Tag Archives: Bethan Morgan

Results Night by Sara Hawys and Leon Russell

Results Night by Sara Hawys and Leon Russell

Och aye the noo ! The results of the Scottish Independence referendum have been declared. A crisis or celebration for Wales? This may not get you voting but it may have you reeling in the aisles!

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 15 Apr 2014, 8pm, £4

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, Wed 16 Apr 2014, 7.30pm, £4

The Riverfront, Newport, Thurs 17 Apr 2014, 7.45pm, £4

Cast

Dafydd  Puw             Nathan Sussex

Elisabeth Puw           Bethan Morgan

David Kennet            John Cording

Morag Kennet           Rebecca Knowles

Leanne                        Louisa Marie Lorey

Director

Lynn Hunter

Review: On The Edge – Results Night at Chapter Arts Centre

A sparkling comedy set on the night of the Scottish Independence Referendum investigates if a ‘yes’ vote would constitute crisis or celebration for Wales.

Chapter Arts Centre

Basing a comedy on an event as taut with tension as the Scottish Independence Referendum is a daring move. After all, north of the border there are few laughs to be had as the clash between Alex Salmond’s ‘yes’ campaign and the ‘no’ campaign, nominally headed by Alastair Darling, looms ever closer.

But in this confident and intelligent comedy from Sara Hawys and Leon Russell, there is plenty to giggle at.

Dafydd and Elsabeth Puw were Welsh – the former a diehard Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg defender in his youth, the latter a determined social climber.

David Kennet was a wealthy Englishman, while wife Morag was Scottish – and their son dated the Puws’ daughter.

The foursome came together on September 18, ostensibly the night when Scotland’s future could change forever.

But the clashes between them concerning nationhood and neighbourliness created a stink which even the burning haggis dinner couldn’t cover up.

Although the referendum was a hook to hang the play on, there was a distinct lack of cohesion to that point.

However, the fiery reactions of the Cymraeg and the Saes were enough to exhibit the dogmatism inherent on many sides of the same borders.

The appearance in particular of the character of confirmed nationalist Leanne – girlfriend of the Puws’ son – highlighted the gulf between Dafydd’s youthful commitment to the cause and his drift from it into middle-aged complacency.

As Dafydd, Nathan Sussex was a man drawn in opposing directions, giving a heartfelt reaction to Louisa Marie Lorey’s agitating Leanne which could be nostalgia or something more.

Bethan Morgan’s Elsabeth formed the central glue, but John Cording’s blustering David made a strong second. Rebecca Knowles was the sheepish Scottish wife with little interest in the referendum back home.

The plot dealt in broad strokes, and perhaps missed laughs on occasion in favour of making points, but it zipped along nicely and left the audience in no doubt at all that when it comes to an event as pressurised as this, sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh.

The Way of Water by Caridad Svich

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 19 Mar 2013, 8pm, £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, Wed 20 Mar 2013, 7.30pm, £4

The Riverfront, Newport, Thurs 21 Mar 2013, 7.45pm, £4

Bethan Morgan 

 

Review

The latest in the Welsh Fargo Stage Company‘s series of “On The Edge” play-readings at Chapter provided a rare opportunity to sample the work of the kind of playwright whose work routinely runs off-Broadway: “The Way Of Water”, by OBIE-Award-winning Caridad Svich; a piece which has received many readings over the past few years, but apparently (and inexplicably) no full productions.

The action focusses on two couples in their thirties, former high-school friends struggling to survive, both physically and financially, in the aftermath of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Jimmy and Yuki scratch a living from fishing, their wives Rosalie and Neva from handicrafts; all around them people are falling ill, probably (but unprovably) due to contaminated water, and now Jimmy is starting to suffer from seizures…
The writing is poetic in a naturalistic way, apart from a few lapses into monologue (some of which seemed to break the coherence of the piece); the tone is gloomy in terms of politics (lives and communities torn apart by uncaring capitalism) but optimistic re the human spirit – “The Grapes of Wrath” is explicitly referenced. The cast, as usual, is exemplary, director Bethan Morgan encouraging Nick Wayland-Evans to make the most of his imposing physicality in the pivotal role of the broken former wrestling hero Jimmy; Dick Bradnum and Polly Kilpatrick spirited and engaging as Yuki and Rosalie; Rebecca Knowles as the pregnant Neva hinting at a hidden darkness (there is a mention of rehab which is not pursued).

Not exactly a barrel of laughs, but warm, poignant and beautifully realised.

Othniel Smith (blakeson.blogspot.co.uk)

 

 

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard

Performances

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

Cast

Rosencrantz – Aled Herbert

Guildenstern – Jonathon Holcroft

The Player, Claudius – Gary Knowles

Hamlet – Tom Mumford

Polonius – Michael Kelligan

Ophelia, Gertrude – Bethan Morgan 

Director

Michael Kelligan

Music

Bethan Morgan

Review

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