Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews


New Theatre : Access all areas , New Theatre Cardiff , July 17, 2004
PIRATES! a tale of passion and betrayal told by a cast from a variety of backgrounds and ages. A lot of hard work has gone into this project, which we have been working on since Easter.

I really enjoyed seeing the play right from its early stages on the writing board to finally seeing the set in all its glory on the stage for real. By taking part in the production I have made a whole crew of friends. The run is going well at the New Theatre where a youthful and energetic audience, happy to support the cast along their journey, has continually welcomed us.

The leading stars Dylan (Adam Smith) and Aunt Clair (Roisin Clancy Davies) helped to pull the show along at a gentle speed as well as linking the scenes which otherwise would have look disjointed. Mike showed the best of his evil side in a victorious portrayal of Captain Scarfelt while Mayor Tubble (Simon Futty) kept his strong performance right through from becoming a traitor to the finale of celebrating fish. The run was outstanding and to see such a large cast bond together so easily- who generally had little theatre or acting experience among them is amazing.

It was an exciting experience for me, as although I had been involved in a number of productions in the past, had begun to take a step out of the limelight. When I was put into the group of privateers rumours were already running high that I was to be the Quartermaster- Colin Grophelt whose description on the audition notes read “grovelling toady to Scarfelt” left me somewhat bemused even more so further through the process as was to have daggers thrown at my feet and ever more cunning and devious plots aimed at poor Colin; and even more so as throughout the scrip and programme his name interestingly changed somewhat between Grophelt and Grophant (?- that is not so excellent news). Although no romance was landed directly in Grophelt’s direction by the closing scene he was sitting with a garland of exotic flowers with his fellow privateers in a friendly embrace (occasionally with extra accessories!)

One of my favourite scenes was the romantic number I quite like you which was sung between Mary Bonny (Jess Allen) and Robin Humblestone (Peter Lysandrou) which was a very moving moment complete with bubbles floating in the air and if you had been able to take a look at the backstage area during the song you would have found almost half the cast singing quietly along to it.

Since the crew dismembered at the beginning of the summer holiday I have met up with the younger members of the cast when we went on a trip to the cinema. We all agreed that we were very grateful to the director Dave Baxter (trouser splitting), as well as the excellent musical talent of the piratical Helen Woods (Shut the door) and the ever-faithful James Williams (and his fly-swatting lessons!); as well as everyone else involved especially the backstage crew and technical management (microphones)- you know who you are!

For those who are still wondering what became of the villain Captain Scarfelt, I spotted Mike Peterson last week in Lakeside as I was making my way towards Radio Glamorgan and he can be seen singing in the Dic Penderyn male voice choir and also in medieval costume dress at various locations.

Reviewed by Luke Todd- pupil at Cardiff High School and co-presenter on the Radio Glamorgan Saturday Morning Breakfast (only available within Heath Hospital) as well as presenter Fizz! on Friday afternoons from 2-4pm.

Reviewed by: Luke Todd

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