Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Eastern Angles at the Cramphorn Theatre


Like so much of Eastern Angles' work, Kate Griffin's Cuckoo Teapot is based on careful research of one of the byways of our local history.

This time it's the Norkies – Norfolk lads of a hundred years ago who went to seek seasonal work in the Burton breweries, and brought home a fancy teapot for their Mum.

The brilliantly simple, practical set had a bike and a chair, some little cupboards, slopes and screens. Ivan Cutting's fast-paced direction kept us interested in the interaction, and the five actors caught the accents and the mood to perfection. The star-crossed lovers – an apple cleft in two - were affectingly played by Tim Bell and Bryony Harding, and the two older women, united in the loss of a child, and much more, as it turned out, were marvellously brought to life by Helen Grady and Jacqueline Redgewell: their confrontation, and later, tenderer encounters, were among the best moments in a very strong drama. Graham Howes played both the creepy shop owner and the kindly brother.

The Cramphorn was sold out for this superb piece of documentary theatre – if you missed it there, it's still touring, and comes to Margaretting Village Hall on March 28.

... where we joined a capacity crowd [70 or s0] to see the show again. Harder for us to hear, what with the accents and the acoustic, and harder for them to achieve the atmosphere with minimal lighting and obtrusive decor. But the piece still worked well, and the teapot in its little cupboard survived unbroken this time !

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