Search Reviews/News


Newsletter

Email*
Captcha*

Find us on-line

Facebook
SeatChoice page
Twitter
SeatChoice tweets
Android
The UKTW Android App for listings and information on the move
Wordpress Plugin
The UKTW Wordpress Plugin is now available so that you can add links and widgets easily to Wordpress sites
Linked-In
UKTW company page and Robert Iles
Google+
UKTW
Blog/Website
SeatChoice and Robert's personal
tumblr
UKTW tumblr page
rss
SeatChoice and UKTW

Our Country's Good

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Fri, 26th Oct 12
Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Out of Joint. Oxford Playhouse.

Wertenbaker’s 1988 modern classic, Our Country’s Good, is one of my favourite plays and this Max Stafford Clarke’ revival delivered everything I wanted. It was moving, it was funny, it was passionate and it was atmospheric.
 
The play is based on Thomas Keneally’s novel ‘The Playmaker’ and centres on the first convicts shipped to Australia in 1798 and the subsequent attempt to stage Farquhar’s ‘The Recruiting Officer’. The company each take two or more roles excepting Dominic Thorburn, who plays Second Lieutenant Ralph Clarke,  the young idealistic officer who is tasked with producing the play. Ciaran Owens  gave us a brilliantly sadistic Major Ross coupled with a vulnerable, reluctant hangman in Ketch Freeman who was not only deeply likeable but set a few hearts fluttering judging by the teenage sighs that emanated from the audience whenever he looked particularly forlorn and alone. I really enjoyed Matthew Freedman as the exuberant Sideways and the erudite Captain Collins , and loved Kathryn O’Reilly as a powerful Liz Morden she maintained an extraordinary stillness that was compelling to watch. I could actually name the entire company here as there was not a weak link nor a weak characterisation, it was a masterclass in ensemble theatre.
 
The structure of the piece is episodic with many short scenes, this creates the challenge of keeping up the pace and the flow of the piece, but the scenes flowed in and out nicely helped by simple staging and costuming. Some of the scenes stood out as being of particular note, Duckling Smith’s (Lisa Kerr) emotional speech over Harry Brewer’s (Ian Redford) dying moments was incredibly moving and Ross’s sadistic treatment of the prisoners which they then attempt to deflect by their determined and deliberate rehearsal was powerfully done and very affecting.
 
This play is an A-level set text and – for me – one of the highlights of the evening was the overwhelmingly positive response from the young A-level students in the audience, I believe ‘roars of approval’ would be the appropriate cliché to use here. This is a terrific play with a terrific cast and I wish it well for the rest of the tour.


Latest News & Reviews

21st Oct 14 :: Review: Calamity Jane
Jodie Prenger touring
Star RatingStar RatingStar Rating
18th Oct 14 :: Review: Alice
A two-hand+puppet show devised from the Alice stories
Star RatingStar RatingStar Rating
15th Oct 14 :: The Songs of Sister Act
Tour cancellation
9th Oct 14 :: Review: Damn Yankees
The Landor Theatre production.
Star RatingStar RatingStar Rating
8th Oct 14 :: Rumour: Bend it Like Beckham
New musical for 2015 + Ronan Keating on stage
26th Sep 14 :: Review: The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre
Book review of the second edition.
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
22nd Sep 14 :: Review: Guys and Dolls
Chichester Festival Theatre's production
Star RatingStar Rating
20th Sep 14 :: Review: You Should Be So Lucky
A gay Cinderella story Above The Stag
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
19th Sep 14 :: Rumour: Pride
Pride, the film, to become a movie?
18th Sep 14 :: Review: Barnum
Brian Conley touring in the CFT production of Barnum
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
17th Sep 14 :: Review: A Streetcar Named Desire
The Young Vic production with Gillian Anderson.
Star RatingStar RatingStar Rating
16th Sep 14 :: Review: Ghosts
Lesley Manville stars in Richard Eyre's triple Olivier Award-winning Ghosts - available on Digital Theatre from 18th Sep 2014.
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
11th Sep 14 :: Review: Juno and the Paycock
The Bristol Old Vic and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse production.
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
10th Sep 14 :: Review: Medea
The NT production of Medea seen locally on NT Live
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
5th Sep 14 :: Review: Othello
Modern take on Shakespeare's tragedy.
Star RatingStar Rating
22nd Aug 14 :: Review: Brass
A new Musical at the Leeds City Variety
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
22nd Aug 14 :: Jason to Tour
New show gives dramatic role to Jason Donovan
21st Aug 14 :: Review: Shrek - The Musical
The Ogre on tour ...
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
11th Aug 14 :: Hamlet at the Barbican
Tickets to Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch go on sale

Most Popular Stories

25th Jun 14 :: Review: The Rape of Lucrece
One woman (+pianist) show
21st Aug 14 :: Review: Shrek - The Musical
The Ogre on tour ...
9th Jul 14 :: Review: Richard III
Martin Freeman's Richard at the Trafalgar Studios.
22nd Aug 14 :: Review: Brass
A new Musical at the Leeds City Variety
7th Aug 14 :: Review: The White Devil
RSC production in Stratford-upon-Avon
8th Jul 14 :: Review: Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages touring the UK
28th Jul 14 :: Review: King Lear
The Globe touring, seen in the Bodleian Library Quad.
11th Aug 14 :: Hamlet at the Barbican
Tickets to Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch go on sale
23rd Jul 14 :: Review: Two Gentlemen of Verona‏
The RSC production
22nd Aug 14 :: Jason to Tour
New show gives dramatic role to Jason Donovan

SeatChoice Blog

Merrily We Roll Along
Merrily We Roll Along gets final Global online watchalong as its DigitalTheatre.com run comes to an end.
The hClub100 Theatre Winners
The hClub100 is the Hospital Club’s annual search for the most innovative and inspirational people working across the creative industries over the last 12 months.
Theatre Royal Stratford East to get new building
Exciting plans to build a new 220-seat theatre called The Red Crate
The Infidel - The Musical
Production on track for Theatre Royal Stratford East
Digital Theatre now partnered with Stagetext
Digital Theatre and Stagetext partner to make productions with captions available on-line.
UK Entertainment Ticketing Survey
A chance to provide feedback to the ticketing industry
The hClub100 2014 Theatre Shortlist
Shortlist announced for the Theatre category in the annual hClub100 Awards - public vote period now open!
RSC Summer 2015
Announced today the full RSC Summer 2015 programme of productions, onScreen, education and exhibitions - press release reproduced here in full
Fun Palaces, October 2014
Marking the 100th birthday of Joan Littlewood, Fun Palaces will bring to life the vision she created with architect Cedric Price for spaces linking arts and sciences, entertainment and education.
More Theatre At the Cinema
Now selected Edinburgh Fringe shows will be streamed to Odeons across the country

SeatChoice theatre blog»

UK Theatre Sites Cookies in Use