By Richard Everett
16 - 21 January, 2012
Jo comforts her mother
Why will Garce's sister not stop mowing the lawn?
Bardolph tries to explain
The women all come to terms
Grace is the widow of a vicar, Bardolph. She is welcoming his successor – a lady vicar, and her husband. Grace’s sister, a missionary, has come home to help Grace get over her husband’s death. Bardolph, however, has not entirely “gone” and he is helping Grace work out things that occurred in their lives together. An amusing, poignant and heart-warming play that originally starred Penelope Keith, is a thoroughly good watch
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares". Hebrews 13:2
This delightful play has been a revelation to myself, to the actors and to the backstage staff as we have explored the characters and their relationships with each other, constantly delving deeper with each rehearsal. I have been fortunate to have recently directed two fairly profound meditations on the human spirit in the form of A Month of Sundays and, at Keighley Playhouse, On Golden Pond. In my opinion this recent and relatively unknown play can bear some comparison with those two marvellous pieces of Theatre.
We follow the fortunes of the apparently badly-named Grace as she seeks to come to terms with her vicar husband’s untimely death, its consequences and the relationships - new and old - she has to face and develop in the following months - if rather grace-lessly.
A new vicar arrives, her sister returns from Africa, and her daughter makes demands on her she is unwilling to meet.
That’s the story. The delight for us, the audience, is in discovering and following the developing relationships.
As well as an intelligent group of actors with whom I have been privileged to work, I have been blessed with a terrifically supportive group backstage, and in particular a talented Workshop group who have been ably and creatively led by Leah Fox in this her first BLT set. I sincerely hope it won’t be her last. As you are about to witness, it’s not the easiest of sets to translate to the page.
Welcome to BLT to newcomer Becky Kordowicz, and to relative newcomer Sonia Cheater. Again we will see much more of these two lovely young ladies, I have no doubt. And it is a joy for me - as I'm sure it will be for you - to see again on our stage the talents of Patricia Clough and June Driver.
As a postscript, and at the other end of the scale, I have once more enjoyed working with Gordon Sugden. We have worked out that our first joint production was in Puss In Boots when he played Puss, and I the handsome young juvenile lead………(you can fill in your own joke here).
Interestingly I’ve directed Gordon in his last three appearances at BLT. He played a “ghost” in Five Blue-Haired Ladies…, a sufferer from late Alzheimer’s in A Month Of Sundays and…well, you doubtless won’t be surprised by his role in this production……
Enjoy the show. Oh, and did I mention? It’s very funny.