Great play will make you cry with laughter

RESTLESS: from left, David Smith, Andy Cryer, Joanne Heywood and Laura Bonnah in One for The Road. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

RESTLESS: from left, David Smith, Andy Cryer, Joanne Heywood and Laura Bonnah in One for The Road. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

First published in Weekend

ESK Valley Theatre has done it again – chosen an excellent play and great actors, giving local people a chance to see superb theatre on their doorstep.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the company is presenting the Willy Russell comedy One for the Road in Glaisdale, near Whitby, until Saturday, August 30.

Set in the 1980s on a housing estate in the North, it explores themes of age, taste and dreams.

On the eve of Dennis Cain’s 40th birthday, he is feeling out of place in the comfortable, wellappointed bungalow he shares with his wife Pauline and their off-stage young son.

Is his feeling of being trapped going to infect Pauline and their old friends Jane and Roger who have now become stalwart kingpins of their phase two section of the Castlehills estate?

Questions and musings abound, but the overall effect is to amuse and there are many hilarious lines, moments and scenes.

Prepare to cry with laughter at some of these.

Mark Stratton skilfully directs with energy and well-placed movement.

David Smith is mesmerising as restless Dennis, foiled poet, crouching on the sofa, leaping over it and lying on the floor completely unrelaxed.

Andy Cryer plays Roger Fuller, the upright pioneer of the estate’s residents’ force who had youthful ambitions as a singer, with wonderful humour.

All the actors are versatile, showing a variety of accents, expressions and emotions. Pauline Cain’s stuffy personality is transformed convincingly by Laura Bonnah to moments of tenderness with Dennis.

Joanne Heywood, making a welcome return, is equally strong in portraying the two sides of Jane Fuller’s character.

Most of us can relate to wanting to retreat into a safe world we know and are only influenced by other cultures and tastes on our own terms.

For tickets, please call 01947 897587.

Emily Thwaite

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