Tag Archives: Michael Kelligan

The Undead Poets’ Society by John Hussey

poets

Michael Kelligan is now in the eleventh year of his On The Edge project, presenting script-held performances of new plays by Welsh and Wales based writers.

Next time On The Edge

The Undead Poets Society by John Hussey- Poets on a murder hunt!

Dylan Thomas takes time off from his 100 years birthday celebration and joins John Betjeman, Philip Larkin,Ted Hughes, and Sylvia Plath on a murder hunt! They will be joined by Nick McGaughey, Richard Mark Milne, Dafydd Wyn Roberts, Natalie Paisley, Peter Knight, Polly Kilpatrick and Michael Kelligan who will assist them with their investigations and become members of THE UNDEAD POETS SOCIETY.

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff Tues Dec 9 8pm

Dylan Thomas Centre Wed Dec 10 7.30pm

 

Cast

Nick Mcgaughey

Richard Mark Milne

Dafydd Wyn Roberts

Peter Knight

Natalie Paisey

Polly Kilpatrick

Michael Kelligan

 Writer

John Hussey

Director

Julie Barclay

The War is Dead Long Live the War by Patrick Jones

The War is Dead Long Live the War by Patrick Jones

To mark the centenary of the 1914 -1918 First World war – a revisit to the Blackwood poet’s 2004 play. Wilfred Owen meets a Young Gulf War soldier.

The team, Patrick Jones and Michael Kelligan, that produced The 5 Star production of DANDELION

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 13 May 2014, 8pm, £4

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, Wed 14 May 2014, 7.30pm, £4

The Riverfront, Newport, Thurs 15 May 2014, 7.45pm, £4

Cast

Black – Alan Humphreys

White – Neal McWilliams

Director

Michael Kelligan

Dandelion by Patrick Jones – Review : Sion Lidster

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

★★★★

Review by Sion Lidster

A packed house sits in silence and watches the four empty chairs sat before them. The stage is slowly filled by four actors over the age of 60, one of whom rests herself straight in front of a television set. Three elderly women and one elderly man, living and dying together in a cancer hospice, set the scene for Patrick Jones‘ latest play, Dandelion.

This subdued subject matter might not be what you have come to expect from the man who wrote Revelation or The War is Dead Long Live the War. You may think that it lacks the crucial urgency, or the vitriolic commentary, that is burrowed deep in much of his work. This perception will all change of the next 90 minutes, as we are taken on a journey of hopes, dreams, regrets, and redemption, as these four character prepare to transcend this mortal coil.

The obvious weight of the theme is gladly lightened by a melancholic comic air that weaves itself throughout the play. Much of this laughter is provided by the youthful hearted Ernest, played by Anthony Leader, as he continues his mission to present the others with some excitement in the lives. Mrs. Hartson, played by Lynn Hunter, is equally hilarious in her sardonic retorts spoken from her television hub. Olwen Rees‘ portrayal of the innocent yet fragile Mary is a harrowing reminder of the plight of age, whilst Sharon Morgan’s monologues as Rachel brought me to the verge of tears on more than one occasion.

The soul of the play is the attention to each individual’s truth. All too often in our society, the elderly are cast to the sidelines, they are the dandelions; the weeds ready to be plucked from the garden. Here, Patrick Jones uses the time he spent in a hospice to provide a voice to the voiceless, and to highlight the fact that there is a wealth of emotion deep in every human being, whether you are willing to see it or not.

The acting is superb, the writing is magnetic (particularly the poetic streams of consciousness), and Michael Kelligan’s direction artfully segues between collective conversations and inner monologues with rhythmic ease.

The play is filled with hope and despair. On one hand there is the everlasting optimism of Ernest, and his call to arms through the words of Jack London. On the other, there is the dementia of Mary, a blatant reminder of the finality of life. Overall, there is a sense of the present – that we are here now to live our lives to the utmost, to build bridges and to enjoy every second we have left.

There will have been many people leaving the theatre making that phone call to the one they love whilst they still can. Such is the power of a humanist work of art, such is the power of Dandelion.