Albion

Date 25th January 2024
Society Progress Theatre
Venue Progress Theatre, Reading
Type of Production Play
Director Caroline White assisted by Adam Wells
Producer Lauren Boys
Written By Mike Bartlett

Report

Author: Cate Naylor

Based on Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, Albion is described as a modern ‘post Brexit’ play which highlights the differences between Britain’s City types and their country neighbours and their lack of understanding of how each other tick. It is an interesting play set in the ruins of a large garden in rural England where Audrey the new owner searches for the seeds of hope, aiming to restore the garden (and maybe her life) to its former glory. 

The play is initially a slow burner but with hidden undercurrents that are waiting to explode as the plot gradually unfolds. The director handled these well, ensuring that the silences held much weight and added to the intensity. Issues of identity, social class, nostalgia and patriotism, are all interwoven into the play and with her guidance, these were well observed, and the cast were able to draw these out. The cast worked well together and had developed their relationships well so that they looked comfortable together. Each actor had clearly defined their character and communicated this complex play very well.

The set was very evocative with a huge tree with hexagonal tree seat set stage right and areas of grass and flower beds at the front which were used very effectively. The lighting was at times dramatic, and always very effective and there was lovely selection of music to accompany the different scenes.

Well done to all.