Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Blue Remembered Hills –Review- Northern Stage, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
Writer: Dennis Potter
Director: Psyche Stott
Reviewer: Michael Hunter
Ahh, the memories of youth, the playful banter and the hope inside of hearts of freedom. A world of imagination, expression and thought.
Dennis potter, the late acclaimed writer, certainly knew how to sum it all up and how to present a fantastic in-depth landscape of humanity.
With Blue Remembered Hills, staged and produced by Northern Stage, the awakenings of the inner child (in all of us) was brought to the floor with great humour and passion.
The seven adult actors, playing the children, created a sense of belonging, which everybody in the audience could relate to.
Set in The Forest of Dean, we see the domineering character of Peter (Christopher Price) over-powering his mates, Raymond (James Bolt), John (Phil Cheadle), Willie (David Nellist), with gestures, vocalness and a bullying factor, a trait that his friends find very tiresome, but friends are sometimes hard to come by.
They are all after adventure in the hills, with trees to climb and nature to annoy (A horrific de-felling of a squirrel in the forest, showed us the barbaric nature of life at times).
The camaraderie that they share, even in between the odd fight and disagreement was always present, with each child having his moment to shine and feel wanted within the group.
The female factor came into play with Angela (Tilly Gaunt) and Audrey (Joanna Holden) playing happy families with dolls and prams, something for the boys to further fight over with, with cat calls and playfulness.
Donald (Adrian Grove), heartbroken, with his father missing in action from the war, created even more of a realism hit, with the sorrow that can only be gained from the eyes and ears of a child. He was star attraction for the girls, sensing his fragility and tenderness.
An escaped prisoner of war from the forest camp, created a lovely humourous pulling together of collective souls, with all wanting to do the best for each other, no matter what the consequences. This what children do, whether for the better or evil!
The closing section of the play, showed what living for the moment for these children, is all about. The anguish and the torment will live on with them forever.
Fantastic acting by all on stage, really gritting heart wrenching performances.
A fantastic stage design by Ruari Murchison, really let the mind wonder into where the children were playing and scrapping, with a superb lighting design by Colin Grenfell showing the way perfectly.
Directed by Phyche Stott, pulling all the strings with brilliant results.
Playing until 11th May