Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Blue Remembered Hills

The Torch Theatre , Torch Theatre, Milford Haven , October 21, 2000
Not for Dennis Potter the notion of a benevolent Mother Nature - being a kid in the Forest of Dean meant abuse, humiliation and deceitful girls.

It's a life he often re-visited and notably so in 'Blue Remembered Hills', the written-for-TV play revived by the Torch Theatre Company, the title ironically referring to A E Housman's poem about 'The Land of Lost Content' a far country, childhood, which was for Potter, like the sensitive Donald Duck in the play, distinctly not a happy experience ... but, then, if it had been we wouldn't have had those confessional dramas with bitterness, sexual obsession and introspection.

Like most Potter products at heart this revolves around a gimmick - the seven children are played by adults and while the fears, the games and the sights are all a recognisable part of growing up they are also comments on our adult existence.

Peter Doran's production is full of funny, subtle and sensitive moments (helped by David Goffin's lovely lighting) that exploit the ambiguities in the play - that these are in fact adult actors playing an adult's idea of children, that we accept the characters simultaneously as adults and children.

Sean Crowley's set - far from a frighteningly dark psychological forest, a surprisingly light and airy woodland with bright blue sky - creates a realistic environment where we can believe quite easily in these childish games and rituals.

Reviewed by: David Adams

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