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Arms and the Man

by Bernard Shaw
8-11 May 2002

Raina Petkoff Ann Pond
Catherine Petkoff Jan Stevenson
Major Petkoff David Pile
Captain Bluntschli Martin Matthews
Major Saranoff Alex Compiani
Louka Lucy Harrold
Nicola Jeremy Austin
Russian Officer Chris Brown
Soldier Mark Ellen

Director Enid Davies
Amanda Brown
Company Stage Manager
Peter Brooks
Lighting & Sound
Russell Parker / Tivoli Theatre
Eclectia Costumes
Theatre Stage Manager
Ashley Thorne

Bluntschli (Martin Matthews) & Raina (Ann Pond)
Nicola (Jeremy Austin) & Major Petkoff (David Pile)


Captain Bluntschli (Martin Matthews)
Louka (Lucy Harrold) & Saranoff (Alex Compiani) Raina (Ann Pond) & Catherine Petkoff (Jan Stevenson)

Convincing performance
Arms and the Man - Wimborne Drama, Tivoli Theatre

A CHORUS line of costumed, folk-dancing scene-changers was just one of the amusing touches in this production, but it did add to my feeling that everyone might burst into song at any moment - the operetta The Chocolate Soldier is based on the play.
Shaw can be slightly heavy going at times, and although the story - far too complex to relate here - had both comic and profound moments, all well expressed, it took time to get into its stride.
Martin Matthews excelled as "chocolate cream soldier" Captain Bluntschli, giving a convincing, well-balanced performance, and Ann Pond was suitably dignified as his love interest, Raina Petkoff, although I found her a little too mature to be entirely convincing.
Stealing many of the acting honours was Lucy Harrold, creating a real little spitfire of a character as servant-girl Louka.
There were good characterisations too from Jan Stevenson (Catherine Petkoff), David Pile (Paul Petkoff), Alex Compiani (Sergius Saranoff) and Jeremy Austin (Nicola).
Full marks, too, for an ingenious set, although I was surprised to find that the library of which the family was so proud contained so few books. Used as fuel on that most convincing stove, no doubt.
Linda Kirkman, Daily Echo

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