Trip The Light

Joyce Branagh
The Lawrence Batley Theatre
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Krissi Bohn as Ella

The LBT in Huddersfield has been very active with various online projects since the theatres first closed last March, which gained Artistic Director Henry Filloux-Bennet (who spoke to me last April for the BTG podcast about one of those projects) recognition in the recently published Stage 100 list.

The current activity list includes Movement Mondays, Singalong Tuesdays, Wellbeing Wednesdays, Theatre Thursdays and Foodie Fridays—if the Singalong leader worked weekends they could complete the alliterative titling.

Theatre Thursdays are short plays of various lengths directed by Joyce Branagh, regular director of the venue's pantos, and David Bewick and available for free on YouTube. This first piece was also written by Branagh, and features Krissi Bohn as Yorkshire woman Ella from Slaithwaite (she doesn't pronounce it as it looks) who stands next to a pram folding her washing as she tells us her story.

Ella is chatty and jokey but she reveals to us, and a bewildered woman doing a street survey, that she feels like her life stopped when her husband died—although her friends play with euphemisms to avoid saying that word. Without any self pity and often with humour, she talks about how she feels and how she struggles to cope, even though she puts on an act to the world to indicate that she is fine.

This is a short but thoughtful and entertaining piece that has an uplifting ending with the appearance of a surprise guest—presumably played by Gabriella Licence, who gets a "featuring" billing in the credits (she must have a good agent).

It's a well-acted piece shot simply but effectively and certainly worth nine minutes and ten seconds of your time.

Reviewer: David Chadderton