The Darling Buds of May
by H E Bates
9th-11th March 2006
Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby
It was a long time coming, but after negotiating a series of difficulties and one last-minute cancellation, director Vicky Ashberry finally succeeded in getting H E Bates’ feel-good tale of the carefree Larkin family onto the stage.
We had originally planned to perform ‘The Darling Buds of May’ in May 2005, when the warm weather, Pimms and ice cream would all have been part of the summertime experience.
But owing to events beyond our control we had to postpone the original production, re-assemble the cast (with one significant alteration) and do it all over again ten months later.
When we staged the show in March 2006 the Broadbent Theatre was as chilly as the weather outside, so it was a great credit to the cast, crew and director that the production managed to evoke the languid atmosphere of midsummer even while the audience kept their coats on!
This production was another first for us in two ways: it was the first time we had used the Broadbent Theatre (and we will be going back) and it was the first time we have sold out a venue every night. Around 300 people saw the show, a tremendous total which confirms the fact that our audiences are getting bigger and our reputation is slowly spreading.
According to the Market Rasen Mail ‘the whole production was just “perfick”, setting a high standard… for local theatregoers.’ The Lincolnshire Echo critic was less enthusiastic about the production but admitted that ‘the play was a hit with the audience’.
|Pop Larkin||Maurice Raphael|
|Ma Larkin||Chrissie Hughes|
|Mr Charlton (‘Charley’)||Jason Hippisley|
|The Brigadier||John Reeve|
|Tax Inspector||David Stubbs|
|Miss Pilchester||Julie Cartwright|
|Pauline Jackson||Rebecca Coulton|
|Angela Snow||Sheryl Tribe|
|Lady Bluff-Gore||Eileen Finningley|
|Stage manager||Graham Botterill|
|Props||Jez Ashberry, Meg Davidson, Anne-Sophie Germon|
|Stage hand||Steve Guilliatt|
|Set construction||Ian Smith, Graham Botterill, Jez Ashberry &
|Front of house||Carolyn Jones & Su Toogood|
|Poster design||Nick Whyatt|