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Badgers Green

by R.C.Sherriff
14 - 17 May 2008

Badgers Green poster

Dr Wetherby : Jeremy Austin
Mary : Carolyn Hewitt
Mr Twigg :Colin Pile
Major Forrester :David Pile
Dickie : Ryan Clements
Mr Butler : Tony Feltham
The Secretary : Michaela Slatford
Morgan : Andy Cragg
Mr Rogers : Steve Symonds
Mrs Wetherby : Jan Stevenson
Mrs Forrester : Chrissie Neal
George : Conor Feltham
Mrs Evans : Caroline Papp
Charlie : Alfie Tyson-Brown
Albert : Edred Tyson-Brown
Gilbert : Chris Brown
The Chauffeur : John Bruton

Director : Paul Hewitt

Set Designer : Jackson Ellen

WITH the curent local debate on cricket pitch versus superstore, Wimborne Dramaís production could hardly be more appropriate, proving that in some respects times have not changed at all since R C Sherriff penned his gentle comedy in 1929. It is well written, sometimes thought-provoking, and Paul Hewittís direction is spot on.

Much of the first half is taken up with a meeting of a cricket club sub-committee consisting of Dr Wetherby (the ever-excellent Jeremy Austin), Mr Twigg (Colin Pile) and Major Forrester (David Pile). They are intent on fighting a property developerís plans, whereas I found myself fighting sleep Ė no reflection on the actors but probably a combination of the heat and the fact that I am a fan of neither cricket nor committees.

The second act is a much livelier affair, with a cricket match in full flow complete with a last-minute replacement in the form of aforementioned property developer Mr Butler (Tony Feltham in fine form). It also contains what for me was the best scene of the evening, in which publican Mr Rogers (Steve Symonds) shows maid Mary (Carolyn Hewitt) his plans for a re-vamped pub. The lines, and their timing, were a joy.

Linda Kirkman, Bournemouth Evening Echo

Wimborne Drama bowled a googly with their production of Badgers Green, as the ending was never predictable.

It was a cheeky choice for director Paul Hewitt, for the comedy written by R.C.Sheriff in the 1930s, told the story of a pretty village threatened by a developer hoping to build a huge estate of bungalows. It was easy to draw parallels with proposals for Wimborne's cricket pitch.

With its pre-war set which is cleverly transformed into the club scoring box, it was easy for the audience to imagine that it had been transported back to a less hurried era, which nonetheless was as enmeshed with the same personal rivalries as we see today.

The 17 strong cast had clearly worked hard on their characterizations, and I particularly liked Jeremy Austinís portrayal of the cricket club president Dr Wetherby. No-one could have accused Jeremy of overacting and he always appears to be very comfortable and convincing in his roles.

You didnít need to be a cricket buff to enjoy being taken on this trip through the vagaries of village life. It wasnít a fast moving story, but who needs that when we all live such hectic lifestyles.

And it was good to see a play which offered opportunities for actors of all ages.

Marilyn Barber, Stour and Avon Magazine

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