" Illustrious Birthday Celebrations"
http://www.chestertheatreclub.co.uk/ have born( hmm! ) this in mind: in May, Jane Barth directed a fine version of Rattigan's " Separate Tables".
AND in this masterly production, CTC showed us the quality of Rattigan's humour/pathos....plus his superb understanding of character. And altho set in '53, much was relevant today.....
We saw characters stranded 3 X daily on their own separate islands...in the genteel diningroom of the shabby Beauregard Hotel. And these characters revealed intriguing stories through their daily chatter...which formed the basis of the play.
Everyone shone, including Hilary Egan as pompous Mrs Railton-Bell....Mary Premble as a wonderfully dizzy Lady Matheson.... and Liz Stafford, as Miss Meacham, stayed tantalisingly deep in her book on racing form!
Lots of other successes: Fiona Wheatcroft, Ian Dunne, John Mackay ( garrulus hilarious Pollock) Jane Ellis (beautiful Mrs Shankland). And talented others packed this talented cast.
A Birthday tribute without doubt!
AND SO TO DICKENS, 200 NEXT FEBRUARY......
Countless celebrations are surely hatching, but IF comparable with Manchester Library Theatre's*** " Hard Times" last month, there'll be DELIGHT through the land!!
This promenade production ( audience follows cast scene to scene) took place at Murrays Mill, Ancoats, M/Ch, and was Library Theatre's 1st site -specific work. The company hope to use other unusual/intruguing places for more works ......This philosophy is also part of Chester Festival's theme: ie. performing in special places, eg. Chester's Rows, its Walls etc)
At Murrays we felt unbelievably ( uncannily, almost) involved with story, characters, setting, throughout. As we walked around the mill, we peered into hovels at nineteenth century tragedies, gaped at the greedy Bank, watched errant pupils in the schoolroom. And we traipsed down streets with a stridently brilliant Bounderby.... and we watched pretty Louisa stepping into a magical wedding dress....THEN we finally ended up ( cast and audience together) at Mr Sleary's Horse Riding Circus...to be entertained by circus folk.... and also to hear the closing of the storty
And every so often, I found myself next to a smiling young man with familiar face...John Stape ( Graeme Hawley from " Coronation Street", much more handsome in realty than as Fizz's evil husband. )
" You're in the wrong street!" I whispered ...but on the coach home, I wondered just HOW often folk in M'ch streets have uttered those words to Graeme as he passed...
I look forward to seeing him in other parts if not returning to the cobbles.
****Once again, 2 superlative theatrical evenings in the NW of England..