THE DARLING BUDS OF MAY – Therry Dramatic Society

THE DARLING BUDS OF MAY – Therry Dramatic Society

Reviewed by David Smith

November 2014

Director Hayley Horton has brought the required light touch and a genuine, gentle humour to this heart-warming production. Tim Williams and Tracey Walker as Pop and Ma Larkin established their endearing characters early, and skilfully built on them thereafter. They dealt with their rural family, friends and neighbours in genial, eccentric style, and clearly showing their indifference to the rules and mores of the outside world. They were best seen in Pop’s cavalier attitude to the country’s tax regime and Ma’s amused tolerance of his dalliances. Ron Densley played Charley with aplomb, deftly emerging from the constraints of being a stuffy tax collector, while Abby Hampton was charming and natural playing opposite him as Mariette.

The supporting cast added to the strong sense of ensemble. Megan Dansie was entertaining as the somewhat batty Edith, Norman Caddick impressed as the Brigadier, while Julia Whittle as Lady Bluff-Gore and Miriam Keane as the fiery Angela were convincing, affirming as they did, the truism about the value of capable performers in minor roles.

Jamie Richards’ set looked remarkable. One half of the stage was a cut-away interior of the Larkins’ house, and the other was dominated by an extraordinary tree with a trunk of assorted planks and corrugated iron, and a canopy of bicycle rims, large padlocks and keys. The interior was naturalistic and the exterior highly symbolic. That contrast, however, was not really exploited by the action.

In all, this was an engaging revelation of the Larkins’ world and certainly true to its origins.

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This production was reviewed by:

David Smith
David Smith
David’s long involvement in community theatre began in Adelaide and continued for some decades in Port Augusta, Whyalla, Kapunda and the Barossa, and for one year, McAllen, Texas, USA. He is a performer, director, writer and former secondary school Drama teacher. He sings in the Adelaide Harmony Choir.

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