Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Review: A Farewell To Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, adaptation by imitating the dog, New Wolsey Theatre until November 8

14:07 05 November 2014

Jude Monk McGowan as Frederic Henry and Laura Atherton as Catherine Barkley in A Farewell to Arms at The New Wolsey

Jude Monk McGowan as Frederic Henry and Laura Atherton as Catherine Barkley in A Farewell to Arms at The New Wolsey

Ed Waring

This adaptation of Hemingway’s phenomenal five-part novel is brave, given the size of the task in hand, and courageous in its use of experimental mixed performance media. Act 1 has the character of a film yet Act 2 relies on old-fashioned drama to tell the story of a doomed love affair that takes place in Italy and Switzerland during the final year of World War One. The action is frequently accompanied by incongruous piano music reminiscent of Brief Encounter. On-stage cameras track Catherine Barkley, a nursing assistant, and Frederic Henry, an American in the Italian army, (Laura Atherton and Jude Monk McGowan) as they meet and fall in love. The actors’ narrative is reflected on the set walls but distractingly, the voices and images were out of sync.

Atherton and McGowan play out this tragic and short-lived relationship with a pathos and poignant naivety that was almost lost amid the busyness of the videos, sound effects and general stage clamour. The cast of six rose to the occasion and were not left wanting though they were let down by cameras that did not work and intermittent surtitles that packed up altogether during a long piece of Italian dialogue. Dramatic innovation is vital to the cause of artistic development but the props really do need to work seamlessly.

In Act 2, Atherton battled gamely with the unnecessarily protracted birth scene and McGowan gave us a man who was only beginning to understand the consequences of his actions. They and their child paid a dreadful price for the misfortune of their circumstances. Human relationships are difficult enough even without the effects of war.

Carol Twinch

Nigel Havers

Star of stage and screen Nigel Havers thas spoken of his love for Suffolk as he prepared for his latest show at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Boxtree Productions' Scarlett Pimpernel at Hedingham Castle

They seek him here, they seek him there; but if you want to find The Scarlet Pimpernel he’s coming to Hedingham Castle.

Wind in the Willows, Colchester Mercury. Photos: Darren Bell

One of the great additions to the region’s theatrical life has been the advent of the Colchester Mercury’s summer family production. This is the perfect way to introduce youngsters to the joys of theatre but this isn’t a kids show – it’s a genuine family-friendly play which has plenty to offer audiences of all ages.

Behind the scenes of Red Rose Chain's The Tempest. Photos: Wayne Savage

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of Red Rose Chain’s Theatre in the Forest? Entertainment writer Wayne Savage decided to find out.

Comic Joe Pasquale chats

Saturday, August 13, 2016
Joe Pasquale, heading to the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion

Expect guest appearances from Spiderman, Velma from Scooby Doo and maybe a few dinosaurs, particularly a velociraptor named Vince when Joe Pasquale’s new tour One Man And His Bog comes to town.

Richard Wilson at Frinton Summer Theatre. Picture: Dave Carter

Top TV star Richard Wilson has been forced to pull out of the Frinton Summer Theatre’s Gala Night tomorrow after suffering a heart attack.

Flying the Nest play at Cox Park, Hadleigh. The event is aimed at 4-10 year olds and introduces them to ‘Hatchling College’, where they’ll learn all about native birds and how to be a good birder.

Youngsters sat in giant nests to watch an interactive show teaching them about birds.

Suki, the new Spa Pavilion mascot

The Spa Pavilion in Felixstowe has unveiled its new mascot – Suki the Spa Panda.

David Walliams's Gangsta Granny is coming to the Ipswich Regent. Photo: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Watch out. The cabbage-crunching, criminal master-mind Gangsta Granny is coming to the Ipswich Regent.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24