Thursday 19th January 2017
Directed by Jacquie Penrose
The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre presents this play in association with Bench Theatre Fringe and performed by members of the award-winning Bench Theatre.
Old friends are taking a break together as they have done so many times before, this year in a delightful woodland chalet. Just as Ivy would have wanted. Only Ivy isn't with them this time, and a chance encounter with an ex-colleague turns the holiday into something that none of them expected. Or wanted.
This play was staged at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre (formerly Havant Arts Centre), East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977.
Let us first celebrate the fact that the area can produce creativity of this kind. The Bench have always striven to go beyond the product of the usual local theatre company and this show is proof positive of their success. Three friends, one recently bereaved, are having a short break at a Center Parcs-style resort. The arrival of a former work-colleague of two of the friends throws a spanner in the ostensibly-happy proceedings and old wounds are reopened and fresh revelations bring pain. That somewhat sombre description belies an entertaining and often-funny evening with Bench stalwarts David Penrose, Ingrid Corrigan, Sally Hartley and Peter Woodward on good form. Penrose's dialogue and, indeed, the tone of the whole piece, is often Ayckbourn-esque; one laughs at the suffering of the protagonists, while cringing at the situation they find themselves in. The direction is sparse (and I mean that positively) with action giving graceful way to the words and the situation. Good stuff.