"Owen is clearly talented…" –Dominic Cavendish, Telegraph
"Gary Owen's clever, enjoyable play…that may not have the grittiness of some new writing but has something more valuable: a big heart and the ability to confront its audience's prejudices while thoroughly entertaining them." –Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
"…frequently witty verse play…" –John Thaxter, The Stage
Friendships grow in the most unlikely of places. Mrs Reynolds is a little old lady. Jay is a troubled youth. When he vandalizes her lovingly tended garden, the authorities send him back to help her fix it. It seems a recipe for disaster - but human beings are more complex than the headlines.
At first glance this is a simple tale of two generations locked in battle, Mrs Reynolds standing up for traditional values with her "nice little house, nice little garden and nice little life" vs. Jay, the textbook chain-smoking hoodie prowling the urban jungle demanding respect but offering little in return. But there is more to these characters than the other suspects. Just as they think they have the measure of each other, something is revealed and they are shocked by what they find out.
Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian explores human nature and friendship alongside the social climate of modern Britain giving a warm, funny and wise glimpse into the way we live now.
Gary Owen is the winner of the George Devine, Meyer Whitworth and Pearson Best Play Awards. His other plays include Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco, The Shadow of a Boy, The Drowned World, Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian and Love Steals Us From Loneliness. With Helen Raynor he was writer and creator of the BBC Wales series Baker Boys. His most recent theatre work includes Perfect Match for Watford Palace Theatre, where he is a creative associate, and Ring Ring, a new version of La Ronde for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In June 2015 he made his Royal Court debut with Violence and Son, directed by Hamish Pirie. Iphigenia in Splott for Sherman Cymru won Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards 2015.