THE STAGE 4 stars ****
"A lucid, beautifully acted insight into a different type of wartime experience"
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Declining the Future
ASHROW THEATRE - A professional theatre company providing excellent theatre nationwide, working with local creatives from the East Midlands and beyond.
Most recently Ashrow Theatre presented new writing 'Declining the Future' at Oxford and Buxton festivals as well as Nonsuch Theatre, Nottingham. Additionally our Edwardian Street Theatre entertained audiences all around Derby.
Declining the future
Set in 1816, 1936 and 2007, DECLINING THE FUTURE examines the psychology behind and the consequences of denial. The story in each century is self-contained, but linked by the inability or unwillingness of specific characters to heed the warning of others and face up to what is coming. There is a sense of advancing apocalypse as the denials involve increasingly ominous stakes.
Four actors play different characters in the three different times zones. The first, a manufacturer refuses to see the remedy for his ailing business, the second - a Jewish wife of a famous German surgeon believes herself safe from the Nazis and the last, varying attitudes towards global warming are explored in the aftermath of the 2007 floods.
The directors(Frank Simms and Jenny Earl) writer(Jill Haas) and an ensemble cast in the true sense of the word have captured the style of the period and produced a piece worthy of J.B Priestley and Terrence Rattigan. In fact-that is what I came away feeling I had witnessed.
There isn’t a week link in this production- even down to the amazing set and authentic period costumes of designer Kevin Jenkins-not a tea cup, hairstyle, or dress out of place-spot on !
Believable and naturalistic dialogue with faultless delivery, sparky interactions, sympathetic but imperfect characters, great pacing and narrative progression mean that the audience hang onto every minute of the play. That this was first night makes it all the more impressive.
Skilfully directed by Frank Simms, this production captures the look and feel of the time, with bursts of radio evoking the world outside the farmhouse kitchen. A stellar cast brings to life the fractiousness of people thrust together and rebelling. Harry Owens is particularly good as conscientious objector Sam Bankes, mixing conviction with educated smugness.
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