Lark Rise Review

Guildford Castle Grounds
July 2009

The Pranksters’ summer show was simply charming, beautifully presented with tenderness and humour. Returning to the Castle Grounds after their innovative promenade production last year, the company was keen to try something different. They successfully rose to the challenge and evoked nostalgia for a bygone age, albeit it a time when living was hard and people were keenly aware that change was coming.

The play ends with a brutal reminder of what 1914 would bring. Director Jenny Haynes peopled the village of Lark Rise with a delightful cast of real ‘characters’, and although the action takes place over just one day, we found ourselves really involved with the people we met there. With a few simple props and some admirable mime, the whole world of the village in a farming community was created before our eyes. At one point, so convinced were we that the actors were really looking at a bird, that we all craned to see – a magical moment.   The whole company is to be congratulated on a great piece of ensemble work, but special mention must go to Philip Hutchinson, who demonstrated versatility in a number of roles and was Musical Director. The simple setting of the songs, sung lustily by the whole company (and some of the audience) made this a really special production. Jane MacIntyre

Posted by Guildford Amateur Theatre Association on 15 September 2009