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Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads
October 13th - October 17th
Malvern Theatres Young Company presents
Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads
Rhys Harris-Clarke in A Chip in the Sugar
Moa Myerson in Her Big Chance
It was with his series of monologues, Talking Heads, originally filmed for BBC television in the 1980s, that Alan Bennett secured his reputation as a master of brilliant observation and comic timing. Don’t miss this opportunity to see two of the original Talking Heads performed live as a double-bill.
In A Chip in the Sugar, Rhys Harris-Clarke takes the role of Graham Whittaker, devoted son whose life begins to unravel when he discovers his ageing mother has taken up with an old flame.
In Her Big Chance, Moa Myerson plays Lesley, an aspiring actress, who, after a series of unpromising extra roles on television programmes finds what she thinks is her big break as the adventurous Travis in a new film for the West German market.
Actors Rhys Harris-Clarke and Moa Myerson, who began their careers with Malvern Theatres Young Company, return to Malvern Theatres, directed by Nic Lloyd.
Rhys chatted to Tammy Gooding at BBC Hereford & Worcester about taking on the role of Graham in ‘A Chip in the Sugar’, a part originally played by Bennett himself. Listen here: www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08s30kw Skip to (01:17:40)
Running time: 80 minutes
Please read our Festival Theatre Booking Guidelines before booking.
Photo Credit: Louise Thomas
What fantastic performances from two superb young actors! They captured the spirit and essence of Bennett's characters whilst managing to breathe their own life into them. Touching, funny, engaging and timeless. Wonderful to be back in a theatre again, and delighted to support our marvelous local venue. Well done all involved!
Choice Radio Worcester
Malvern Theatre's short season of Covid-safe plays ends this week with a show which is perfectly suited to a cast of just two (or actually just one on stage at a time).
Talking Heads, penned by Alan Bennett, was a series of programmes first broadcast in the 1980's but ironically has itself benefitted from the current pandemic by being remade by the BBC for transmission this summer. And it is two of his short monologues which feature on the Malvern stage this week, both starring young actors who began their careers with Malvern Theatres Young Company.
Rhys Harris-Clarke takes on the role of Graham Whittaker in A Chip in the Sugar. Graham is devoted to his mother but her devotion to him is somewhat diverted when an old flame appears on the scene and begins to upset the apple cart.
Moa Myerson plays the aspiring actress Lesley in Her Big Chance (having starred a couple of weeks ago in the two-hander Mooney and his Caravans with Toby Burchell). With a (very) minor role in Tess behind her, she is presented with an opportunity to break into the West German film market. Could this role of Travis be the big break that she has been hoping for or do the West Germans expect something different in their films…?
Being monologues, the actors have the task of getting and keeping the audience's attention for about 45 minutes each (apart from walking between the different parts of the set, there is little action on stage). These are two very different characters but both are played equally convincingly (with Rhys playing a character who was obviously much older than himself) and were, on first night, word perfect.
Directed by the theatre's Chief Executive Nic Lloyd, this is a good week for the venue with not just a live show on stage but also the very welcome news that they have received a grant from the Government's Culture Recovery Fund which should see them through the lean winter months, especially with the cancellation (until next year) of their traditional pantomime.
It was such a pleasure to be back in the theatre after these past few very bizarre months. The performances by the two young actors were really excellent. Rhys Harris-Clarke gave a very thoughtful, touching and mature interpretation to the character of Graham. The series Talking Heads is a particular favourite of mine and I was not disappointed. Well done indeed to Rhys and Moa. I am sure everyone will wish them every success in the future. At the end of the performances when they both came onto the stage, I was very tempted to stand up whilst I was clapping and shout WELL DONE, as I was so impressed, but felt it might not have been appropriate!
Perhaps through my comments and those of others who saw the show they will know that they can be very proud of these performances. I wish them good luck in everything they do!