Theatre review - Ladies in Lavender, Lowther Pavilion, Lytham
PUBLISHED: 11:57 21 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:53 22 April 2016
Rob Gemmell goes to see the Lytham Anonymous Players production of Ladies in Lavender at the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham
The themes of music, culture and nostalgia were brought to the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham as the stage adaptation of the screenplay by Charles Dance was brought to life by the Lytham Anonymous Players.
Sisters Ursula and Janet live a seemingly normal life together in the house they share in a remote part of Cornwall. They enjoy simple pleasures and those pleasures they enjoy together. One morning, after a particularly nasty storm, they see the body of a young Polish man washed up on the beach. They find he is still alive, suffering with a broken ankle, so decide to take him back to their house where he can recuperate, but they soon discover he is about to change their lives forever.
It is not often that an amateur group will step away from the standard comedies to tackle a story so heartfelt and comforting as this, but I am glad that the Lytham Anonymous Players have decided to do so, because it really allows the talent of actors within the group to show. Ladies in Lavender is a charmingly warm story of love and lives littered with the occasional piece of humour which is effective and works to segment the storyline together. It tells the story of how love lost and love found can often be mistaken for the same thing and how, although we feel we are tackling the complexities of life, there is something or someone who can change that.
Director Jeff Redfern was the person that decided to take that step and bring this colourful, vivid story to the stage. He has worked wonders with an imaginative, often clever play with a stellar cast that brought all emotions out to the audience at the Lowther Pavilion. A complex set design to depict four different scenes on one stage was segmented wonderfully by clever lighting and scenes were divided beautifully by some of the most exquisite violin music I have ever heard, which is a key element to the storyline.
Lesley Jarvis and Joyce Burgess were given the task of portraying the two sisters and both gave tremendous performances in doing so. The closeness of their relationship and the wonderful interchange between them as well as the diversion between emotions was truly phenomenal. Working between them was Kathy Gemmell as Dorcas, the housemaid who added the comic relief between the pair really encapsulating the boisterous nature of her persona. David Parry was perfect as Dr. Mead in a flawlessly executed performance with strong support from the mysterious Olga Daniloff, played superbly by Andrea Cave. Last, but by no means least, was a brilliant performance by young Tom Hunt who excelled in his role as the Polish man, Andrea Marowski, who gave a truly professional performance with the Polish accent accentuated perfectly throughout.
I am always in favour of amateur theatre groups tackling serious dramas as well as comedy to showcase the talent that the North West has to offer. The Lytham Anonymous Players have chosen wisely and performed this wonderful tale beautifully. On performances alone, it is worth the ticket price…and more.
The show continues on Thursday 21st April, Friday 22nd April and Saturday 23rd April at the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham. Curtain – 7:30pm.
For more information please visit the Lowther Pavilion’s website - www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk