|Blue Remembered Hills|
Potter’s Drama Is Not Child’s Play
Ever feel nostalgic about the games you played as a child, when cowboys, prams and ‘Mummies and Daddies’ were recurring features? The child’s play atmosphere of yesteryear is recreated for Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills as we watch a group of seven year-olds romp about The Forest of Dean during the Second World War.
But there’s one vital difference to Potter’s tale – the 7 year-olds are played by adults. The actors have done the reverse of ‘casting off childish ways’ and revisited their youth of short trousers, catapults and dolls. But it’s not all idyllic fun and games - there’s poignant drama and the undercurrent of the adult world that strays into their lives, with the war in progress and POWs nearby. Plus the dramatic turn of events that turns the innocent mood to a heartbreaking finale.
Director, Pam Redrup, was always excited by this script, “I was fascinated by Potter’s deliberate device to cast adults. He did this not only to avoid the audience being distracted from the drama by cooing over talented youngsters, but also to underline that the same prejudices and motivations exist at all ages. It also makes for a very physical play – 7 year-olds do a lot of running around! It’s an unusual play, but you actually forget the age of the characters and the actors as the drama unfolding captures your attention.”
And it certainly unfolds! Be prepared to be disturbed, if not shocked, by the end of this relatively short play.
24th January 2013