The York Realist
CHRISTOPHER SMITH Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
Contrast is what gives life to Peter Gill's play. Everything suggests a tale of Yorkshire folk, three generations of a country family only gradually moving into the 20th century.
Some accents are more persuasive than others but the tone and meaning of the conversations are clear enough.
You may also want to watch:
A young man is up from the South to help with the production of the famous revivals of the York mystery plays. He is sure he has found the local actor he needs and for a while, thinks he has found the man he is looking for too. Tensions build to a wry conclusion.
The feature of Peter Sowerbutts' direction is meticulous attention to detail. Michael Bloom's set is both authentic and simple, conveying atmosphere while leaving plenty of space for the action to develop naturally. The slow fade of the lights at the end of the first act is a clear message to the audience that it must take in the scene. This is where we are, and the pull of place is going to be a significant factor.
- 1 Bar splashes out £500,000 on outdoor dining area
- 2 Top of the Pops dancer, Octopussy star and 'Lord' settles in Norfolk
- 3 Former car showroom could make way for 146 student flats
- 4 'This is nature' - Sadness as cathedral peregrine chick dies
- 5 'They thought I was crazy' - New owner's lockdown pub success
- 6 Reduce your dementia risk with 7 lifestyle changes
- 7 Former pubs, schools and leisure centres among arson-hit sites
- 8 Police action over 'slavery' flag flying in Norwich garden
- 9 May 17 easing: What UEA virus expert will and won't be doing
- 10 Couple launch new park café after market success
Clothes tell a lot too. Work-a-day cords and marl-encrusted boots speak as loud as words in comparison with a black velvet jacket and a smart cravat. The clothes the women put on for mourning come across equally well as a comment on what they wear on normal occasions.
The tall Trevor Markworth takes the lead with the conviction we are told gives him assurance in the mystery play. David Blood, smaller in stature, correctly appears weaker in a fine characterisation.
Susan Seddon, Sally Dixon and Chloe Burt are an admirably observed, well-differentiated trio.