Sunday, 20 August 2017

Lesbian love play was entertaining

THE sight of Sister George astride her moped (a dining chair in real life) poop-pooping down the road, greeting the residents of Applehurst moments before her demise courtesy of a 10-ton truck will remain an abiding memory of this play.

Four talented actors brought to life the period in the early Sixties when attitudes were starting to change, with some of the stuffier values of post-war Britain being overturned and even the BBC being aware of the need to modernise.

The original play, written in 1964 by Frank Marcus, was a brave mix of farce, black comedy, and cutting-edge commentary on same-sex relationships, in an era when homosexuality was still illegal. Lesbianism is not overtly stated but the complex relationships between the main characters hint strongly that men are not relevant here.

Joe and Joy Haynes jointly produced and directed the four-act play, which was bravely chosen by Joy to allow for an all-woman cast list. With the support of the fantastic Wargrave Theatre Workshop backstage team they created an enjoyable and quirky production.

The directors’ notes refer to the shifting dynamics of the relationships within the play which do leave you wondering just who is manipulating whom? The actors were extremely well cast and had learned their considerable parts to perfection. Sister George was strongly played by Liz Paulo who led us from bullying drunk to vulnerable victim during the four acts. Memories of her plaintive “moos” as the lights went down will linger and her performance was greatly appreciated by the audience.

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