I Thought I Heard A Rustling

Date 6th June 2014
Society Washington Theatre Group
Venue Washington Arts Centre
Type of Production Play
Director John Appleton


Author: Foster Johnson

The Group’s production of Alan Plater’s ‘I Thought I Heard A Rustling’ gave a small but knowledgeable audience a fine evening’s entertainment.

Using the old Jimmy James comedy sketch about man eating lions being kept in a matchbox as the thread of the show, hence the title, it tells the tale of a lovable Geordie rogue and would-be poet who is appointed writer-in-residence at a branch library.  The senior librarian soon realises the feckless Geordie is no poet, but finds him highly entertaining, much to the disgust of Nutley, an earnest young man who covets the role.  These three become unlikely soul mates in their successful strike group when the library is earmarked for demolition. 

For an opening first night, which as we all know, brings its own special worries, the cast, who were hardly off stage, handled the complexities of the plot and the lengthy script in fine style, with hardly a hiccup. 

Under the knowledgeable direction of John Appleton, who used the juxtaposition and complexities of the different characters cleverly, Peter Wilson as Bill Robson, Cathy Wood as Ellen, Alan Bilton as Nutley, Pamela Elliott as Councillor Graham and Peter Fitzpatrick as Bernard all gave polished performances.  The play was also enhanced by the choice of house music by the Director which also added to serve the show well. 

Congratulations must also be given to all of the backstage crew for their efforts to ensure it was staged well and moved effortlessly through the various scenes. 

The only downside for all the hard work that went into staging the play was that due to the limited availability of the theatre it could only be performed for two evenings.