Not With a Bang (1991)

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Poster by Poster Designer

by Mike Harding

Directed by Su Hands

Performances: Tue 3rd – Sat 7th September 1991, Bell Theatre


Act 1 - Late summer, early '80s

Act 2 - Three months later.

When the family tradition is the Territorial Army and the women realise the implications - what can they do about it? What would you do?




'Mike Harding's Not With A Bang at SLTC's Bell Theatre until Saturday, is a jokey little play with a familiar theme and serious undertones. ' The jokiness is a by-product of the author's name and reputation, the theme an echo of Aristophanes' Lysistrata, the seriousness a dicussion (of sorts) about the nature of nuclear warfare. ' The plot concerns two northern families, related by marriage. The ladies here shown as creatures of great guile and resource, start a peace movement, and the three wives go on sexual strike to persuade their husbands to leave the Territorial Army and come to terms with nuclear sanity. It all has a rather faded look, given the events of recent times. ' Under the direction of Su Hands, the action is well paced, and acted with flair and vigour by a cast led by Irene Winbourne as the indomitable Bella, who dispenses homespun wisdom in her secondary role as narrator. Paul Hutchinson is her son, Nobby, amusing and irritating by turns as he tries to subdue the womenfolk with a pathetic assumption of male dominance. ' In this, he is singularly unsuccessful, thanks to a sparky display by Tricia Court as his wife. Brian Scoltock as Tommy is another ineffectual blusterer, and Ruth Shettle vividly portrays his wife as an all-purpose hypochondriac. ' Our sympathies, such as they are, tend to go out to Malcolm Woodman and Lisa Tobin as the young couple, Ken and Paula. They bring a touch of grace to the proceedings, a light air of innocence in a damaged milieu.'

Donald Madgwick Croydon Advertiser, 6th September 1991.


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