logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 32 - June 2003

The Green Environment Programme

Blue Remembered Hills
by Paul Taylor

Folk taking a stroll in Abbeyfield Park during the second week of May may have witnessed the strange sight of adults running around in shorts and pinafores shouting, fighting, throwing stones and generally behaving like a bunch of seven-year olds – their excuse was that they were performing Blue Remembered Hills by Dennis Potter.

Set in the summer of 1943, the plot follows the experiences of a group of children over the course of an afternoon. Directed by Daniel Poyser and Ian Smith (both involved in last October’s successful production of Oedipus at St Catherine’s Hall), the production moved around the park, building to the horrific climax in Abbeyfield Stables.

The strong performances (particularly by Craig Shepherd as Peter and Mason Tyree as Donald Duck) soon had the audience forgetting the drizzle and engrossed in the plot; by turns hilarious, upsetting and shocking. All the actors threw themselves into this very physical, at times almost slapstick, performance and were utterly believable as children.

Panni Poh Yoke Loh (production co-ordinator) said: “It’s been a great experience to see creative theatre in the Park. I hope we can see more of it in the future as part of the Abbeyfield Stables Project.” If productions are of this quality, we can only hope that she’s right.