This piece takes place in the 1700s over the same period as several historic events including the contentions between the Whites and the Tories, the War of the Spanish Succession and the problems England faced with Europe and Scotland. Romola Garai plays the cunning Sarah Churchill who’s a close friend to Queen Anne, played by Emma Cunniffe. The contrast between the two characters is striking. Sarah is glamorous and sensual yet sly and arrogant. Anne is chubby, riddled with physical ailments and through pregnant seventeen times has no children as almost all have resulted in miscarriage or infant mortality. The play is cleverly written and beautifully performed, except for the musical interludes which in my opinion didn’t fit the rest of the piece.
Thursday, 31 August 2017
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
From a book, to a radio show, television program, film and now a musical, The Wind In The Willows has definitely done the rounds since it was first written in 1908 by Kenneth Grahame. This family styled show has all the old favourites - Toad, Mole, Badger, Ratty, the Weasels as well as other animals. Each true to form from the 1980’s television show I remember. Toad, irresponsible. Mole, naive. Badger, brave and wise. Ratty, laid-back. The Weasels, wicked and scheming. My favourites though, were not the main characters but rather, Horse as she delicately trotted (in the form of tap dance) and sang The Open Road, which I found myself humming for days after and the hedgehog family who took they lives in their hands each time they wanted to cross the road.
The overall story is simple and doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination. But the performances all round were good, the songs catchy and the staging effective.