Gloria: “Colin Morgan Stands Out” … “Sharp Satire”

Nimble performance: Colin Morgan in Gloria, Marc Brenner

First review of Gloria performances, Evening Standard: Colin Morgan stands out in a cast that is uniformly absorbing, writes Henry Hitchings.  (excerpt)

It begins in the New York offices of a magazine that’s in decline. Specifically, we’re among the junior editorial staff, who appear much more intent on bickering and bitching than on grappling with their menial tasks. Yet though they give the impression of laziness, they are fiercely ambitious — and also angry, because they’re crushed by the protocols and hierarchy of an industry that seems impervious to its own obsolescence.

The central character is Colin Morgan’s Dean, earnest and disappointed. Alongside him Kae Alexander’s nicely observed Kendra is image-conscious and competitive, and Ellie Kendrick convinces as nerdy, childlike Ani. Meanwhile Sian Clifford’s Gloria feels like a study of angsty isolation —

For reasons it would be unfair to divulge, events veer off in an entirely unexpected direction –

The ways people deal with trauma turn out to be more significant than the trauma itself. One involves converting it into a commodity, and there’s some especially sharp satire at the expense of publishers hungry for this kind of shonky artefact. While a few exchanges lack real zip, the performances are absorbing. The pick of them comes from Morgan, the most nimble among a cast full of shape-shifters.

Gloria .. Previewing 15 June –


is breathtakingly brilliant. It has you laughing-out-loud one minute, and on the edge of your seat the next. Wow.

19h19 hours ago   Total awed by the first act of #Gloria at @Hamps Theatre. Bravo all!! Haven’t longed for the interval to finish, well, ever! Come on act 2!

19h19 hours ago  Most shocking end to a first act I’ve seen. Chilling to the bone. Well done

19h19 hours ago  Wow. In the interval of and WTAF? Audience jaws-dropped. Can’t wait for 2nd act! OMG to the max. That’s eh!

Opening Night !!

Colin Morgan makes his Hampstead debut. His theatre credits include Mojo (West End), The Tempest (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Our Private Life (Royal Court). His television credits include The Living and The Dead, Humans, The Fall and Merlin.

Colin has already proven his ability to hold a stage, beginning with his first appearance on the West End Theatre scene.  A young, aspiring thespian, not yet graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, he secured the lead in the award winning play, “Vernon God Little”.  His reviews were accolades.  The roles that followed were no less complimentary.  He has become our favorite, and we all wish we could be there tonight to cheer for this amazing talent.

Colin is an ensemble actor, not a star.  He works within the cast to create the whole piece as the writer envisioned.  He is humble and accomplished, always supportive of the endeavor in its entirety as well as his fellow actors.  We wish him and his cast-mates a successful run in “Gloria”.  As they all must, and we with them, await the reviews.

Michael Longhurst (Director) and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Writer)

At thirty-two, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is one of America’s boldest young playwrights, but British audiences are only just starting to discover his work.

Previews from: 15 June 2017 … Official Opening Night: 21 June 2017



Colin … Back on Stage !!


Hampstead Theatre: June 15 – July 22, 2017.

We had been missing news of Colin.  Guessing now that he has been quietly in rehearsals, among other things, getting ready for this opening.  We are really jealous of our UK friends who will be able to jump on a train and see the play first-hand.  Here’s hoping they provide us, their envious American cousins, with some details of their experience and Colin’s performance.

It’s very good to see Colin having time to return to the Stage … his first love.  ❤

Playing two roles again … Dean/Devin … twins perhaps?     (photos: “Gloria”,  Hampstead Theatre)

Remembering Ariel



Where the bee sucks,  There suck I.  In a cowslip’s bell I lie
There I couch when owls do cry;   On a bat’s back I do fly.

After summer merrily …
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough …


The Tempest … (dvd) …  Beautifully done. One can see how exciting it must have been to be a “groundling” at The Globe.  The music is delightful, and somber, and sweet … backing up the scenes wonderfully. It is colorful and exuberant.  All the actors are excellent. Roger Allam is a tour-de-force as Prospero.

There is a gift for us ! Colin has a solo during the last act. His voice is sweet. The song is poignant and melancholy. It is quite short … but so worth watching again and again.

And, where Ariel is coming from?  He can be sitting silent, or swinging, or running up the stairs. His entrance is as flying in from above … though we cannot see from where. Those who have seen the play at The Globe and have now also seen the dvd … have very good things to say.  Being at the Globe for this performance would have been the best of all possible worlds.


With the dvd, however, we can savor these moments over and over again. There is a particular moment in the last act, at the end of Ariel’s song, where it seemed to me that Ariel movingly displayed that brief moment of looking forward to his freedom while understanding that this would mean separation from Prospero. It was an almost imperceptible change to that malleable face which reveals more than words, lasted only an instant, and spoke again to the talent we witness.

(photo credit: shakespeare.globe)  (gif via King and Lionheart)


Time Travel … Graduation*

It’s 2007 … Colin Morgan is in his final year at RSAMD.  He is pursuing his studies, pursuing improving his craft, looking to a future fast coming toward him.  What will it be like?  To be out of school and treading the boards to audition after audition?  It will be exciting, surely … and a little scary perhaps … but this is the first step out into the world he has been preparing for.


Along the way, there have been those watching … among them, Rufus Norris, Associate Director at the Young Vic from 2002 – 2007.   May 8, 2007 … Rufus Norris, along with many of his generation, was excited by the novel, Vernon God Little, and began preparing to bring it to a theatre audience.  Not one to wait for his destiny, but rather one who pursues it, and not due to graduate until July, Colin auditioned for the lead role of Vernon Little. When asked about the casting of the young undergraduate, Mr. Norris responded,

Good casting directors have their spies in many places. We did have to look pretty hard for that part and it took a long time. Colin was literally the last person we saw. There were two others who were alright but when Colin came in on the last day we knew we had our Vernon. 

Colin had to leave RSAMD three-quarters of the way through his final year to make this professional London West End theatre debut as the title character of Vernon God Little, a role for which he was critically acclaimed, and one that was also assessed for his final grade.

We will begin our look at Colin’s early stage work soon. However,

It is very special to note: … This is the  first time he will set his foot on the professional stage.  It is the well-known Young Vic Theatre in London, and he takes on the role which launches his professional career.

(*archives 2/23/2015)

Time Travel … The RSAMD Years * … A Glimpse of the Future

It is 2005.  Colin Morgan is a 19 year old student at the RSAMD.  Viewing this we begin to understand that it holds promise of a bright future … a path, gently rippling forward, stretching out before this young thespian, one more step in achieving his dream.

Continuing in 2005 Another very early performance.


The play is Bite of the Night: An Education (Playscript). He was part of the First Youth, the Chorus. I have found the First Prologue to this play, which is full of meaning about the art of drama.  These are the last stanzas:

And again, she listened to everything
This time understanding different things
This time untroubled that some things  Could not be understood
Laughing rarely but now without shame
Sometimes suffering disgust  Sometimes thoroughly amazed
And in the light again said

This is art, it is hard work. And one friend said, too hard for me. And the other said, if you will, I will come again. Because I found it hard, I felt honoured(Howard Barker, from “The Bite of the Night”)

Between 2005 and 2006 he participated in three other productions mentioned in his CV.  God the Game Show as Stewart; Vassa, a Soviet Drama, as Semyon; and Last Supper as a young man in the Chorus.

2006 … His education with RSAMD continues in their student drama productions and goes on to include the following performances:


“Plasticine” … An extraordinary and disturbing play about post-Communist Russia by a young Siberian-born writer.  The first of Vassily Sigarev’s plays performed at London’s Royal Court was an unremittingly bleak evocation of Russian provincial life that opened with a harrowing suicide and concluded with a vicious male rape.  Apparently they do not shrink from exposing students to extremes at the Royal Conservatoire … this is Drama … this is the substance of Colin’s education.  His dual roles were Groom and Grandmother.

From Dark to Light, the next play is “The Tempest”.  His role:  Prince Ferdinand.


Followed by Brecht’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”.  Written in self-imposed exile towards the end of World War II, this a story within a play, in which a bard, or singer, interrupts a group of Caucasian farmers arguing over ownership of land that has been ravaged by Nazi tanks and entertains them with a relevant tale of yore.  Colin’s role is the Singer, Arkadi Tsheidse.

Caucasion Chalk Circle

And back to the Light as Marble Archie, Superhero, in “Jack and The Beanstalk”.


2007 is hovering in the background … graduation time, which holds an interesting story, known by some, perhaps not by all, and which we will publish in our next Time Travel post … Graduation Year.

(*archives 2/22/2015)