Tag Archives: John Cording

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.

Shimmer by Linda Mclean

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff, Wed 12 Dec 2007, 8pm, £3 on the door

Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, Thurs 13 Dec 2007, 7.30pm, £3


Cast

Hen- Lynn Hunter

Missy – Hannah McPake

Petal – Mairi Phillips

Sonny – John Cording

Jim – Alex Parry

Guy – Daniel Curties

Director

Sarah Argent

 

Change by J O Francis

Performance

Chapter, Cardiff Wed 18 Oct 2006, 8pm. £3 on the door

Cast

John Pricce (an old collier) – Gwyn Vaughan Jones

Gwen (his wife) – Anwen Williams

John Henry }                                                  – Richard Shackley

Lewis               }  (their 3 sons)                – Gareth John Bale

Gwilym          }                                                  – Leon Davies

Isaac Pugh – John Cording

Lizzie Ann ( a poor relation) – Ffion Williams

Sam Thatcher (their lodger) – Lee Mengo

Twm Powell –Rhys Parry Jones

Dai Matthews – Huw Davies

Jinnie pugh – Sara Lloyd

Director

Sarah Argent

Review

Almost a century has passed since J O Francis’ intense domestic drama was first seen yet its central theme of a family ripped apart by social, political, cultural and economic change rings true to us down the generations.

Add to this acting of quite remarkable passion and utter conviction in this rehearsed reading and this offering from the On the Edge, State of the Nation season, had the audience literally on the edge of their seats.

The story is of a mining family in the Rhondda just before the First World War, when coal was king but the mining communities were its serfs. But change is in the air with the rash of strikes, the burgeoning Labour movement, and political rather than pulpit oration offering salvation.

On the family scene we have a hard working God fearing father John Price, played by Gwyn Vaughan-Jones with a wonderful combination of strength and vulnerability. He has made sacrifices throughout his life so his sons can have the education and chances he never had. His sole ambition is to have one of his sons become the minister – the accolade of success. His wife is played by Anwen Williams and a more moving and exhausting performance I have rarely seen. She has a simpler ambition, to have her family around her.

But these are changing times. One son Gwilym played as a gentle yet deeply observant child by Leon Davies has consumption and is to live with a relation in Australia. Another son John Henry, sympathetically played by a Richard Shackley, turns his back on the ministry and chooses, shame of it, the stage. The third son Lewis, played with fire in soul by Gareth John Bale, chooses firebrand politics as his religion. John Price has the preacher son he always wanted but with socialism rather than Christianity his message.

The lodger Sam Thatcher (ironically appropriate surname for a play about struggling mining communities) is played by Lee Mengo as the outsider, a disabled rover from Canning Town whose mantra is to go with the flow.

Set against a montage of actual industrial disputes including confrontations with strike-breaking soldiers, the plot follows the break up of the family as the father cannot understand his children’s values in the changing society. One by one they depart leaving their mother a broken woman.

Yes, the symbolism of the characters seems a little heavy handed and obvious to us today but remember there are still plays and musicals even still being written that follow what over the following century has become a hackneyed and clichéd dramatic convention in Welsh drama.

Mike Smith (Western Mail)