Sunday, July 22 2018

Published on August 3 2017. Culture
Memories of childhood played out
The cast of the Summer Theatre Company

Memories of childhood played out

The name of Dennis Potter alone was enough to make me buy a ticket for the Summer Theatre Company’s production of his play Blue Remembered Hills at the Little Barn Theatre, Smallhythe Place. I’d known his work for radio in the 1970s and admired him as a playwright with an unusual field of social vision. Originally commissioned by the BBC, Blue Remembered Hills won a BAFTA Award in 1980. Potter’s work deserves to be better known today.

This play concerns a group of seven-year-olds playing in the Forest of Dean one summer afternoon in 1943. Strikingly, although the characters are children, they are played by adult actors, played with such verve and energy that disbelief  is suspended and we are right there in the identity-seeking insecurities of childhood.

Directed by Peter Mould and with a strong cast including local actors such as Susannah Mayor and Bill Allender, the play portrays with humorous realism the loss of childhood innocence. In the intimate space of the Barn Theatre, the relationship of actors and audience becomes compellingly close.

Tickets for the next National Trust production at the Little Barn Theatre, The Wind in the Willows  on Saturday August 5 are already sold out, but Jane Eyre is coming in September. Tickets may be purchased from the box office on 0844 800 4955 or online





Photo: Peter Mould Peter Mould is also a director at the Stables Theatre, Hastings

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