Ladies in Lavender

Date 2nd November 2019
Society Holt Dramatic Society
Venue Village Hall, Holt
Type of Production Play
Director Kate Palmer
Musical Director -
Choreographer -
Producer John Fletcher

Report

Author: Dee Way for Delia Lee

Set before the Second World War as indicated by the comments about Hitler in the script, it was important to create a sense of the period throughout the play.  I am delighted to say that this was beautifully done with a wonderful set, accurate costumes, an excellent cast and sensitive direction.

The Director made the very best use of the restricted stage area. This was most effective with various levels and mixed groupings, with clearly defined areas and good stage dressing, especially the furniture. The creation of the sense of an offstage staircase was very well done!  The movement around the space was excellent, with every move having purpose.  The development of the plot was very well timed, too, with a gradual unfolding of the two ladies normal lives and how the disturbance caused by Andrea's arrival disrupted the emotional harmony, with some lovely groupings of characters.

The staging was excellent, with accurate props and even a broadcast shipping forecast - a lovely touch! The hatchway between the kitchen and living room worked really well, with Dorcas using it to interrupt the ladies to excellent effect. The beach was suggested enough to be real, while the garden was a delight, with the seats, table and trellis.

The staging was greatly enhanced by the lighting that was used to highlight each area of the stage as it was used. The sound was at an appropriate level for the small hall, and was particularly well done for the violin playing.  Costumes were very appropriate and gave a clear impression of who characters were.  The portrait of Andrea was very well done.

However, it was the excellent acting of the play that brought the script to life so vividly.  The two sisters showed very clear characters, with the one very reality based and the other a bit of a dreamer. These two characters built a totally believable rivalry in attending to Andrea.  Dorcas was a wonderfully funny kitchen help with her thick west country accent, and with some of the best lines in the play delivered with a lovely humour.  Andrea, with his slightly exotic looks, was portrayed as the shipwrecked musician with great sincerity and a very convincing accent. His "playing" of the violin was very accurate miming. Dr Mead came across as a warm-hearted medic with as much concern for the ladies in his "parish", and especially Olga, as for the young Pole.  Olga Daniloff, the artist on holiday, portrayed this character beautifully, with a touch of the exotic but also a very natural persona.

All in all, this was a brilliant production of a very well written play that we thoroughly enjoyed.  The characterisations were clear and well formed, and the cast worked very well together.  The ending was very touching.  Congratulations on a wonderful production!