The Long Way Home
Christopher SmithMaddermarket Theatre, NorwichChristopher Smith
The Long Way Home, Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
The title sketches the plot. Charles Way's drama traces an old woman's journey. Before she reaches her destination by the seashore, she is in for surprises, unexpected encounters and, finally, a sense of fulfilment.
The Eastern Angles company pauses at the Maddermarket Theatre on its tireless touring around the region to present a production by Naomi Jones that is ingenious and entertaining, often moving yet lightened by flashes of humour.
A tall, dignified figure in peasant black, Susan McGoun is the Old Mother, contrasting with the lithe Theo Devaney who, with a fascinating blend of savagery and grace, becomes her strange travelling companion. James Bolt and Jumaan Short make up the rest of the cast.
As narrators they explain the situation at the start and at each new juncture. They also convincingly establish the identity of a series of different roles in split seconds and create mini-dramas of unsettling intensity.
- 1 Body found in the sea at Great Yarmouth
- 2 North Norfolk road closed with drivers asked to avoid area
- 3 Norwich firm part of growing number of businesses working four day weeks
- 4 Popular teacher, 55, died after falling down stairs, inquest hears
- 5 Holiday Inn to become 'care hotel' to help struggling hospitals
- 6 Teenager died of injuries six days after crash
- 7 One of East Anglia's largest property builders is sold to investment firm
- 8 John Lewis CCTV footage leads to Norwich gun arrests
- 9 A year on: Tributes to teacher who died following tumour diagnosis
- 10 1920s bungalow up for sale in one of the Broads' most sought-after villages
On a minimal setting in front of a white backcloth, with few props, they performers don't just speak. They sing and dance, fight and embrace, while puppets mimic their progress on steep mountain paths as the wind howls. Portraying human emotions through the ageless patterns of fairytale with modern touches added, the play adopts the forms of epic theatre as to the manner born.