This is how to do theatre in the first days after Covid – REVIEW

Posted on October 20, 2020, in:

MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD by Charlotte Keatley

The Wharf Theatre in Devizes last week welcomed its first audience since the beginning of February.

Covid restrictions were meticulously adhered to – a maximum of 30 in the 96-seat auditorium, social distancing, a one-way system enforced in the theatre, drinks served at tables in the bar, patrons required to wear face coverings – and nothing was left to chance.

What was on offer from artistic director Debby Wilkinson was a ‘rehearsed reading’ of Charlotte Keatley’s 1987 play, My Mother Said I Never Should, but what we got was a lot more than that.

Granted there was no set, minimal costume and the cast carried their scripts throughout, but despite that the evening was entirely engrossing, largely due to accomplished performances from the four-strong, all-female cast.

Louise Peak as Doris (great-grandmother), Debby Wilkinson as Margaret (grandmother), Lucy Upward (single mum) and Helen Langford as Rosie (great-granddaughter) portrayed the story of this fairly typical family with empathy, understanding and no little aplomb.

At no stage did the audience need to make any allowance for the restrictions of the night or the short rehearsal period necessitated by the pandemic.

Ms Wilkinson hopes that a full-scale production can be mounted early next spring and I can well believe that tickets will fly out of the box office.

MARTIN SMITH – Gazette & Herald News

Image Credit – Gail Foster

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