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October 7, 2017 / basabbott

A Man For All Seasons

Review

A Man For All Seasons
WARTS, Redgrave Church

Robert Bolt’s play now comes over as a 1960s middle-brow, costume drama, with nods to Brecht.
Graham Freeman’s Thomas More seems a decent fellow who would rather read a book.
But his conscience pitches him into the birth pangs of the C of E and the vilification of the Papacy.
Leslie Dumbell’s mercurial Common Man narrates in Brechtian manner, as though having a giggle at posh Holbein paintings.
Tim Hall’s brief appearance as Cardinal Wolsey, like a great scarlet toad, makes us long for more.
There is sound character work from Keith Charman (Duke of Norfolk), Kristian Wimshurst (Rich) and Mark Le Surf-Hall (Roper). Andy Kemp has a good stab at the regality and coarseness of King Henry.
There are heart-wringing moments from Kathy Mills and Georgia Edwards as More’s wife and daughter.
Most eye-catching is Kriz Stiff as Cromwell, with a looming, heartless menace and vigour that typifies turbulent times.
Gorgeous costumes, co-ordinated by Celia Baker and director Liz Leslie-Smith, add greatly to a fine production.

Basil Abbott

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