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On the Shore of the wide world

On the Shore of the Wide World is written by Simon Stephens and set in Stockport 2004.  It was directed for the Royal Exchange Manchester by Sarah Frankcom and transfered to the National Theatre Cottesloe.
It's a brand new play about how families don't communicate like they should.


Granddad Charlie (David Hargreaves) and Grandma Ellen (Eileen O'Brien) don't speak about what could have been, they exist in a sort of limbo. Their son Peter (Nicholas Gleaves) and his wife Alice (Siobhan Finneran) are forced to look to the future in after a tragic loss, while their son Alex (Thomas Morrison) hopes for escape to London with his girlfried (Carla Henry).


also stars Steven Webb, Matt Smith, Susannah Harker and Roger Molidge.

Carla Henry plays Sarah
"Flat-toned, nervous adolescent talk is also captured deftly, with Sarah (excellent Carla Henry) hovering between polite smiles and completely out-of-order questions about Peter's marriage."
Carla's character Sarah is not part of the family, she is Alex's boyfriend who is adored by Christopher and who flirts with his Dad! Their relationship is an odd one but when the story starts she is staying over at his house for the first time.
Carla is a brilliant actress, she brings a lot of heart and a lot of guts to the role. She's so good that we even believe she could fancy Roy Keane!! She's a real northern lass and thrives in plays like this (last seen in Stephen's 'Port' also at the Exchange)
"Carla Henry brings humour and heartache to the role of Sarah, "


Matt Smith plays Paul Danzinger
A lot of people didn't get the point of Matt's character. I think I did. He was a druggy, high on speed, spoke at a rate of knotts. "Life full of the extroadinary" I think the point of Paul was to show what Alex could've become. If Alex didn't has his (if somewhat jaded) sense of family he might've stayed away and become a more dangerous human like Paul.
Matt had one scene which was so fast it startled the audiences. Even the way in which he spoke seperated him from the rest of the cast. And how he remembered all the words and produced them so fast was superb. He's a very energetic actor and the part suited him. It's just a shame there wasn't very much of him. 


Steven Webb as Christopher
"Alex's kid-brother, Christopher (Steven Webb) - who can be a nutter - becomes smitten with Sarah."
Steven is fantastic in this role. He really revels in theatre performance. The last play he was in was Kes and it was a completely different characterisation, vocal technique and part. And I think I'm right in saying this was the better of the two. He gave Christopher such depth as a character and created a real feeling of intense love and warmth even if he was a "bit of a nutter!"
Great part, great play... End with a quote.
"while Thomas Morrison and Steven Webb are totally believable as their two sons."


Thomas Morrison played Alex Holmes.
Alex's journey is sort of the crux of the play. How he deals with his family and the relationship they have with him. The fact he's bringing his girlfriend back for the first time - gives enough family tension anyway!
Thomas is brilliant. After seeing him in a smaller role in Kes it was great to see him get what as far as I am concerned is the lead role. He brings plenty of emotion to the role but not so much that the role becomes an unbelievable 20 year old. His love for his girlfriend is a total contrast to that of his family, especially his little brother. He's such a great stage actor.