Theatre in Wales

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'On The Edge' - spring season 2013     

'On The Edge' - spring season 2013 Ground-breaking producer Michael Kelligan is focusing on the works associated with one of Wales’ interesting and exciting playwrights for the ninth On The Edge season of hand-held performances.

A friend and colleague of Kelligan for more than two decades since their acting days, Ian Rowlands work is now seen on both sides of the Atlantic and it was at New York’s Lark Theatre that the Rhondda Valleys-born author heard one of the new plays to Wales in the new season, The Way of Water. Written by New York writer Caridad Svich, the play was performed alongside Rowlands’ Desire Lines.

This play deals with the huge oil spill disaster in Mexico Bay 2010 and its effect on the lives of the coastal people. Kelligan said, “Ian was struck by the beauty of the writing in this play and sent a copy of the script and sent me a copy suggesting I should stage a reading of it in his next On The Edge season.” The Way of Water will be the March reading in the season.

Rowlands had already started working on his next play Fragments of Journeys Towards the Horizon in collaboration with Dutch writer Jeroen Van Den Burgh, who like Rowlands, is an international associate of the Lark Theatre. Kelligan said, “In the interim, a close friend of Rowlands from Galway, where many of his plays have been seen, Michael Diskin, died. His death had an impact upon the evolving text. It is a beautifully written monologue concerning the nature of friendship, collaboration and cancer.” On The Edge will give its debut reading in April, with Russell Gomer in the pivotal role.

The season opens with another premiere performance in February; A Nice Drink, by Penarth-based Jude Garner. The sensitively written play won the Drama Association of Wales’ best one act play competition in 2012 which was judged by Rowlands.

It has now been developed into a full-length play, the writer working in close cooperation with Kelligan's Welsh Fargo Stage Company, the On The Edge presenters. Author and creative writing lecturer, Mark Jenkins, best known for his work Playing Burton, has played an important part in this process. Actors Nathan Sussex and Poly Kilpatrick, who have both made many appearances with On The Edge, will take the leading roles.

One of Rowlands previous theatre companies Theatr Y Byd cut its teeth in a Cardiff pub which also saw the birth of the On The Edge project with a season of the author’s short plays. A revival of one of these plays will end the season, Sex and Power at the Beau Rivage by Parthian Books’ chief Lewis Davies. It is an exotic look at the life of D H Lawrence and his wife Frieda who ‘entertain’ the young novelist and short story writer Rhys Davies. It brings back director James Ashton who made a big impact with his production of Mog at the end of the last season.

A Nice Drink: Chapter, Cardiff, February 12; Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, February 13; Riverfront, Newport: February 14

The Way of Water: Chapter, Cardiff, March 19; Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea, March 20, Riverfront, Newport: March 21

Sex and Power at the Beau Rivage: Chapter, Cardiff, May 14; Dylan Thomas Centre, May 15, Swansea, Riverfront, Newport: May, 16
 
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