Lewes Little Theatre in East Sussex is well worth a visit – especially if they maintain the high standard set in recent production Heroes.
The premises in Lancaster Street, Lewes, have been expanded and now provide a comfortable 154-seater theatre with foyer and bar facilities for members and their guests.
A warm, friendly atmosphere has been created and Lewes Theatre Club presents six to eight main stage productions every year, between October and July, with additional foyer events giving a broad range of theatrical experiences.
Excellent performances by Alan G. Baker, Peter Wellby and Nicholas Betteridge brought out the humour in Tom Stoppard’s translation of Gérald Sibleyras’ Heroes.
They jelled perfectly as three cantankerous World War I veterans passing endless days in a French military home in the 1950s.
Baker displayed the ideal mix of vulnerability and cynicism as Philippe, who repeatedly passes out due to a piece of shrapnel in his brain. And he cleverly conveyed why Philippe fears the nun running the home will kill him.
Betteridge was also convincing as agoraphobia sufferer Gustave, who hatches a bizzare escape plan.
It was left to the gammy-legged Henri to add realism – and Wellby did just that. He patiently explained the impracticality of it all on learning that Gustave intends to take a heavy stone statue of a dog on a trek to freedom.
The funniest moments are when Philippe comes back from a funeral covered in mud after falling into the grave, and when the quarreling old codgers practice roping themselves together with a hose pipe. The plot lacks drama, but the three talented Lewes actors helped director Nigel Sharpe show that Sibleyras’ play contains far more than quaint sentimentality.
Lewes Little Theatre’s next production is The Circle by Somerset Maugham from Saturday November 28th to December 5th at 7.45pm except Sunday. Matinee Saturday December 5th at 2.45pm.
The Emporium in Brighton and Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne also have some excellent productions coming up.
By award winning writer Tony Flood, the author of celebrity book My Life with The Stars and fantasy adventure The Secret Potion.