Thursday, June 30, 2011

‘Eden End’ by J B Priestley

30 June 2011

Last Monday we were at the Royal Theatre in Northampton to see Laurie Sansom’s production of ‘Eden End’ by J B Priestley. This family drama set in 1912 plays with the poignancy of its characters hopes for the future when we know they will shortly be engulfed by the First World War. The prodigal daughter, Stella, who fled the family home eight years earlier for a life on the stage, returns unexpectedly to disrupt the life of her younger sister who had stayed at home to look after their widowed father. An excellent production, wonderfully cast with outstanding performances by Charlotte Emmerson as Stella, Daisy Douglas as her sister Lilian and Nick Hendrix (making his professional stage debut) as their younger brother Wilfred. There was a lovely invention between two of the scenes where Wilfred and Stella’s actor husband Charles (Daniel Betts) appear in front of the curtain to perform a music hall song and dance number which both evokes the life on stage chosen by Stella (and adored by Wilfred) and perfectly evokes the men’s night out in the village pub from which they return rather the worse for wear in the following scene.

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