THE NORBURY Players’ Titfield Thunderbolt is much more than theatre, there is a night of fun, passion and patriotism as well coupled on as well.
The great story centres around the village of Titfield and a proposal for the withdrawal of its railway.
This leads to some of the villagers joining forces to run their own railway service but they must prove they can do so reliably and see off Harry Crump’s bus service and underhand tactics to derail their plans.
The show cleverly taps into long-held aspects of the British psyche, including fighting for what you believe in against the odds, rooting for the underdog, the romance of the railway and the childhood desire to drive a train.
There were some fantastic performances from a talented cast.
Amelia Willetts was great as the loveable and reserved, but feisty when needs be, vicar’s niece Joan.
Steve Carley was sound as the indecisive and easily led Harry Crump and Alan Woollaston’s performance as baddie Vernon roused the audience to cheer on the good guys.
David Hatfield also got a good few laughs as drunkard Mr Valentine.
But the portrayals of the evening went to Chris Hall who was perfect as excitable vicar Sam Weech and Teresa Freshwater who was excellent as Lady Edna Chesterfield. Her monologue about bureaucrats in the second half was one of the picks of the evening.
The chemistry between those two characters was faultless.
Other highlights included some superb visual gags, particularly in the race between the bus and the train, such as the bus going over a cattle grid and hump back bridge and train windows being opened.
And the fun of this show was not just on the stage, there was plenty of audience participation, including cheering and even flag-waving.
The set was one of the cleverest you will see – as well as enabling easy scene changes from different railway stations to The Pig and Whistle pub, the vicarage and the bus and train there was also a railly good surprise at the end.
This performance’s crowning glory was the front of house – as well as railway signage in the bar and a model of a train, they even had a ‘Titfield Thunderbolt’ real ale on sale in the bar.
The players took those who boarded the Titfield Thunderbolt on a fabulous journey.
The final services leave at 7.30pm tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday (May 20). Make sure you catch it if you can.
Visit www.norburytheatre.co.uk for more.