June 19 2013 Latest news:
By Wendy Keeling Taylor
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
REVIEW of The Winslow Boy by Potters Bar Theatre Company at the Wyllyotts Theatre in Potters Bar.
DUE to lack of time, I attended the dress rehearsal of this Terence Rattigan drama and found it fascinating to observe preparations for opening night.
The dedication of stage and ancillary staff, as well as actors, ensuring every detail was correct, under the observant eye of director Robbie Crisp, was impressive.
I regret that space does not allow me to give an in-depth review of this wonderful play which was beautifully costumed, staged and performed by a superb cast.
With a touch of Elgar’s Variations the stage was set for a wonderful evening of brilliant theatre.
Based on a real life event two years prior to the outbreak of World War One, the Edwardian Winslow family was the epitome of the era when strict codes of conduct and manners were paramount.
Ronnie, the 14-year-old Naval Cadet (George Rowlands), returns home after being expelled from Osborne College for stealing a five shilling postal order.
His father Arthur (Nick Reed) believes his protestations of innocence and takes legal action against the Admiralty and Government to clear his son’s name in order to prevent assassination of character and to uphold family honour.
Ronnie’s strong-minded sister, Catherine (Claire Fisher), is also determined to clear his name and the services of an eminent barrister, Sir Robert Morton (Michael Crisp), takes up the case as he also believes in truth and justice being upheld.
Over a period of two years this powerful ‘David and Goliath’ drama unfolds, the family holding fast to their principles, although mother Grace (Alison Reeve) – ever protective of her son – becomes infuriated with all the strain it causes her family.
Her husband visibly ages, her daughter loses her conventional fiancé John (Bryan Hewitt) while older brother Dickie (George Bootman) has to stand down from Oxford University due to lack of funds.
Solicitor Desmond Curry (Nick Vause), who also sought Catherine’s hand in marriage, gave a gentle under-stated performance of the rejected suitor.
Violet, friendly, helpful housemaid (Sharon Lottari) was anxious to know what was going on as she looked after the family, assisted by Rose (Lina Williamson) and Lily, while vacuous, newspaper reporter Miss Barnes (Val Golding) was only interested in the curtaining material.
This was gripping theatre of a high standard and the company can feel confident in their entry to the Barnet and District Drama Festival later in the year.