Theatre in Wales

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An intense quiet reality

At Sgript Cymru

Sgript Cymru- Past Away , Chapter Arts Centre , February 26, 2002
SGRIPT CYMRU WAS A COMPANY TASKED WITH DEVELOPING, PRODUCING AND TOURING NEW WRITING IN THEATRE.

LED BY ARTISTIC DIRECTOR SIMON HARRIS AND LITERARY MANAGER BILL HOPKINSON IT WAS SUCCESSOR TO THE COMPANY MADE IN WALES.

THE COMPANY TOURED WALES AND ALSO VISITED LONDON AND NEW YORK CITY.

ON ITS CLOSURE THE NEW WRITING BRIEF PASSED TO THE SHERMAN THEATRE. THE SHERMAN HAD NO ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AT THE TIME. TOURING CEASED AND PRODUCTIONS OF NEW WRITING SLUMPED.

WORKSHOPS TOOK THEIR PLACE. MIKE BRADWELL OF HULL TRUCK AND BUSH THEATRE WROTE: “THEATRES FREQUENTLY GIVE A PLAY A REHEARSED READING OF A PLAY OR WORKSHOP IN ORDER TO GET RID OF IT.”

MIKE BRADWELL'S MEMOIR FEATURES IN THE SEQUENCE “THEATRE DIRECTOR BOOK.”

MEIC POVEY IS REMEMBERED IN THE SEQUENCE "IN MEMORY" 29TH DECEMBER 2017.

REVIEWS OF PRODUCTIONS BY SGRIPT CYMRU CAN BE READ BELOW

"Acqua Nero" by Meredydd Barker' : 06 March 2007: 06 March 2007: 03 March 2007: 28 February 2007: 27 February 2007

"Amdani" by Gary Owen: 28 September 2003: 19 September 2003: 18 September 2003

"An Enemy for the People" by Gary Owen: 15 September 2006: 10 September 2006: 02 August 2006: 23rd July 2006: 07 July 2006

"Art and Guff" by Catherine Tregenna. : 07 March 2001 : 13 March 2001: 12 March 2001: 09 March 200 : 14 March 2001: 15 March 2001: 13 April 2001: 04 April 2001

"Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco" by Gary Owen: 01 March 2001: 05 March 2001 : 15 March 2001

"Drws Arall I’r Coed": 05 March 2005: 02 March 2005: 05 February 2005

"Franco's Bastard" by Dic Edwards: 19 April 2002: 18 April 2002 :16 April 2002: 13 April 2002

"Ghost City" by Gary Owen: 24 June 2004: 06 June 2004: 04 June 2004: 15 April 2004: 11 March 2004:10 March 2004: 09 March 2004: 05 March 2004: 05 March 2004

"Indian Country" by Meic Povey: 04 June 2001: 04 June 2003: 09 May 2003: 05 May 2003: 05 May 2003: 01 May 2003: 17 June 2003

"Life of Ryan ...and Ronnie" by Meic Povey : 24 October 2005: 20 October 2005: 15 October 2005:
:14 October 2005

"Orange" by Alan Harris : 22 September 2006

"Past Away" by Tracy Harris : 26 February 2002 : 11 October 2002: 03 October 2002: 13 September 2002: 13 September 2002: 12 September 2002

Review of "Past Away"

Struggling chemistry and gritty poetry in words and movement pervade this brooding partnership between emerging and exciting new writer, twenty-two year old Tracy Harris and director of the same surname Simon (No relation). Relationships, or the lack of the ability to make them, are at the core of this compelling work. The ninety-minute performance has the feel of a sonata, Harris's presence wielding a baton, guiding the actors through their rhythms and movements with a light unobtrusive touch.

The set, designed by Max Jones, is also a sophisticated and elegantly constructed piece of sculpture or angular landscape on which these sad and frustrated relationships are revealed. Tracey Harris has her own new and distinctive language that speaks equally well through each of her very different characters.

The play revolves around the death of Brian's father. The father's presence is there but he is a shadowy character invading the future of all the characters in the play. Brian's guilt and inadequacies produce bouts of mannish anger alternating with childish tears. Like the other actors played with an overriding understatement Shane Atwooll's so real portrayal in the intimate arena of the Chapter Studio gives us the feeling that we are there like nosy neighbours spying on his troubles.

His brother Jo, again played with an intense quiet reality by Chris Lennard, struggles with many dilemmas of identity that most of us will recognise. The point near the end of the play, with the director's baton quickening, when he discovers himself and grows taller before our eyes is one of those moments of excitement only found in live theatre.

Both brothers react in very different ways to lodger Eddie, who in fact turns out to be a brother, or is he? What is he? Does he know? Oliver Ryan’s edgy playing buffets between the other characters in a curiously supportive way, not that any one is giving much support in any direction.

Susan is Brian's wife in a very dry marriage. Nia Roberts again understates with a balletic eroticism of movement that both enchants and repulses. A captivating performance, a shaky hold on life.

Sgript Cymru runs many workshops developing new writers. This play demonstrates the value of this work. Sgript Cymru many not have their own base theatre but they are most certainly the 'Royal Court' of Wales.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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