Sunday, 8 June 2008

I saw something nasty in the woodshed!

I was in the middle of reading 'Cold Comfort Farm' this week when I suddenly discovered that this was the production at The Northcott Theatre, which is on the University of Exeter campus. So I finished the book, acquired the tickets and off we went to yesterday's matinee!
What fun!

I really enjoyed this adaptation of Stella Gibbons' novel!
Sue Lawrie, the actress playing Flora Poste, was excellent - and my golly, she had a lot of lines to remember! The other absurd (!) characters were so well cast and Aunt Ada Doom spends most of the play 'upstairs', well above the action on the stage, yet still making her presence very much felt, with the constant, 'I saw something nasty in the woodshed' wailings!!
Flora not only has to act/speak her part but she also guides the audience through the plot in a very clever way. Naturally, this all fits in well with her character...organised and level headed. She weaves order and common sense through the proceedings and then, with her job done successfully, she flies off to goodness knows where, with friend Charles and of course, her book, 'The Higher Common Sense'!

As for what Aunt Ada did see in the woodshed...well this is only revealed in a whisper to Flora. So we are not quite sure and can only put our imaginations to work when Flora replies to the whisper: 'And did the goat die?' Hence the mind boggles!

Clever use of theatrical convention ; sound effects and lighting, which vary the tone and mood very well; props and costumes, which are used to great effect... all helped to make this an excellent adaptation. I particularly liked the presentation of the kitchen 'clock'..a small group of actors who used their arms for the hands and their clicking tongues for the sound. Simple but effective.

With names like, 'Starkadder', 'Doom', 'Howling', not forgetting 'Elfine' the free spirit and a three legged cow, you just know there's going to be a treat in store.

(We were not allowed to take photos, which is a shame as the old fashioned kitchen 'set' was lovely! )

I returned home , itching to read the book again! And feeling very glad that I haven't got a woodshed! ;-)


Shirl said...

Glad you had a lovely time!

Simone said...

I have never read this book but feel the urge to do so now! I wonder what she DID see in the woodshed!

Clover Yard said...

Hello, lovely to "meet" you. Thanks so much for your comment. Loving your posts and I look forward to reading more.

Alison Boon said...

I saw a copy of this in the library a while ago but didn't get it as the book itself was virtually falling apart. I might go and track down another copy though. Sounds like a fantastic production.

Katherines Dream said...

I decided to buy the DVD and I did enjoy it too...
Sound as though the theatre production was probably the best version!
Carol x

Funkymonkey said...

I've never read the book although I saw a t.v. version with Kate Beckinsale and Rufus Sewell. There are so many books to read and so little time!

Gigibird said...

I bought the book some years back, lent to someone and never got it back.....I did see it on TV and really enjoyed it....will have to buy the book again!

Jennie said...

I love cold comfort farm!!! :D

twiggypeasticks said...

Glad you enjoyed it, I saw it on telly with Rufus Sewell (wonder why I remembered that:) and Kate Beckinsale and liked it but haven't read the book, I'll add it to my ever increasing list of books I must read !
Twiggy x

the flour loft said...

Hi Sal,
I worked on a production of Cold Comfort Farm years ago in my previous life as a costume supervisor... it was fabulous and lots of fake beards to fit and dishrevelled hair to style. Such a fun play but i am so glad that i do not have a wood shed either!
Have had a look at your quiz... a tough one there.. i may be back for a few guesses if i can fathom any anwers out!
x ginny

Country Cottage Chic said...

One of my all time favorites - the production sounds like great fun too.