My wife and I saw the play last night at the Pendragon Theater in Saranac Lake, NY. We were not familiar with Taylor or this show, but we found it to be excellent theater, funny, poignant, and all mixed up, just like the family it was about.
- Edward staskus
05 Jul 12
I go to the Coliseum quite a lot and always worry when there is something 'Northern' on. A lot of it is to do with the older audience that seem to be attracted to such performances and find it essential to laugh, clap and commentate through the whole performance. 'If it's northern it has to be funny', seems to be the expectation. Unfortunately this met the criteria perfectly, it was utter tripe. Any poignancy, drama and/or characterisation was completely lost. Oh that and it lasting for nigh on 3 hours. CP taylor must have been spinning. The cast tried it's best and have no little talent. the production was dire. Malcolm Wallace almost got it spot on. On the way out we commented that the use of the stage was simialr to things we did in primary school.The only error was that wth the Coliseum's panto the 'laughs' would have been funny. - andy stott
24 Mar 10
Not sure Malcolm Wallace was watching the same play. Kathy Dow Blyton was brilliant as the mother, bringing alive the neurotic anxieties of a woman enmeshed with her local Catholic church. For anyone who knows Catholic communities she hit the mark with some accuracy. Ged McKenna as granda exemplified the fickle world of an older Northern man who has seen it all. He brought regular comic moments that are a necessary foil for the play's more poignant moments. Doolan as Joyce brought much more to the play than Wallace implies. I have seen the part played as a dizzy blonde elsewhere, but this was something altogether more sophisticated, with depth. Joyce is fickle and immature, frightened of sexuality and yet craving adult status; obsessed by appearance and the superficial and yet taking all her advice from her disabled sister. She captures especially well the fear that all young brides of the time faced, and I should know because I was one of them. Simeon Truby as George is very solid and versatile and Helen played by the excellent Laura Norton is a rock at the centre of the play, encouraging and cajoling us across time as relationships unfold. So well done cast, a magnificent performance. I for one enjoyed it greatly. - Moira Moorcroft
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