IT has been voted the nation’s favourite play, and the original version won numerous awards and helped launch the careers of James Corden and Dominic Cooper, as well as confirming the National Treasure status of Richard Griffiths.
No pressure then, on the young actors taking to the stage for this production, staged jointly by the Wilde Community Theatre Company and London Contemporary Theatre.
The show is clearly a big deal for South Hill Park, which staged a VIP reception to launch a run of seven performances over five days.
Some of the cast are still at school, but all acquit themselves well, under the assured direction of Luke Sheppard.Alan Bennett’s story, set in a Yorkshire boys’ school, deals with complex moral, intellectual and emotional subject matters, but Sheppard and his cast prove equal to the challenge of getting the issues across with clarity, wit and charm.
There’s a slick efficiency about the staging and pacing, and the transitions between scenes.