REVIEW: September in the Rain, Esk Valley Theatre
The plastic seats, small stage and community cohesion of Goathland Village Hall are somehow consonant with this story of a couple's yearly holidays in Blackpool.
But rest assured, once the actors are on stage, we experience professional theatre of high quality from Esk Valley Theatre.
Liz (Una McNulty) and Jack (Mark Stratton) rarely even hold hands, but their devotion runs deep. This is the Donald McGill generation of knotted handkerchiefs and rolled-up trousers. Both actors effortlessly telescope the history of a marriage into a couple of hours of theatre.
Una McNulty embodies the rock-solid stoicism that we remember of the 1940s/50s generation. We see a single crisis in her life that almost ends her marriage, but it is rescued by a trip up Blackpool Tower.
Mark Stratton is the taciturn miner who nevertheless drenches his hankie at a performance of The Student Prince. He is one of those actors who can elicit gales of laughter just by raising an eyebrow. His character is a study of a generation of honourable men lost to pit closures.
Enterprising and inspirational direction from Sheila Carter extracts the full range of emotions from John Godber’s play while long-serving production manager Graham Kirk makes the most of limited resources with the set and lighting design.
Friday March 24: The Galtres Centre, Easingwold. Tickets also from Galtres Centre on 01347 822472
Thursday March 30: Moorsholm Memorial Hall. Tickets also on 01287 660839
Friday March 31: Fylingdales Hall, Robin Hood’s Bay. Tickets also from Station Road Stores
Saturday April 1: the Milton Rooms, Malton. Tickets also from the Milton Rooms on 01653 696240
Monday April 3: Ingleby Greenhow Village Hall. Tickets also from Fawcetts Butchers
Tuesday April 4: Whitby Coliseum. Tickets also from the Coliseum on 01947 825000
Wednesday April 5: Charltons Community Centre: matinee 2.30pm. Tickets also from Mace, Boosebeck.
Thursday April 6: Evron Centre, Filey.
Friday April 7: Thirsk Town Hall. Tickets also from the Artist’s Palette on 01845 574457
Saturday April 8: the Robinson Institute, Glaisdale. Tickets also from Glaisdale Village Shop
York Theatre Royal from Tuesday April 11 to 15