by Peter Nichols

Directed by Colin Smith

October 17th - November 1st, 2003

The Tower Theatre performing at Theatro Technis, Camden


Cast List

Frank : Simon Bullock
Young Frank : Joe Radcliffe
Charles : John Morton
Amy : Sheila Burbidge
Ursula : Georgina Robinson
Young Ursula : Kathy Berketa
Ivor : Thomas Lee-Smith
Mr Magic : Chris Yates
Miss 1940 : Meryl Griffiths


Production Team

Director : Colin Smith
Set Design : Bill Leahy
Lighting Design : Robert Irvine
Costume Design : Tamar Balakjian

Stage Manager : Jean Carr
ASMs : Terry Baker-Self, Jayne Lawrence, Alison Liney
Lighting operator : Nathalie Lake
Sound operator : Chris Holmes
Wardrobe : Sheila Burbidge, Meryl Griffiths, Sue Lacey
Choreography : Helen Jeckells
Piano : Colin Guthrie
Properties : Tony Bourached, Jean Carr, Dinah Ivine

Review by Robert McCrae for the Camden New Journal

Childhood can stir up many evocative memories but not everyone remembers being pursued by their kung fu teacher in a badly fitting Japanese robe. Frank does, and it's these kind of images that hang like a spectre over his life, trawled through with regret as he prepares to pack up and leave it all behind. Frank gives his sombre voiceover to what defined him as the man he is today and what might easily be a yawning and tedious nostalgia trip actually turns out to be a pretty enthralling drama.

Belsize Park playwright Peter Nichols is probably best known for the highly successful A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, but this particular tale he describes as his "favourite and least devious".

The sanguine audience provides the laughter track, but the mood of pessimism and missed opportunity hangs like a ripe water balloon over proceedings. All credit to the writing then, that never once do you feel that weight, just merely acknowledge its presence. Reminding us that of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.

Simon Bullock gives old Frank an utterly believable and com-manding presence throughout. His younger version (Joe Radcliffe) is also expert with the awkward mannerisms of youth, while the father Charles (John Morton) is played with touching senility. In fact it is the latter who possesses the single most powerful scene of the play, and one that will feature in any father's dialogue with their sons or daughters.

Uncomfortable, overwhelming and powerful all at once.