Be My Baby Review

BE MY BABY The Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham 28th August 2014     To those who were there, myself included, the early 1960s now seem an eternity ago, a simpler and austere world far removed from the supposedly more tolerant, digital age we know today. The idea of pregnant teenagers being spirited […]

Five Finger Exercise Review

FIVE FINGER EXERCISE The Patesian Players 3rd April 2014   The Harringtons – an everyday story of a family at war. An explosive powderkeg waiting for someone to strike the decisive match. Inevitably, that someone obliges, albeit unwittingly. The mismatched Stanley and Louise Harrington are a couple in marital meltdown. […]

Vatican Spring Review

 VATICAN SPRING The Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham 11th January 2014   “What might have happened is the greatest of all mysteries” (Frederick Forsyth, The Odessa File)                   A tantalising glimpse of what the Roman Catholic church may have been today is afforded by this intimate and absorbing production by the exceptionally talented […]

Educating Rita Review

EDUCATING RITA The Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham 16th April 2013   I am an inveterate aficionado of Willy Russell’s plays, and his incisive sideswipe at the Open University received a masterful workout in this hugely absorbing production at the Cheltenham Playhouse. All rise for Rory O’Sullivan who fashioned a frothy verbal […]

Nude with Violin Review

NUDE WITH VIOLIN Sacred Hearts Church Hall, Cheltenham 4th September 2012 Paris in the 1950s: the cultural capital of the world, a city of penthouse suites populated by cigarette-puffing socialites, where modern art typified the avant-garde and Joe Public deferred to expert opinion and accepted it unquestioningly. Into this acquiescent […]

Private Lives Review

PRIVATE LIVES The Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham 29th August 2013     Noël Coward’s fine-spun comedy highlighting the explosive chemistry within two married couples holidaying in northern France will eminently satisfy the Master’s devotees, thanks to this sparklingly witty production that marks The Patesian Players’ continuing rise to local prominence. Having divorced […]

Hedda Gabler Review

HEDDA GABLER Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham 11th April 2012       “One of the tragedies of women is that their willpower tends to remain undeveloped” claimed Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen, and as if to belie this belief, he created the headstrong heroine of his dark 1890 work Hedda Gabler. Now […]