Tag Archives: Rebecca Knowles

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)

 

 

The Perplexing Puzzle of the Pedigree Pet and the Policeman by Terry Victor

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff Tues 26 April 2011, 8pm – £4 on the door

The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Wed 27 April 2011, 7:30pm – £4

The Riverfront, Newport Thur 28 April 2011, 7:45pm – £4


Cast

Joan H Watson SRN – Mrs Liz Gardiner

Ms Shirley Holmes – Miss Rebecca Knowles

Joan H Watson – Miss Rhian Cheyne

Miss Mary Morstan – Miss Natalie Paisey

Jake Jejune – Mr Aled Herbert


Director

Terry Victor

 

Review

“The Perplexing Puzzle of the Pedigree Pet and the Policeman”

The latest play-reading in the On The Edge season at Chapter was a rare foray into comedy – Terry Victor’s “The Perplexing Puzzle of the Pedigree Pet and the Policeman”, first produced in 1981, in which supercilious detective Shirley Holmes and her hapless assistant Joan Watson investigate a particularly icky murder. The author also directed, cleverly making a comic virtue of the script-in-hand aesthetic, and the performers Rebecca Knowles (Holmes), Rhian Cheyne (Watson), Liz Gardner (the older Watson, narrator and MC), Natalie Paisey (damsel in distress) and Aled Herbert (stagehand and chief suspect) were obviously enjoying themselves. The play would certainly have benefited from having some of the references updated (the SPG, Sham ’69, etc), and the integration between the old-school and modern elements of the narrative (e.g. the urban riot) seemed a little awkward to me. On the whole, though, jolly fun.
http://blakeson.blogspot.com