Tag Archives: Tom Mumford

Mog by Aled Roberts

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff, Tues 6 Nov 2012, 8pm, £4 on the door

The Riverfront, Newport, Thurs 8 Nov 2012, 7.45pm, £4

Cast

Mog – Tom Mumford

Da – Anthony Leader

Ma – Clêr Stephens

Alyn – Alex Harries

Director

James Ashton

Review

This is a powerful piece of writing from Aled Roberts that handles humour, pathos and deeply upsetting situations within a troubled family. It is similarly brought to performance by four excellent actors in a production that is sympathetically created by James Ashton making a quite exceptional directing debut.

If you are familiar with Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers there is nothing particularly new in the idea of brothers separated at birth, following different lives and the consequences of what happens when they come back together.This is actually a far more moving and poignant story of two half-brothers, one brought up by his maternal mother and the other by his mother’s sister. One goes to college  and works in a bank, the other just lazes around the house. However, at the end of the play “successful” son Mog deeply regrets having been handed over to his aunty to be raised while the son that stays at home are bitter about his successful half-brother.

Along the way we have the two other key players, Da and Ma, splendidly acted by Anthony Leader and Clêr Stephens. The drama unfolds in their home with Mog coming to tell his “aunty” that he is going to college in London. It isn’t terribly hard to work out that she is actually his mum. The damaged relationship between Da and Ma is clearly because Ma has never come to terms with handing over her illegitimate child to her sister to bring up. It is also understandable that Alyn is as he is because he can see his mother’s idolisation of Mog.
The play is skilfully directed as we have no set, just a few props, and the sounds of an offstage kitchen. While the play lasts just an hour it includes the passage of time including the death of Ma and then the death of Da, leaving the two half-brothers (who now know the truth) to unsuccessfully deal with the fallout.

Tom Mumford and Alex Harries are two extremely talented young actors who take these two very different roles, make them their own with finely crafted characterisations. Clêr Stephens is a delight as MA while I have not been so impressed by any performance for a long time as Anthony Leader’s consummate performance as Da.

Mike Smith

 

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

The Ordinary Three by Lotty Morris

Performances

Chapter, Cardiff Tues 9 Nov 8pm – £4 on the door

Theatre Halliwell, Trinity College, Carmarthen Wed 10 Nov 7:30pm – £6

Cast

A – Tom Mumford

B – Robert Harper

W – Polly Kilpatrick

Director

Elise Davison

[nggallery id=4]

Photographs by Elise Davison & Robert Harper