Festival 2012

Blue Remembered Hills

by Dennis Potter. Director Anna Ledwich

Blue Remembered Hills

Theatre on the Fly

Theatre on the Fly

Theatre on the Fly

Theatre on the Fly

Blue Remembered Hills

Blue Remembered Hills

Theatre on the Fly

26 Jun - 14 Jul 2012

Overview

"An ideal fusion of design, direction and performance... the door-framed vista of the park lends a particular enchantment to this magical production, and Ledwich uses the space with dazzling ingenuity."

4 Star Rating The Daily Telegraph

It’s a sunny summer afternoon in the West Country during the Second World War and a group of seven-year-olds play, fight, fantasise and swagger. With no adults present to intrude on their pastoral bliss, events take a darker turn as their childlike games begin to reveal their fears, hostilities and rivalries. Perhaps childhood is not shot through with innocence after all.

Originally written for television starring Helen Mirren, the roles of the children are played by adults. Dennis Potter said ‘When we dream of childhood, we take our present selves with us. It is not the adult world writ small; childhood is the adult world writ large’.

Here's a selection of tweets and comments from the first audiences to see Blue Remembered Hills:

"This show is really beautiful - do please GO!" 

"Don't miss this one! Brilliant acting and direction. Thank you!"

"Anna Ledwich is the first of a young directorial
trio to seize on its potential, literally opening up Blue Remembered Hills to her audience"

For up-to-the-minute Theatre on the Fly news:
Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter #bluerememberedhills.

Blue Remembered Hills
is supported by
DAVID and SOPHIE SHALIT

Theatre on the Fly likes... The Belle Isle


Reviews

The Daily Telegraph
4 Star Rating

Across the park at the Chichester Festival Theatre, a small boy in long shorts zooms and divebombs his way towards a barnlike structure of wood and tarpaulin. As he approaches, it becomes clear that he is not a child, but an adult actor, and the barn towards which he is making his erratic progress is the Festival Theatre’s pop-up performance space, The Theatre on the Fly.

Inside the temporary structure, a stage of bare earth is bounded on each side by old-fashioned wooden climbing frames. A forest of bright blue scaffolding poles rises from the earth, and instead of a backdrop, the audience looks out through vast barn doors onto the park beyond, where dogs race among the distant trees.

The Theatre provides a summer home for three productions by young directors who trained at the Chichester Festival Theatre. The first of these is Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills, directed by Anna Ledwich. Potter’s play, which takes its title from AE Housman’s A Shropshire Lad, was originally written for television and later adapted for the theatre. It is set in the Forest of Dean in 1943, where a group of seven-year-olds bicker and play among the trees on a summer afternoon.

The roles of the six children are taken by adult actors, a shockingly simple device that lends a disturbing resonance to their shifting alliances, in which the adult world is unsettlingly reflected and prefigured.

As devices go, it is utterly unforgiving, as is the dense Gloucestershire dialect in which the play is written. Anything less than pitch-perfect direction and performances would be ruinous to its atmosphere of darkly compromised nostalgia.

But Anna Ledwich’s production achieves an ideal fusion of design, direction and performance. The cast, including Gary Beadle as the bullying Peter, Leila Farzad as the precocious minx Angela, and Laura Rogers as her sidekick, Audrey, is uniformly excellent, and Gregory Gudgeon as the hapless victim Donald is so convincing that a woman in the audience behind me was heard to murmur, “Poor little boy”.

The door-framed vista of the park lends a particular enchantment to this magical production, and Ledwich uses the space with dazzling ingenuity, particularly in the tragic final scene.

It is particularly unfortunate that the play’s shocking climax should coincide with the interval at the main theatre, so that Ryan Early’s beautiful concluding rendition of Houseman’s lines has to compete with the sound of Chichester theatregoers in full cry.


Booking Info

Running time: 1 hour, 07 minutes (no interval)

Please note this production is unreserved bench-style seating and, if paying on the door, tickets are payable by cash only.

Tickets: £17

Friends & Concessions: £15

Under 26s (ID required): £10 (or £25.50 when buying all three at the same time; available by phone only)

Day seats: £8.50 (available in person from 10am on the day of the performance)

Standing: £5 (available from one hour before the performance only when all seats have sold)

Discounts and concessions available
Terms & Conditions



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