Reviewed by Jo Hardy
This is the first production the Theatre by the Lake have put on since they had to close their doors at the start of the pandemic.
It is a lovely modern building which blends beautifully into it’s natural surroundings. There is plenty of pay and display parking at the theatre and after 7pm it is only £1.
We had a lovely warm friendly welcome from the staff. Hand sanitiser was available at the entrance, social distancing was in place throughout the building and it was requested that masks be worn at all times. There was also a traffic light system outside the ladies toilets so it never got too crowded in there. The seating in the theatre was well spaced out, with all these measures in place I felt completely safe and protected.
This show is done in the “theatre in the round‘ style , the stage being in the middle of the room and the audience on all four sides. This was the first time .I have watched a performance done in this format and I really liked it. As well as being easier to hear and see everything being close to the performers made it a more immersive experience.
Written by Laura Wade Home I’m Darling is set is in 1950’s and being of a certain age while waiting for the show to start we had a lovely time spotting things we remembered from our childhood. Oh and the 50’s style costumes worn by one of the main characters Judy were absolutely stunning and she wore them so well.
The main characters in the show Judy and Johnny love everything about the 1950’s. All there furniture and clothes are authentic items from this era and they adopt this lifestyle even more when Judy quits work and becomes the perfect stay at home housewife pampering to all her husbands needs, but all is not as perfect as it may seem and we watch the relationship and adopted lifestyle start to crumble but with quite a few laughs along the way .
It has a small cast of only six people but they all worked so hard to give an outstanding word perfect performance. I am still amazed at how they managed to perform the energetic 50’s style dancing in such a small space without knocking anything over.
All the cast played their parts wonderfully but my favourite has to be Sandy Foster who played Judy. I thought her performance was outstanding and she was the one we talked about on the way home.
At two hours twenty minutes including the interval my only criticism is that maybe it was a tad too long. Towards the end I was starting to get a little uncomfortable in my seat but this could be because It’s so long since I went to the theatre I’m not used to sitting still for so long.
Rating: I am still giving it a score of 5/5 because I was just so happy to be back in a theatre watching a live performance .
The show runs from Friday the 8th Oct to Saturday 30th Oct. There are some full capacity performances and some socially distanced performances and for anyone who doesn’t feel ready to go back to the theatre just yet there is a digital on demand service available from Saturday 23rd Oct to Saturday 30th Oct.
Tickets are priced from £15 and digital streaming from £12 and can be purchased from theatrebythelake.com.