1620 A New World Odyssey

Date 18th July 2021
Society Harleston Players
Venue Harleston Recreation Ground
Type of Production Play
Director Eileen Ryan
Producer David Cumming / Helen Farrar


Author: Sarah Meers

How excited I was to be travelling to Harleston on a sunnt Sunday evening to see a show again, and I was not disappointed.  It was a wonderful evening of entertainment and drama.

The Play 1620: A New World Odyssey was written and directed by Eileen Ryan who had spent several years making this play and sharing an unknown part of the town’s heritage with Harleston. The story told us of the trials and tribulations of families travelling across the Atlantic to build a new life for themselves. Their journey destined for Virginia takes an unexpected turn and their new home is not what they expected.

Each individual who took a character part portrayed their role to perfection. It is impossible to pick out a performance in such an excellent production. You were all stars in the making. The enthusiastic children behaved professionally at all times and added that little bit of detail essential to the narrative.

The costumes were very suitable for the period, but I feel that women pilgrims would possibly not have open necklines, but I am being extra picky, the whole presentation of the costumes was good. The diction was clear, and considering the performance was outside, this was particularly remarkable and I heard every single word. The story flowed which made it easy to understand the plot.

The stage environment was given a great deal of thought with the audience of both sides of the rectangle, ensuring that movement on the stage was seen in a natural setting.

The musicians/singers blended into the aura of the time effectively.

The impressive structure of the boat cleverly portrayed the journey across the Atlantic and was beautifully constructed. I wish it had been a bigger part of the scenery setting.

The furniture and props were minimalistic giving a true glimpse into pilgrim life. I loved the way the moving of the boxes was an integral part of the story. The representation “of death” with “a suitcase” was superb. A point to remember that when serving drinks on stage, for me, realism is necessary however difficult for the actors, and this applies to “the dog” too.

From meeting front of house to the final bows, a very welcoming company made the total experience of the evening a truly memorable occasion. I took in the whole ethos of pilgrim life in 1620. Well done to EVERYONE concerned.                        

Sarah Meers

District Six Rep



This review will be on the NODA Eastern Region Website (https://www.noda.org.uk/regions/east/reports) It will be posted two weeks after it is sent to you.  PLEASE DO NOT SHARE THIS REVIEW ON PUBLIC MEDIA UNTIL AFTER IT HAS BEEN POSTED ON THE NODA WEBSITE.   If you need anything amended before it is published, please make sure you let me know quickly.

 [TD1]I have added extra lines between paragraphs, just makes it easier to read!

 [TD2]Perhaps make it a little clearer that this was an outdoor performance?  That recognises the effort out into creating the performance space