school and modern elements of the narrative (e.g. the urban riot) seemed a little awkward to me. On the whole, though, jolly fun.


In Sunshine and In Shadow by Alan Osborne


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


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


Michael Kelligan


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