Review: Round and Round the Garden
I must confess to being disappointed when I saw Retford
Little Theatre was putting on an Alan Ayckbourn play less
than a year after the last one. There's nothing wrong with Ayckbourn, but it's good to see some variety.
Within five minutes of watching this latest production, they were forgiven. I was so immersed in Round and Round the Garden I'd completely forgotten I was there to review it.
Naturally, a good script helps. The play is one of the Norman Conquest trilogy, each portraying events of the same weekend from different perspectives. I've only seen one of the others, so can't comment on the complete effect, but that's largely irrelevant as you can only watch one at a time, and this works well on its own. On the face of it, the emphasis is on humour, but the clearly defined characters and brief, but telling, touches of humanity, mean it's more than just a comedy.
As the name suggests, events take place in a garden and
the set is deceptively simple. It's realistic, yet thoughtfully
laid out to accommodate the audience surrounding it.
With effective lighting, you become an onlooker hidden in
the bushes only feet from the lawn.
The six experienced cast members had clearly spent a lot
of time rehearsing. Considering this was the first night,
the dialogue flowed naturally and seamlessly. As ever,
there are too many actors to mention individually, but
Robert Warburton captured perfectly the character of the womanising rogue, Norman.
Only rarely does a production tick so many boxes. Clearly
the script and casting make a difference, but ultimately it is down to the producer to pull it all together. To the best of
my knowledge, I haven't seen anything Judith Walker has produced before, but if this is anything to judge by,
I'll happily watch another.
The only downside was the small audience – it wasn't crowded in the bushes. There were other distractions on the night – Children in Need, for example – so I hope the remaining nights of the run will see the support it deserves.
Carol Service and Bettle Drive
Sunday 20th December, 6:00pm onwards
Join us for a carol service at Hallcroft Methodist Church at 6:00pm followed by a Beetle Drive at 7:30pm at Retford Little Theatre.
Our Next Production
Laying the Ghost
5th to 13th February 2016, 7:30pm
Margot Buchanan is a witty ex-actress in a retirement home. She is visited by a young actress who is having an affair with Leo, Margot's ex-husband - and by Leo's current wife Judy. Leo arrives but suffers a fatal heart attack. Thus the scene is set...
Click here for details and booking information
New Season Brochure
The Season Brochure for the forthcoming 2015-2016 season of plays is now available.
You can download a copy directly from this site, or if you'd prefer, you can complete the form on the Contact page, and we'll post one to you.