Tag Archives: Alex Harries

Mog by Aled Roberts

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 6 Nov 2012, 8pm, £4 on the door

The Riverfront, Newport, Thurs 8 Nov 2012, 7.45pm, £4

Cast

Mog – Tom Mumford

Da – Anthony Leader

Ma – Clêr Stephens

Alyn – Alex Harries

Director

James Ashton

Review

This is a powerful piece of writing from Aled Roberts that handles humour, pathos and deeply upsetting situations within a troubled family. It is similarly brought to performance by four excellent actors in a production that is sympathetically created by James Ashton making a quite exceptional directing debut.

If you are familiar with Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers there is nothing particularly new in the idea of brothers separated at birth, following different lives and the consequences of what happens when they come back together.This is actually a far more moving and poignant story of two half-brothers, one brought up by his maternal mother and the other by his mother’s sister. One goes to college  and works in a bank, the other just lazes around the house. However, at the end of the play “successful” son Mog deeply regrets having been handed over to his aunty to be raised while the son that stays at home are bitter about his successful half-brother.

Along the way we have the two other key players, Da and Ma, splendidly acted by Anthony Leader and Clêr Stephens. The drama unfolds in their home with Mog coming to tell his “aunty” that he is going to college in London. It isn’t terribly hard to work out that she is actually his mum. The damaged relationship between Da and Ma is clearly because Ma has never come to terms with handing over her illegitimate child to her sister to bring up. It is also understandable that Alyn is as he is because he can see his mother’s idolisation of Mog.
The play is skilfully directed as we have no set, just a few props, and the sounds of an offstage kitchen. While the play lasts just an hour it includes the passage of time including the death of Ma and then the death of Da, leaving the two half-brothers (who now know the truth) to unsuccessfully deal with the fallout.

Tom Mumford and Alex Harries are two extremely talented young actors who take these two very different roles, make them their own with finely crafted characterisations. Clêr Stephens is a delight as MA while I have not been so impressed by any performance for a long time as Anthony Leader’s consummate performance as Da.

Mike Smith

 

The Custom House by Kit Lambert

Performances

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

 

Cast

Josef – Simon Morgan-Thomas

Stefan – Alex Harries

Anita – Alison John

Maria – Zoe Davies

 

Director

Simon West

 

The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 16-Sat 20 Dec 2008

Cast

Gus – Alex Harries

Ben – Dean Rehman

Director

Sarah Argent

Lighting Design and Staging

Lee Grey

Sound Design and Staging

Anna Eveleigh

Props

Steve Denton

Scenic Artist

James Gardiner

Dumb Waiter built by Martin Harris

Review

Deftly twisting Chapter’s ongoing redevelopment work for its own gain, the Welsh Fargo Stage Company’s take on Harold Pinter’s edgy one-act rarity transports you right inside its drafty bedsit basement seeing in the temporary Yr Llofft space. Visually, Dean Rehman (Ben) and Alex Harries (Gus) are expertly cast as at-odds hit men awaiting their next job, the former, a steely-eyed senior killer-for-hire, driven to distraction by his younger partner’s constant questioning.

The actors are already sitting in character as the audience files across the makeshift stage, a move that immediately invokes gritty realism, before the pair start to devour the often sparse script and somewhat farcical central scenes involving the titular dumb waiter. Harries’ slightly exaggerated Welsh lilt lends a genuine gormless air to Gus, upping the suspense as his partner’s patience wears even thinner. Rehman is also convincing, brooding and troubled by the drama that lies ahead. When the fleeting moments of near-violence do break out, the audience members find themselves jarred against the back of their seats, and the concluding twist is well-weighted.

Directed by Sarah Argent. Lighting design and Staging by Lee Grey. Sound design and staging by Anna Eveleigh. Scenic Artist – James Gardiner. Props by Steve Denton. Dumb Waiter built by Martin Harris.

A.K.