Blue Remembered Hills

Date 20th April 2016
Society Compton Players
Venue Coronation Hall, Compton
Type of Production Play
Director Eric Saxton

Report

Author: Chris Horton

“Blue Remembered Hills” was originally a TV production that tells the story of a gang of seven year olds larking about in the summer of 1943.   The author, Dennis Potter, insisted that the roles were played by adults as the complexity and depth of the dialogue would be impossible for seven year old children to play.  It is a short but enormously thought provoking and disturbing play about human cruelty and takes its title from A E Houseman’s “A Shropshire Lad”.   

The set was amazing and had been well crafted using the hall floor as the woodland, large tree and the stage set out as the interior and exterior of the barn. The set artwork was of the highest quality with great attention to detail.  Angela’s pram brought back many memories for my companion: a child in the 40s.

A great deal of trouble had gone into ensuring each character was appropriately dressed and made up immaculately with grubby socks, muddy knees and short trousers. 

The lighting was effective and the special effect – the barn fire - was spectacular and well managed.

The essential characterisation of each cast member was well developed and each character maintained their persona throughout.  The play opened with Nick Roberts’ lovely aeroplane impression, dive bombing through the audience.  H Connolly played Donald with great poignancy, put upon to amuse the others with his attempts at duck sounds.  There were no weak links in this excellent production and we soon forgot that they were adults playing children.  Eric Saxton’s production was appealing and really drew the audience in.  The design, direction and performers provided the audience with an evening of dark nostalgia of the highest possible standard.