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Review: On The Rocks at Robin Hood Theatre, Averham

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A summer of discontent beckons as Robin Hood Theatre Company performs its final production of the season.

On The Rocks, by Amy Rosenthal, is the story of Nottinghamshire author DH Lawrence and a summer spent with friend in Cornwall ­—when all relationships seem on the rocks.

Based on true events, the author is living on the coast with his German wife, Frieda, during the first world war. They decide to invite their friends, John Middleton Murry and Katherine Masfield to come and live with them in the cottage.

On The Rocks By Robin Hood Theatre Company. (57324965)
On The Rocks By Robin Hood Theatre Company. (57324965)

With all four living in such close proximity, their already shaky relationships start to unravel.

It is another long and wordy production, with little in the way of action, so all the focus is again on the actors, and they deliver.

Cavan McLaughlin is the increasingly volatile and passionate author searching for his ideal of Rananim, but only succeeding in driving people away.

Kerri McGarrigle adds plenty of humour, and a great German accent, as Frieda, the overbearing wife who is suspected by locals of being a spy.

Murry, played by Andrew Tallis, is timid and hen-pecked by both Lawrence and his partner, Mansfield, while pleasing no one.

And Katherine Mansfield, played by Tabitha Elise Daniels, is a writer suffering from writer's block, stifled by her surroundings and frustrated by her near-neighbours' constant presence.

It makes a dramatic story that Lawrence would have been proud of.

On The Rocks is at the Robin Hood Theatre Company, Averham, until Saturday. ­— SH

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