Theatre: The Country Girl

Birmingham Hippodrome

It’s after the event as the run has finished but I just had to write a little bit on this production.

I booked tickets months ago so although I read the write up at the time, I had no idea what it was about by the time September crept up on me. I’m quite partial to seeing movies and theatre productions in this way; being completely oblivious as to what to expect without having read the book or seen a screen version.

I was captivated by it, from the impressive start to the soft ending. Maybe it’s because it keeps on moving forward without any slow gaps that some plays have for ‘dramatic’ affect (yawn). The actors are all impressive, not just the leads; Martin Shaw, Jenny Seagrove and Mark Letheren but every single word uttered matters and every gesture sweeps across the stage purposefully.

Set in the 1940s, the story is about a young ambitious, confident director, Bernie (Mark Letheren) keen to have an old time theatre star in his latest play. He has to not only convince Frank Elgin (Martin Shaw) that he can play the part but also his wife Georgie (Jenny Seagrove), AKA the country girl.

Addiction, confidence, adultery; the usual theatrical subjects are all tackled wonderfully with wit and intelligence.

I mentioned the 1940s; well that alone feeds my frock addiction but what really impresses me are the fantastic set changes. Quite frankly, it’s fascinating to watch the actors recreate the beautiful scenery from a small New York apartment, to a theatre rehearsal room to the dressing room in Boston on opening night.

Superb.

9/10     Smile factor 10/10

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