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“September in the Rain”

I’m not sure what I was expecting with this play, but should have known from the writer, John Godber, that the content would be gritty, outspoken and with a human warmth – which I wasn’t expecting, but which we certainly got.

The fact that the cast was two people only, made it a tour de force for and from them – we had the normal sniping that most married couples seem to go through, particularly when cars come into the equation, some genuine affection, and a general acceptance that nothing was actually going to change in the relationship, which was both heart-warming, poignant and extremely funny.

Joe Butcher as Jack, excelled himself. A complex character, but very simple in some ways – he just wanted everything to carry on as normal, and would only do what he wanted.  I loved the way he eventually rolled up his trousers on the beach, undid the top button of his shirt, and was then persuaded to paddle in the sea, which he proceeded to enjoy – all beautifully and realistically accomplished.

His wife, played by Jenna Ryder-Oliver, was also a complex character, as we women are prone to be – but was eventually persuaded to settle back down into their nice little rut.  I loved the nuances of the character which Jenna played so well.

The changes of mood, the arguments, the raised voices, the pace and occasionally the stillness of the piece, showed the undoubted experience of not only the Director, but also the cast – and I thoroughly enjoyed the production.

There was the gentle understanding type of humour, some good belly laughs, and then came the big dipper – absolutely hilarious and extremely well staged – that scene raised its own applause from a very appreciative audience.

The costumes were typical, I loved the pac-a-macs, and the fact that they were damp, it helped the believability of the scenes, also helped by the sound effects of the rain – not too intrusive, but there – good effects from Graham Elliott.

I thought that in those days a female would have worn a slip – but that was the only anomaly from reality for Liz, and possibly Jack’s suit was a little too well-fitting and expensive looking for that type of man – but when taken into account for the bigger picture, these were just small points.

Lighting was effective too, a good design from Jacob Shooter, and I loved the LED lights on Blackpool Tower – it enhanced the absolutely spot on backdrop, which was constructed by Alan Goss, and painted to perfection by Deborah Cheshire – such ability, with an almost 3D look – it just made all the difference to the action.  We are so lucky to have such clever people willing to go that extra mile.

I loved the whole ethos of the play, and the way it was acted and directed – the pace was excellent as were the characterisations, with loads of contrasts, which made it a fascinating evening’s entertainment.

Dunstable Rep


review date: 24th Sept 2015

Little Theatre, Dunstable

Director:  Angela Goss  


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