New writing in Hebden Bridge

Midnight SUn

Get out of the city.  Find the green of the countryside.

Hebden Bridge Little Theatre is a lovely theatre set beside the canal of this pretty market town.  Comfortable, well laid out and welcoming, it’s a great location to see two pieces of new writing – Midnight Sun by John Clarke, and Valedictory by Stephen Dodwell.

‘Midnight Sun’ is an intriguing story about two women who live next to each other but have deep scars in their past, and questions about their future.  Julia (Caroline Vella) needs to start a new life.  Nina (Lulia Togara) wants to run away.  They form a bond of sorts.  I enjoyed John’s ‘To The Dam’ at last year’s 24:7 festival, and this piece (part monologue, part dialogue) again demonstrates his ability to write great characters and rich and powerful words.  Direction by Holly Mazur brings the production to life with clever staging and movement.

‘Valedictory’ addresses the complex and challenging area of assisted dying, in this case a 22 year old daughter.  Tom (Stephen Dodwell, also the writer) and Sarah (Ann Brown) have separated and have different views on most aspects of life, including their daughter’s future.  It’s an interesting premise, well directed by Amanda Hennessey, but some of the more important dialogue gets lost in familiar ‘ex’ territory.  I’d like to have delved deeper into the complex emotions of both parents towards their daughter.  This could be a good play with further development.

A good evening of new writing.  Well worth the trip!

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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