Tag Archives: Katy Owen

Gryfhead by Lucy Gough

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff Tues 9 Mar 8pm – IN THE THEATRE – £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Wed 10 Mar 7.30pm – £3

The Riverfront, Newport Thurs 11 Mar 7.45pm – £4

Park and Dare, Treorchy Fri 12 Mar 7.30pm – £3

Cast

Ella – Katy Owen

Poet – Alastair Sill

Wolfskin – Robert Harper

Enzo/The Head – James Ashton

Director

Sita Calvert-Ennals

Review

Gryfhead

I attended the Chapter performance of the latest in the On The Edge“Deadlier Than The Male” season of work by female playwrights :- “Gryfhead” by Lucy Gough, an everyday story of boy meets girl, girl’s brother kills boy, girl digs up boy’s body and keeps his head in the fridge. Based on a story from Boccaccio, via Keats, it starred Katy Owen as the feisty heroine, James Ashton as the unfortunate lover, Robert Harper as the unhinged, thuggish brother, and Alastair Sill as the Poet who alternates between observing, devising and participating in events, ultimately losing control of his creations, as Ella inconveniently refuses to fade prettily away. Less densely poetic than previous Lucy Gough plays that I’ve seen, “Gryfhead” is a grippingly gruesome tale of female empowerment set in a sink-estate/Grimm fairytale landscape (although it could probably have worked without the lupine trimmings). Despite the inevitable, distracting moments of awkwardness involving the juggling of scripts and props, this being a semi-staged reading, director Sita Calvert-Ennals kept things moving, striking a good balance between tragedy and absurdism. I went expecting edification, and ended up being thoroughly entertained.
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Photographs by Michael Kelligan

 

Botticelli’s Bonfire by Greg Cullen

Performance

Chapter, Cardiff, Wed 13 June 2007, 8pm, £3 on the door

Cast

Magdalena Agnali – Jane Aherne

Julia,Clarice De Medici, Evangelista Agnall – Melissa Amner-Hill

Jailer, Narrator – Sam Bees

Salviati, Fillipo Agnali – Jonathan Buckeridge

Savonarola – Lee Clotworthy

Sandro Botticelli – James Early

Angelo Poliziao, Friar 1, Cesare Borgia, Guiseppe – Stephen Humpherson

Bottielli’s Landlady, Pope Alexander VI, Donatella – Bethan Ingram

Piero De Medici, Attendant, Friar 2 – Carwyn James

Angelo’s Lover, Soderini – James Lucas

Whore 1, Lucrezia De Medici, Maria Agnali – Sara Melton

La Riccia, Gina, Rosa Salviati, Drunk – Delyth Morris

Niccolo Machiavelli – Tim Newns

Frienza, Clarice’s Mother, Lucretia Borgia, Chloris, Venus – Katy Owen

Lorenzo De Medici- Gareth Potter

Guiliano De Medici, Roberto, Friar 3, Innkeeper, Mercury – Marek Rakowski

Whore 2, Simonetta Soderini, Marcella Agnali – Sophie Roberts

Giovanni De Medici, Prior Cellini – Jonathan Scholtan

Marietta Machiavelli, Sophia – Lizzy Watts

Director

Greg Cullen

Assistant Directors

Amy Daly

Caroline Smith

Sound/ Lighting

Charlie Carter

Set

Catherine Winton

 

Slaughter on Grand Avenue by Alan Osborne

Performance

Chapter, Cardiff, Fri 8 July 2005 £3 on the door

Cast

Antonia – Katy Owen

Hogarth – Jason Camilleri

Alicia – Clare Isaac

Puffin- Ffion Williams

Isaf- Lloyd Everitt

with Henry Johnson on drums.

Director

Michael Kelligan

Lighting

Dan Young

Review

Calling a theatre festival Passion is, I guess, provocative enough: to launch it with a group of scantily-clad dancing devils and an off-the-wall play about poetry, pornography and patrimony is even more interesting.So Passion, Cardiff’s first-ever city of drama festival, was launched at the New Theatre by the Lord Mayor, complete with chain and formal speech, but just as she stood up to the mike she found herself assailed by the suggestive close-up shimmying of a man wearing blue paint and little else, with a trident and his gang of squirming Trinidadian Blue Devils, just flown in to make their presence felt throughout the Passion festival and for the Mas Carnival in the Bay on July 30.With hips shaking and red tongues shooting in and out, the troupe were not really the sort of event normally encountered in the New Theatre bar or by civic leaders. You could almost see the think bubble above Cllr Freda Salway’s head as she waited for the gyrating and drumming to abate so she could open this exciting 25 days of drama in the city: HELP ! it said silently.

And if you thought that Chapter’s theatre was going to offer a refuge from the crazy and the carnivalesque – well, when does it ever ?

Alan Osborne, that remarkable polymath, can however express just what the Lord Mayor said when she did get to make her speech: the culture of Cardiff is unique and it is one created by the different communities who have settled there.

Osborne has always been interested more in the fringes of that culture – the dispossessed, the inarticulate, the odd and the plain loopy. Bull, Rock and Nut, Redemption Song and In Sunshine and In Shadow remain a trilogy of exception force and unconventional lyricism.

Those three plays are now known as the Merthyr Trilogy but his new play, Slaughter on Grand Avenue, harks back to the subject matter of one of his earlier plays, working-class Cardiff. Johnny Darkie, through, was based on dockland while his new work, as yet unfinished, is set in Ely and the road that runs through it.

Here we find Alicia J. Rummell, porn queen and entrepreneur, rap poet Hogarth and his girl, Antonia, who cons disability allowance by acting mental, “doing poetic illness”, and an odd couple in fancy dress, Puffin and Isaf, who turn out to be Hogarth’s half-siblings whom he and his father had abandoned in Swansea.

Just what happens, or why, is not terribly clear, especially in this script-in-hand production from Michael Kelligan as part of his On The Edge season of rehearsed readings, with its mainly young cast not seemingly sure of how to deliver Osborne’s often opaque if lyrical speeches.

Osborne’s stylised writing, I suspect, demands a very special kind of actor (I recall Dorien Thomas as the perfect performer to voice Osborne’s words) and while Katy Owen is fine, quirky and highly talented oddly I didn’t find her convincing as an Ely freak; and while Ffion Jenkins impressed considerably she did make her scenes seem, perhaps not unsurprisingly, to be more from Ed Thomas country than the even crazier world of Alan Osborne.

Clare Isaac grounded the play to an extent, Jason Cazmilleri was a convincing rap poet (after all, he is one) and Lloyd Everitt showed promise – but none, it seems to me, created that distinctive real-but-unreal place inhabited by Osborne’s larger-than-life characters.

Even so, I enjoyed the show enormously, if only because Alan Osborne has got just what this festival is all about: passion.

 David Adams