Comfort Me With Apples
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A drama by Nell Leyshon

Directed by Patricia Richardson

20th-25th October 2008 at 7.45pm


Synopsis:

Set in a declining Somerset cider orchard, though it is about lost ways of life and fading rural traditions, this is not a play that rages; it tackles its subject with poignancy, lyricism and a measure of muted anger and is all the stronger for it.


The Cast:

Irene
:
Lin Denning
Len
:
Matthew Ellison
Roy
:
Steve Hawker
Brenda
:
Charly Bird
Linda
:
Dawn Hollington

See production photographs


Review:

by Linda Kirkman

MY understanding is that Bournemouth-based playwright Nell Leyshon will not be attending the world amateur premiere of her play this week. That is a real pity, as I’m sure she would have been mightily impressed by what she saw.

The story, set on a run-down Somerset farm, is far from being a bundle of laughs. It deals with loss in all senses of the word, and hints at matters far from the norm, but the gritty realism and emotional depth of each characterisation is totally mesmerising in Patricia Richardson’s outstanding production.

Leading the cast is Lin Denning, giving a fine tour-de-force as matriarch Irene, while Matthew Ellison, who has rather cornered the market in oddball characters, is absolutely superb as her simple brother, Len. 

Newcomer Charly Bird, playing daughter Brenda, is clearly a welcome asset to the local theatre scene, and there are excellent performances too from Steve Hawker as her brother, Roy, and Dawn Hollington as his ex girlfriend, Linda.

The production is further enhanced by a superb set, atmospheric lighting effects and Carl Morgan’s specially composed ‘mood music’. And what a good idea to have him playing guitar in the Green Room prior to the performance.

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