Posted 09th of June 2001

Gareth Thomas in The Clearing

Gareth Thomas - Will be touring in Helen Edmundson's The Clearing, playing Solomon.

review by Judith Proctor
review from The Scotsman
review by Ellie Baskerville

In a small Irish community Robert Preston, an English Protestant landowner, marries Madelaine, a fiery down to earth Irish Catholic. Against the epic backdrop of Oliver Cromwell's ruthless colonisation of Ireland, they celebrate the birth of their son, a symbol of hope for the future. As Cromwell's men close in, their passionate love for each other is torn in different directions as Robert is forced to choose between exile, and pledging his allegiance to the English.

Helen Edmundson's award-winning play is an absorbing experience, with a tremendous modern resonance, which explores our sense of national identity, our humanity and how history weighs upon us all.

Sponsored by Barclays Stage Partners with The Scottish Arts Council

This is being staged by the Stellar Quines Theatre Company (enquiries 0131 343 3146), at the following venues:

16/25 September - Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HB. (BO 0141 552 4267)

28 September/02 October - Dundee Rep, Tay Square, Dundee (BO 01382 223530)

When: 19:45 Tickets: 5.75 to 9.5

07/23 October - Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX. (BO 0131 248 4848)

Tickets: 7 to 16 (concessions from 1) Matinees 9.

Matinees: Sat 16th, Wed 20th, Sat 23rd of October@ 2.30pm.

Evenings : @ 7.45pm.

Post show discussion 12th October after the evening show and on Saturday the 16th after the Matinee.

02/06 November - Everyman Theatre, Liverpool (BO 0151 709 4776)

Performance Times - 20.00.

Matinee - 14.00 Wednesday only

Post-Show Discussion - Thursday evening only.

Ticket Prices:
Tues - Thurs 9-95 or 7-50 (side of stage)
Fri/Sat - 11 & 9.

There are some post-show discussions in all venues mostly on Wednesdays & Thursdays. Check individual theatres for details if you're interested.

Gareth started rehearsals on 23 August

From the offical handout

Designed by Jan Bee Brown, Lighting design by Ace McCarron, Music by Kern Falconer.

In a small Irish farming community, against the epic backdrop of Oliver Cromwell's ethnic cleansing of Ireland, Robert an English landowner and his passionate wife Maddy are celebrating the birth of their son - a symbol of hope for the future. As Cromwell's men close in will love be enough protection against politics?

The Clearing is an absorbing experience. It has a tremendous modern resonance, exploring our sense of national identity, our humanity and how history weighs upon us all.

The Clearing "will have you on the edge of your seats" - The Sunday Times. It's an affecting, sad, funny and extreemely powerful story. You'll be talking about it for days afterwards.

Helen Edmundson is an award winning playwright and has worked extensively with Shared Experience and the Royal National Theatre. The Clearing premiered at London's Bush Theatre winning the TimeOut and John Whiting Awards and she is currently adapting it as a screenplay.

"Edmundson's writing is passionate, poetic and muscular, she is doing for 17th Anglo-Irish history what Arthur Miller did for 17th century New England in The Crucible: creating an idiom which resurrects the past but brings its conflicts within touching distance of the present. The result is gripping, the story powerfully told"
- The Sunday Times

Sources: Stellar Quines, The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Horizon and on the web site where you can book online for the shows.

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