Wednesday 18th September to Saturday 21st September
Directed by Stuart Reilly
If the world you lived in told you your love was wrong; would you fight for it? What if the world you lived in let you have everything you wanted; what good is love?
Three people. Two different decades. One love.
The Pride, by Alexi Kaye Campbell, is the Olivier Award-winning play that looks to examine the changing attitudes our country has to sexuality, love and those that are challenged by them. Join the Bench in celebrating their 50th anniversary as we explore what it means to love someone against all expectations.
Please note this play contains adult themes, language that some may find offensive, scenes of a graphic sexual nature and is unsuitable for persons under 15 years of age.
This play was staged at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre (formerly Havant Arts Centre), East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977.
|Stage Manager||Angie McKeown|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Sue Dawes|
|Stage Manager Support||Sally Hartley|
|Lighting Design||Thomas Hall|
|Lighting Operation||Ingrid Corrigan|
|Sound Design||Stuart Reilly|
|Sound Operation||Claire Lyne|
|Set Design||David Penrose|
|Set Construction||Julie Wood, David Penrose, Sally Hartley|
|Props Manager||Jaspar Utley|
|Programme Editor||Jacquie Penrose|
|Flyer Design||Dan Finch|
My experience of Stuart Reilly has been limited to seeing him in a couple of Bench productions and my view of the man is that he's a mighty fine actor. It turns out he's a blindingly good director, too, as Bench's latest - Alexei Kaye Campbell's The Pride – proves very nicely.
A cast of four tell parallel stories occurring in 1958 and 2008 – stories of prejudice and loss and fear and self-loathing and – ultimately – the redemptive powers of understanding and love.
Don’t get me wrong – this is no preachy, nauseating claptrap, but a play of great depth, great humour and great humanity.
All of the cast contribute but particular praise goes to Craig Parker and Robin Hall. These performances tower throughout, but their Act 2 scene, from the 1950s' section and set in a park, is beautiful and breathtaking. Effectively a monologue by Hall with Parker adding the odd interjection but otherwise stood, silent, dying inside as she – tenderly and with love – tears his life apart.
As their lover, Christopher Davey gives a gut-wrenching rendition of a man revolted by his own existence and his scene with Chris Vanstone as an aversion-therapy doctor is deeply disturbing.
Vanstone is particularly versatile with his three characters being nicely differentiated.
Be warned - the language is strong – as strong as the English language can get – and, occasionally, the onstage action is very uncomfortable.
But if you're prepared to cope with that in a piece of theatre – book your seats now.