Our Country's Good - Timberlake Wertenbaker (we.tl)
Timberlake Wertenbaker's important play examining the use of
theatre as a form of social reform is unsurprisingly never far from the
education curriculum and as such ensures it is performed frequently. Here
director Anna Girvan has stripped it back to a minimalist, multi role
production which keeps the pace snappy but occasionally lacks the emotional
intensity of other recent productions.


The plot revolves around a group of convicts on a 1780's
penal colony. They are despised by most officers, however Second Lieutenant
Ralph Clark decides they should perform a play so that they can understand the
restorative impact that theatre can have. This idea of social reform is largely
rejected but he battles on with a cast of petty thieves and murderers to prove
his point. The script is as relevant as ever and the arguments surrounding the
importance of theatre are never far from the surface.


The production is strong with excellent work from the
company. Joseph Tweedale (Ralph,) Paksie Vernon (Mary Brenham) and Heather
Williams (Dabby Bryant) are particularly impressive but the team work allows
this fluid and engaging show to work well; ensuring a thought provoking and
salient evening for all.


Photography Mark Dawson