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Blue Remembered Hills byDennis Potter
By Alexandra Hughes - Friday October 2nd, 2015
(reproduced by kind permission of
the Isle of Wight County Press)
AN IDYLLIC summer afternoon came to Trinity Theatre Cowes as Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society performed Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills.
Set in 1943, the play follows a group of children and their social interactions as they laugh, fight and play. All the roles in the play are performed by adults, who played their characters with youthful enthusiasm.
Grant Farley particularly impressed with his slightly more subtle interpretation of Raymond, the only member of the group to display any empathetic traits. Willie, performed by Peter Harris, provided many of the comedic moments with his exaggerated stories and wild imagination. Alexander Howe as Donald, Carolyn Ferguson as Angela and Lorna Wilson as Audrey also raised some laughs as their characters pretended to be a bickering family, which as well as being funny gave a sad insight into their characters’ terrible home lives.
As funny as the play was, it became increasingly dark as the children’s mindless violence and mob mentality spiralled to the tragic and emotional climax of the play. Paul Stevens as Peter and Kevin Wilson as John did well, playing the intimidating and brutal ring leaders as the children bullied Donald.
The set was simple yet effective with an impressive large rural backdrop. The barn, which had been constructed in the corner of the stage, was used well, and the roof caving in during the closing scenes was very clever.
Director Gwen Stevens did not limit the action to the stage and allowed the cast to roam around the theatre allowing the audience to feel closer to the action. The play was billed as a bittersweet childhood drama and the cast certainly delivered on both fronts, bringing humour and emotion to their performances.