Archive for April, 2011
Article from ThisIsSouthWales 29 April 2011
A little girl left in tears after watching Michael Sheen’s character being beaten up by guards during The Passion has been put at ease by the actor himself.
It was all a bit too much for Keava Evans when she saw some of the emotional and realistic scenes of the theatre production set in Port Talbot last weekend.
But the 7-year-old was not left upset for long, as the kindhearted actor made a special effort to speak to her on the phone to make sure she was OK.
Her grandmother Sandra McCalmon, of Southville Road, Sandfields, said she could not believe it when the Hollywood star was at the other end of the phone.
“He is fabulous. It was so nice of him,” she said.
“Elinor, my son’s girlfriend who had been a performer, was at the after show party on Monday evening.
“I rang her to ask her how it was going and if she could get a photo of Michael to show Keava that he was OK.
“She said she had just spoken to him and had told him about Keava.”
Seconds later Michael came back over to Elinor and picked up the phone to speak to Keava.
“She was crying to him on the phone,” said Mrs McCalmon.
“He said ‘Hi I’m Michael and I’m fine my darling’.
“She started to smile and she said she didn’t like to see him being hurt and he told her that he was fine.
“He is such a big superstar but how nice was that?
“He is so down to earth. I could not believe it was him on the phone.”
Mrs McCalmon, 58, said it was while watching the trial scenes at Port Talbot’s civic square when Keava first began to get upset.
“She was with her mum, dad and brother. I rang them and they said she was crying.
“She became hysterical so I took her home.
“Keava was sobbing and was so frightened to see Michael being beaten up.
“She stayed with me Sunday night and we did go to the crucifixion where she was still crying a bit.
“But she is fine now. We were looking at a few photos and she is still not sure how to take it but she is now much better after speaking to Michael.
“He also has given her a couple of signed photos.”
Keava, of Fairfield Avenue, who attends Sandfields Primary School, said she was looking forward to telling all her friends about her special phone call.
“It was a nice surprise,” she said. Although she added that she found the play “quite scary”.
The Frost/Nixon and Twilight star has a daughter, Lily, who lives in Los Angeles.
Examiner.com have published a few pics from Breaking Dawn in their recent publication. These are viewable on their website, and a copy of Aro’s image has been added to our Breaking Dawn gallery.
You can also click the thumbnail below for a pop-out version.
Its not great quality image to be honest, but I still felt it was worth posting so that you can get the gist of his slightly different look.
My good friend Andy76 was fortunate enough to attend the Passion play in Port Talbot last weekend. She has kindly offered to do a personal review of her experience and share it us that were not able to attend.
When I flew to Port Talbot (Wales) from Germany with my six year-old daughter to watch a theatre play, I came with certain expectations. What I did not expect was that they would be exceeded by miles. But let me start at the beginning.
From the first event – the Baptism on Aberavon Beach, at 6:00 a.m. on Friday – it was obvious with what care, commitment and enthusiasm everybody went about it. The public, contrary to usual theatre performances, were all actively involved everywhere; at Aberavon Beach, the Civic Centre, the Aberafan Shopping Centre, the car park behind the Seaside Social and Labour Club and the procession. With the entire town their stage and all of us stand-ins, the actors constantly appearing in the crowd, gave the scenes a perfectly natural feeling and encouraged everyone to participate. It was an unbelievable and unique experience which made everything I’d seen in theatres so far (where the actors and the audience are clearly separated) utterly pale by comparison. The play took place in different parts of town, from Aberavon Beach to Station Road. Although this meant some walking from one set to the next, it further impressed the scale of the event upon us, allowing us to become immersed in it and in a very real way become a part of the story as it unfolded. Thus all the ups and downs, from the dancing by the Seaside Social and Labour Club to Michael’s harrowing walk with the cross on Sunday afternoon, felt absolutely real – no, they were real – and more often than not blurred the border between acting and real life. All this and the closeness to the actors made it a greatly emotional and memorable event, and definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The acting by everyone was sincere and convincing across the board. Di Botcher was particularly heart-rending as the Teacher’s Mother. Hywel Simons as Company man assured himself everyone’s dislike right from the start, and the nasty ICU security team kept getting jeered by the audience, who heckled them as “Men in Black”. Nigel Barrett in the role of Stranger, who seemed to be omnipresent, also was thoroughly believable. Finally, there was Teacher himself, played by the one and only Michael Sheen, in what might well be called the apotheosis of acting. I already was familiar with his work – having seen more or less every movie he ever appeared in (the main reason why we went to Port Talbot) – but this left me speechless. He kept pushing the limits of the possible, at times even went beyond them, delivering a gripping performance that will be with me for life.
Something else that will stay with me for life is the fantastic warmth, hospitality and readiness to lend a hand I got from the folks in Port Talbot, be it the great fellow (he must have been at least 6 feet) who let my daughter sit on his shoulders for the better part of an hour so she could see better, or all the many people I talked to and who were delighted – and amazed – at us having come all the way from Germany to be part of their play. I will always remember their radiant, smiling faces.
All in all, this sure was an intense and unforgettable Easter weekend, and I am just glad that we did not miss it. My daughter tells everyone about it, and knowing her, will continue to do so for a good while yet. I’m with her all the way.
Scans of the Western Mail’s Magazine article from last week, in which Michael Sheen spoke to Karen Price about his Passion play, and his love for Port Talbot, has now been added to the Gallery.
By far, this is the best interview I have seen with Michael about his Passion play.
A huge thanks to Karen for posting me a copy.
Article from ThisIsSouthWales 27/04/11
Port Talbot trade has been given a major boost thanks to The Passion play. Thousands of visitors flocked to the town for Michael Sheen’s spectacular open theatre play over the Easter weekend.
Aberavon MP Hywel Francis has hailed the event “a success of global significance” and has also praised the Hollywood actor and those involved with the play in Parliament.
Aberafan Shopping Centre manager Steve Redmore said the event was “phenomenal.”
He said: “I have never experienced anything like that all the time I have been working at the shopping centre, which is around 19 years.
“For Saturday our footfall figure was worth £44,575. Normally on a Saturday the figure’s usually £24,000 to £25,000.
“It has definitely put Port Talbot on the map and you have got to give Michael Sheen credit for that.
“I was talking to people from Sheffield, from London and someone was talking to someone from America. We were blown away by it all.”
Bar Gallois owner Tony Evans said: “Michael Sheen has done Port Talbot proud. I think all the businesses that were en route benefited tremendously.”
Neath Port Talbot mayor Lella James said: “The Passion was tremendous and it has been fantastic for the businesses in the town.
“I have never seen so many people in the town before.
“I think for the traders it has been a great success.”
Yesterday, Dr Francis said: “I am today tabling an Early Day Motion in Parliament congratulating Michael Sheen and the people of Port Talbot on the outstanding success of The Passion play. Those of us privileged to be present were moved by the quality and the scale of the event.
“I believe it signals a reawakening of confidence in the future of the town.”
Yesterday, Michael Sheen was the ‘mystery guest’ on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show with Chris Evans. With the mystery guest, Chris Evans is challenged to have a 3 minute interview with no prior knowledge of who the guest is, or what the subject matter is.
The phone interview went smoothly and they spoke, obviously, about the Passion play which was recently performed throughout Port Talbot. Interestingly, the guy that introduced Michael said that the BBC documentary we are all waiting for, will be aired in May, yet Michael said later in the interview that it was due to be broadcast in June.
A copy of the interview has been added to the list of available downloads, or you can click the button below.