by Paul Taylor
Folk taking a stroll in Abbeyfield Park
during the second week of May may have witnessed the strange sight
of adults running around in shorts and pinafores shouting, fighting,
throwing stones and generally behaving like a bunch of seven-year
olds – their excuse was that they were performing Blue Remembered
Hills by Dennis Potter.
Set in the summer of 1943, the plot follows the
experiences of a group of children over the course of an afternoon.
Directed by Daniel Poyser and Ian Smith (both involved in last October’s
successful production of Oedipus at St Catherine’s Hall),
the production moved around the park, building to the horrific climax
in Abbeyfield Stables.
The strong performances (particularly by Craig
Shepherd as Peter and Mason Tyree as Donald Duck) soon had the audience
forgetting the drizzle and engrossed in the plot; by turns hilarious,
upsetting and shocking. All the actors threw themselves into this
very physical, at times almost slapstick, performance and were utterly
believable as children.
Panni Poh Yoke Loh (production co-ordinator) said:
“It’s been a great experience to see creative theatre
in the Park. I hope we can see more of it in the future as part
of the Abbeyfield Stables Project.” If productions are of
this quality, we can only hope that she’s right.