Review: Groping For Words

Groping For Words
by Sue Townsend

Groping For Words by Sue Townsend, performed at The Little Theatre from the 20th to the 27th May, is a comic play centered around an adult literacy class.

As always, the set for this production was beautifully constructed as we were transported to a nursery classroom for the duration of the play. The hand drawn pictures by local children which adorned the walls (and were changed to show a new day) were a lovely touch.

The props helped tremendously and I enjoyed how they changed subtly from scene to scene, for example a pumpkin was switched with fireworks to show the passing of time. Along with the scenery and props, the costumes and sound made it very clear we were in the 1980s; from eye make-up and hi-fis to classic 80s songs, the scene was set for our characters.

The four actors were a strong and talented team and as a member of the audience, I felt in very safe hands from the outset. For a first night, I was blown away by how slick and confident the actors were; the pace of both the dialogue and action was to be applauded.

Joyce, the well-educated, middle-class wife of a GP, was played by Lizzie Brookes and I thoroughly appreciated how Lizzie portrayed her own emotional journey as well as her complicated, but sweet, relationship with her students.

Shane Lale played Kevin, the illiterate caretaker. Shane gave a truthful and funny performance which we all enjoyed immensely and I was shocked to learn this was his first large role! A confident and convincing performance.

Lloyd Hawkins embodied the character of George, a man down on his luck and desperate to be able read letters from his daughter, with his mannerisms, facial expressions and voice. He displayed great comic timing and physical humour.

Thelma, was my favourite character in the play and it was expertly played by Myeisha Wilkinson. Myeisha was utterly believable as the naïve, feisty Thelma and she showed great comic ability through both clever delivery of the dialogue and hilarious physicality. It is great to see that Myeisha, a member of the RLT Youth Theatre from an early age, has continued to perform on the RLT stage in the adult productions.

Overall, Donnamarie Stamp has expertly produced this play, bringing out its comic moments with slick choreography and movement, bringing an excellent cast together who bounced off each other throughout the performance and designing all the elements of theatre to compliment the piece perfectly.

Well done to all involved!

Reviewed by Victoria Evans