Talking Heads

ALISON CROOSE River Studios, West Acre


River Studios, West Acre

An evening which was both hilarious and harrowing underlined the skill of two actresses in portraying such cleverly created characters.

All the wit and pathos of Alan Bennett's superbly-crafted writing was appreciated to the full in the very capable hands of the West Acre company.

Such has been the success of their previous productions of Talking Heads that A Lady of Letters and A Cream Cracker Under the Settee were chosen to launch the spring programme - and were enthusiastically received by the audience.

Bennett's work was treated with great professionalism by director Andy Naylor. Irma Bullough and Lesley Mardle gave totally absorbing performances which did full justice to the humour, sadness and poignancy of Bennett's words.

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Bullough played Irene Ruddock, the profuse letter-writer who complains about everything from dog mess outside Buckingham Palace to the length of the Archbishop of Canterbury's hair. But her busybody nat-ure has dire consequences.

Mardle took the role of Doris whose obsession about cleanliness led to a fall. Lying on the floor waiting for help to arrive, she reminisces on the ups and downs of a life which seemed to have had more sadness than joy.

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