Talking Heads, West Acre

ALISON CROOSE The keenly-observed writing of Alan Bennett has already proved superb material for the highly talented actors at West Acre - so two lesser-known pieces were greeted with eager anticipation.

ALISON CROOSE

The keenly-observed writing of Alan Bennett has already proved superb material for the highly talented actors at West Acre - so two lesser-known pieces were greeted with eager anticipation.

Director Andy Naylor is very tuned into the Bennett airwaves and ensures that the writer's magical way with words is translated into thoroughly absorbing entertainment.

The performances of Sarah Krill in Her Big Chance and Irma Bullough in Soldiering On did full justice to Bennett's acclaimed monologues which provide such poignant insights into a variety of human situations.

Sarah Krill adopted the mantle of the dizzy, intellectually-challenged bit-part actress, Lesley, capturing the aspiring but rather sad personality who believes her interest in people with win her success.

The piece sat comfortably alongside Soldiering On which was an altogether more harrowing story of a newly-widowed woman determined to survive and Irma Bullough quickly established herself as Muriel, a thoroughly good egg keeping her chin up.

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But what began as an amusing social dialogue on society's reaction to bereavement turned into a heart-rending state of affairs as Muriel's comfortable existence nosedived, thanks to her son's missappropriation of her assets. Such were the actress's skills that the sadness of the situation was tangible.