Old Herbaceous

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

> Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

You do not have to be a gardener to revel in this delightful production about a head gardener in service during the 1930s.

Christopher Robbie talked through his childhood days as Bert Pinnegar and how his love of nature and plants caught the eye of a lady who was to become his employer.

Christopher displayed wit and charm and indeed many examples of wickedness especially with his timings and meticulous manner, working in a dirty, grubby greenhouse. No tea towels here, his scarf would suffice.

Although this is a one-man show, you would not think so because of the animated way Christopher brings to life all the characters that passed his way.

Authenticity was high on the agenda, with more than a hint of late summer with flowering plants and the open greenhouse.

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A most poignant episode was when visiting his aged boss, who was now in a nursing home in Torquay.

She talked fondly of her former head gardener, but due to her illness and frailty did not recognise it was he.

In true head gardener style, he did not say a word.

I think it is also a lesson in social history but with the added bonus of some fine gardening tips. So although it was snowing outside it was a lovely, warm summer feel in the theatre.

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