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Entertaining Angels - Am-Dram at its Best!

L-R:Jo Knight (director), Tracy Humphreys, Charles Redman, Gill Hines, Jane Grafton, Zoe Mortimer

Entertaining Angels by Richard Everett. A Second Thoughts Drama Group Production, at The Bear Pit, Stratford-upon-Avon, until 8 July 2023.

Review by Sue Beech

The themes of this play – secrecy and guilt, revelation and forgiveness, anger and grace – could have made for a heavy and rather dour piece; instead we were treated to a highly entertaining evening leavened with laughter and wonderful one-liners, which nevertheless provided much food for thought.

The production was directed by Jo Knight, and we're intrduced to Grace who is the recently bereaved widow of the vicar, Bardolph (Bardy); she is still living in the vicarage, supported by her only daughter, divorcee Jo, and her missionary sister, Ruth, who for the first time in 30 years has flown from Uganda to be with her. Sarah will shortly move into the vicarage, and pops round to measure up and plan what will fit where. As the action moves forward, tensions build as secrets emerge – but no spoilers!!

The five cast members brought their characters vividly to life – even when no longer alive!! This reviewer recognised how adult sisters still ‘press each other’s buttons’ as they did in childhood, and how two people can carry on two different conversations with little actual communication between them.

The clever, in-the-round setting was most effective; the stream at the bottom of the garden was simply evoked by a few boughs of a tree, a log, the sound of water – and some energetic hopping over ‘stepping stones’. Scene-changing between the garden and the stream was achieved simply by effective lighting.

I thoroughly recommend this production – ‘am dram’ at its best.


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