Bracken Moor, 9th to 12th November 2016
By Alexi Kaye Campbell. After years apart, two families come together to rediscover their lost friendship. Instead, they conjure up the spirit of a buried tragedy. Set against the economic crisis of the 1930s, this boldly theatrical tale of grief and denial was premiered by Shared Experience at the Tricycle Theatre, London, in 2013.
At the Village Hall, Compton (10 miles north of Newbury). Click here for a map.
Online via the web site, or 07767 268634.
About Compton Players
Compton Players have been producing plays every year since 1947. We always welcome new members, and we are looking not only for people who want to act, but also those who can construct scenery, or would like to learn how, those who can make or sew costumes, those with a knowledge of electrics and/or electronics, and those who would like to help with publicity, box-office and front of house. We normally rehearse on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and for most productions there are twelve weeks of rehearsals. It doesn't matter if you've had any previous experience or not.
Contact Compton Players
Our chairman is Tracey Pearce - contact her by .
Review of Bracken Moor
9th to 12th November 2016.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Practically perfect players
Compton Players, Bracken Moor at Compton Village Hall, from Wednesday, November 9 to Saturday, November 12
Set in a rambling old house in Yorkshire in the late 1930s, Bracken Moor is a strange play. Part-social commentary but mainly spooky ghost story, it seems unable to make up its mind what it is exactly, but that is the fault of author Alexi Kaye Campbell and not the actors and director of Compton Players, who gave a splendid performance of the piece.
Moving across stage on a well-designed set, with dark, funereal wallpaper, Paul Shave was strong and impressive as the greedy colliery owner Pritchard, who values technological improvements above his workers and is happy to sacrifice 140 jobs.
Equally fine was the performance of Tracey Pearce as his grief stricken wife, still suffering daily, 10 years after the death of her young son who fell into a disused mine shaft.
Another powerful performance came from George Buckland, the young friend of the Pritchards' son, who appears to have been haunted into believing he is possessed by the spirit of his dead pal. He arrives with his father and mother, the Averys, friends of the Pritchards played steadily by Dave Hawkins and Jasmine Mullany and soon has Mrs Pritchard believing he is speaking directly for her dead son.
But he antagonises Mr Pritchard, who conveys with his expressions and stillness on stage, all the animosity he feels towards the young man. Tracey Pearce also manages to indicate her grief and hope by her studied looks and static positioning on stage when necessary.
Eric Saxton was completely believable as the country doctor, called out in the middle of the night to attend the hysterical, seemingly-possessed young man. His long speech about the unexplained and unexplainable, though, seemed unlikely considering he should have gone upstairs first to attend to his ailing patient. Once again, this was the play and no reflection on some really good acting all round by the Comptons.
There was good support, too, from Lauren Eeley as the maid and Ian Hickling as a local man trying unsuccessfully to save the miners' jobs. Towards the end of this fascinating piece of theatre, Buckland says to Pritchard "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy”, but, of course, Shakespeare's Hamlet got there first with that one almost 500 years ago.
Top marks though to the Compton Players for a near faultless production.
Blue Remembered Hills, 20th to 23rd April 2016. See the review in the archive.
Seal Cove, 11th to 14th November 2015. See the review in the archive.
A Tomb With a View, 22nd to 25th April 2015. See the review in the archive.
Scaramouche Jones, 6th December 2014
Poppy Field and Spare the Rod, 19th to 22nd November 2014. See the review in the archive.
The Invisible Man, 14th to 17th May 2014. See the review in the archive.
Season's Greetings, 27th to 30th November 2013. See the review in the archive.
Murdered to Death, 24th to 27th April 2013. See the review in the archive.
The Happiest Days of Your Life, 28th November to 1st December 2012. See the review in the archive.
Dangerous Corner, 28th to 31st March 2012
Bobby Shaftoe, 10th to 12th November 2011
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 11th to 14th May 2011
Three Short Comedies, 14th to 16th October 2010
What the Butler Saw, 21st to 24th April 2010
Halloween Murder Mystery, (October 2009)
The Unexpected Guest (October 2009)
Laying the Ghost (April 2009)
A Dog's Life and Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (November 2008)
Puppy Love (May 2008)
Macbeth (November 2007)
Shakers Re-Stirred (May 2007)
Nobody's Perfect (November 2006)
The Entertainer (May 2006)
Dad's Army (November 2005)
Don't Dress for Dinner (November 2004)
The Eighth Dwarf (February 2004)
Three One-Act Plays (April 2003)
Under Milk Wood (November 2002)
'Allo 'Allo (April 2002)
Katherine Howard (November 2001)
It Could Be Any One of Us (April 2001)
Dead Funny (November 2000)
Klondike Kalamity (April 2000)