I Have Been Here Before

Eye Theatre

Directing his 90th production since the theatre was founded in 1991, Tom Scott has come up with yet another winner with this gripping and thought-provoking drama by the master of suspense JB Priestley.

Set in the 1930s in the period between the two world wars, the action takes place during a weekend at the isolated Black Bull Inn on the Yorkshire Moors.

The story opens with an air of normality as Sally Pratt and her father Sam Shipley are preparing for their weekend guests. Fiona Staniland and Graham Bill were well suited to their respective roles contrasting with the more complex characters to come.

The atmosphere changes as the German visitor Dr Gortler uncannily predicts the arrival of a bickering couple, wealthy but deeply disturbed Walter Ormund and his attractive wife Janet, impressively portrayed by William Halliday and Joanna Dunn.

Another guest is local schoolmaster Oliver Farrant, confidently played by Philip Stevens. But it is the mysterious doctor who holds the story together and causes edge-of-the-seat fascination a role tailor-made for Richard Gofton who was always in total command.

Full use was made of the area surrounding the main theatre allowing space for the cast of six to manoeuvre around the furniture. Unusually the house lights remained on throughout the performance leaving the audience in full view and could have been a little distracting.

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Nevertheless this was a high quality production fully maintaining the theatre's renowned reputation.

t The play ends on Saturday March 6.

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