Diana of Dobson's
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An Edwardian comedy by
Cecily Hamilton

Directed by Eileen Rawlings

15th - 20th February 2010 at 7.45pm


Synopsis:

I read this play out of curiosity  (what sort of a show performed the birth of a Club with such an amazing history ?)  quite prepared to find that it was far too dated to be of interest to a modern audience.  How wrong I was.  It ran well in both London and New York and,  billed as a  "Romantic Comedy",  it's full of lively characters and scenes which still resonate today.

I don't agree with telling you the story in advance,  so I'm afraid you'll just have to buy a ticket;  but I can promise you an entertaining evening.      E.R.


The Cast:

Miss Smithers
:
Louise Thomas
Kitty Brant
:
Claire Hunt
Miss Jay
:
Sharon Forster
Diana Massingberd
:
Cathy Murray
Miss Morton
:
Gill Linford
Miss Pringle
:
Lynda Mahony
Mrs Cantelupe
:
Louise Thomas
Waiter
:
Chris Huggill
Mrs Whyte-Fraser
:
Gill Linford
Sir Jabez Grinley
:
Mike Griffiths
Captain Bretherton
:
Adam Donoghue
Old Woman
:
Tommy Egerton
Police Constable Fellowes
:
Chris Huggill

See production photographs


Review:

by Linda Kirkman

BLTC’s first ever production, 90 years ago this month, was this play – and having seen how absolutely charming it is, and how its sentiments are still relevant today, I am amazed that it has not been revived before now.

Set in Edwardian times, initially in a drapery emporium, followed by Switzerland and subsequently the Thames Embankment, it has a faintly feminist feel and focuses on the fact that we are so often judged by what others perceive us to be.

Director Eileen Rawlings has caught its mood perfectly, and that is complemented by a quite superb set and an extremely good cast. Cathy Murray, in the title role, is barely off the stage yet gives a faultless performance in every way, and she is well matched by Adam Donoghue as the brainless, bumbling Victor Bretherton. There are superb characterisations too from Louise Thomas (Mrs Cantelupe) and Mike Griffiths (Sir Jabez Grintlay), and Tommy Egerton is delightful in the small role of an old woman.

I wonder if Dorothy Rowe and George Stone realised that the club they had just founded would still be going strong 90 years later, or that its productions would be like this one, to my mind surely among the best that amateur theatre can produce. A triumph.

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