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Wymondham Players Production - Ladies in Lavender

Ladies in Lavender
By Shaun McKenna
Dates performed: 20th - 23rd November 2019

Director: Alan Carpenter
Producer: Frances Harrod
Stage Manager: Lee Nairn

Left to right: Janet Widdington (Heather Carpenter); Ursula Widdington (Tracey Hobbs);
Dorcas (Georgette Vale); Dr Henry Mead (Chris Baines)

Left to right: Olga Danilof (Becky Davis); Andrea Marowski (Matthew Long);

Based on the hit film screenplay by Charles Dance which starred Judi Dench and Maggie Smith,
and on the original short story by William J. Locke,
Ladies In Lavender tells the tale of two sisters Ursula and Janet
who live in a close-knit fishing village in picturesque Cornwall, in 1936.

When a handsome and talented young Polish violinist bound for America is washed ashore,
the Widdington sisters take him under their wing and nurse him back to health.
However, the presence of the mysterious young man disrupts their peaceful lives and the community in which they live.

Review by Sue Dupont


Delighted to see the support received for this play.

            This was very much a team effort from the company and the whole gelled to an excellent finish. Director Alan Carpenter managed to encourage such a good casting into a dream team, and those who built this complex multi-set gave such a good setting on which to perform. To manage living room, elevated bedroom, garden and porch, and the beach all on the Central Hall stage was quite an achievement, with the area lighting working well. And that background atmospheric music throughout enhanced all the feelings and emotions and must have taken many hours to prepare, but how it worked.

            How difficult to follow Judi Dench and Maggie Smith!  But we were not disappointed! Tracey Hobbs as Ursula and Heather Carpenter as Janet, the two sisters, were drawn in crisp and definite lines, the characters developed to a highly professional and emotionally studied high level, they complimented each other and were excellent foils to each other, the more bossy and forceful Janet, the softer Ursula, the counter-acting moods changing as the play progressed and the relationship varying with the interaction with ‘the boy’. This was a play to want these two roles and to give all to create the correct atmosphere and ambience as the two sisters realised the feelings for the young man in their lives, and how they related to each other as the routine of the cottage was broken.

             And to break into some of the intensity, those great one-liners and pieces of wisdom, timing of the essence for the comedy, Georgette Vale as the maid Dorcas really kept the feet on the ground with a lovely character comedy study that controlled some of the feelings in the cottage.

            Chris Baines as Dr Mead gave an ideal interpretation as the village doctor in his care for the invalid and relationship with the ladies in the cottage. And his hoped-for relationship with the newcomer found on the beach made him so na´ve and stupid in his mooning after the lovely Olga of Becky Davies, and she was not encouraging to him. But her meeting and forceful treatment of Andrea in relation to the violin and her brother forced the story forward. As the young man found on the beach, Matthew Long as Andrea was the right age and slightly awkward style right for the violin playing protegee, good in his relationships to the two ladies Janet and especially Ursula.

            An evening of high standard, nostalgia, and much enjoyment for the audience, Alan Carpenter and the whole team are to be congratulated.