Watermill - Love on the Tracks
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Watermill - Love on the Tracks

24th to 28th April 2012 and on tour.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

Catch this on tour

Love on the Tracks, a rom com inspired by Chekhov's short plays

Love on the Tracks, at the Watermill, Bagnor, from Tuesday, April 24 to Saturday, April 28 and on tour

Take an ingeniously simple set, three classy actors, a play inspired by master playwright Chekhov's short stories and written by Clement Attlee's youngest grandson and you have the gentle, consistently funny (frequently very funny) joy which is Love On The Tracks.

In an interview, Richard Attlee, aka Kenton the non-farming Archer, said that he wrote the play so that he could be in it and enjoy acting with friends. Thank goodness he did because now audiences can share his enjoyment of a play which consists of five cameos of the different faces of love.

It is 1890, and two men and a woman, strangers to each other, are travelling to Yalta. With a puff of smoke which engulfs the audience in the front row their journey begins and it is the woman who begins the first of five tales which make up the evening.

The three actors play a myriad roles between them, always totally believable in whichever part they happen to be playing and bringing the tales of lust, passion and simple love vividly to life with unfailing humour, whether it was Sioned Jones accidentally killing both her husband and the local baker, or the playwright himself, Richard Attlee, being described as "a walking libido in ill-fitting underpants". What a gent to give himself that description when writing the play.

Paul Bigley is "the baker who has a wonderful way with dough", which nevertheless doesn't save him and it is he who is discovered with his simple country sweetheart enjoying lust in a chicken run - feathers fly and hearts and eggs are shattered.

In the final tale it is he who ends up with his boss' wife, she having decided that love in a cottage is better than riches with a tartar (Richard Attlee fully dressed). One felt like shouting "hurrah!".

Love on the Tracks, directed by Michael Woodward is also going out on tour, thus giving more people a chance to see this excellent, funny, romantic play. I could see it again and still enjoy every minute. Wherever you live, don't miss it.

CAROLINE FRANKLIN

There are reviews in Marlborough People ("warm and genuinely funny... storytelling with a nostalgic, feel good factor") and The Good Review "an impressive ensemble" - four stars).