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South Hill Park

Ringmead,
Bracknell,
Berkshire,
RG12 7PA
sales@southhillpark.org.uk

South Hill Park presents Blood Brothers

November 24, 2014
Blood Brothers

South Hill Park’s brilliant community company are back in rehearsals and getting ready for their production of Blood Brothers (the play) coming to the Wilde stage in February next year.

Tickets are already on sale through our website or Box Office for what promises to be a fantastic production. Our community productions are always very popular so don’t delay in booking!

Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twins who, separated a birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks; Mickey lives on a deprived council estate with his mother whilst Eddie lives in paradise with an affluent family he believe to be his own. The boys, by chance, become childhood friends and they are naive enough not to see the differences between each other.

Mrs Johnstone’s decision to give Eddie away and the boys unlikely friendship will spark a series of tragic events.

Blood Brothers explores differences in class and asks, is it nature or nurture that influences the people we become as adults?

Last year’s community production of The History Boys received rave reviews from critics:

[vc_testimonial author=”Bracknell Times” company=””] The cast of young actors work brilliantly to create a class of cocky, eccentric boys. Their comic timing is perfection. [/vc_testimonial]

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[vc_testimonial author=”Slough Express” company=””] Simply an outstanding production [/vc_testimonial]

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[vc_testimonial author=”Twyford Advertiser” company=””] Had me captivated and thoroughly entertained from the first to the last line. [/vc_testimonial]

 

Freelance Journalist Esme Bates told us what she thought of The History Boys…

Bring! The school bell chimes and we were back to school. Having worked in a private boys school for nine years the irreverent, lively banter between the pupils was authentic and reassuring. Song, mime, narration to the audience and playlets, offered a nostalgic snapshot of our own school days at Chiltern Edge School – the dreams, the ambitions and the fond farewells.

Twenty years ago, I recall winning a talent show at Sonning Common Village Hall as Susan from Bed Among the Lentils. I still recall the audience’s sharp intakes of breath as I revealed that the vicar’s wife had been having “you know what” with the local shopkeeper!

Like many of Bennett’s work The History Boys also explores sexual deviance and middle class taboos; he suggests a cliché culture of private boys’ schools, male, teachers being male, gay child abusers. Hector played by Ian Crump, the spitting image of Bennett himself, and Jonathan Ashby-Rock, the grey, washed out, limp, bitter, spectacled, spineless Master Irwin were both suitably tragic figures who were ultimately punished for their child abuse.

History Boy, Dakin, played by Jake Addley had a simmering, dark, almost threatening, sexuality that befitted the role and fellow pupil, Posner, played by Owen Griffiths had a vulnerable, neurotic quality and pitch perfect singing voice that offered light and shade.

Philip Campbell as the Headmaster had something of the John Cleese about him. He was a convincing Headmaster with his wide pinstripe suit and purposeful stride. We really believed he was an empire building owner of a small, private, boys’ school; highly likeable and engagingly eccentric. Driven by academia and his hell-bent ambition for his pupils to be accepted into Oxford and Cambridge. Equally as authentic was Lisa Renals’ portrayal of Mrs Lintott in her twinset and tweeds, patent low heels and silk scarf- the uniform donned by many a self-important, school mam. Like naughty teenage boys we reveled as this prim teacher used the word “t***” to describe the head and at one point even used the C word!

On the whole, an entertaining and thought-provoking evening. In true South Hill Park -style seasoned actors and new recruits worked side by side to produce a piece of work that was creative, dynamic and solid.

 

The History Boys, by Alan Bennett, was directed by Luke Sheppard and produced by London Contemporary Theatre in association with South Hill Park Arts Centre.

 

1 Comment

  1. Donna Berry

    I’ve seen History Boys and found it to be a great play. As for Blood Brothers I have seen that 4 times 3 times at the Phoenix Theatre and once at Theatre Royal Norwich and I am looking forward to seeing it again next year.

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