FIELDS, East Anglian Daily Times - Tales of fields is very moving.
This is the play that Eastern Angles will tour to nearly 60 towns and villages over the coming weeks, and very apt it is, too. Our fields are every bit as important as people as a link with the past, just as full of clues and, perhaps, just as full of ghosts. Ivan Cutting directs his look back with a keen eye on the future.
His is a moral for our time: the fields have become the good grammar, the syntax of the average Briton. The more we understand and love what they meant to yesterday, the better we will care for them tomorrow.
To carry this message into the countryside he involves us in a village's fight to buy back a piece of common land, Monk's Field, to celebrate the millennium. It is also a detective story which invloves the life of a single mother and her rebellious teenage daughter, a field archaeologist, a monk who puts a local girl in the family way and a mysterious stranger who is possibly an angel.
Played out on a simple, clever Fred Meller set, the story is carried along by some good Pat Whymark songs of which Dangerous Man and My Little Boy Is A Field Watcher are particularly moving.
Kate Romney, Leanne Hailwood, David Learner and Nick Murray Brownplay the parts - and the music - extremely well.
FIELDS, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
I feel the job they do as a group is particularly worthwhile supporting...It's very well done, very intimate theatre. You don't feel that there's a lot of arty chaps standing on a stage performing at you, they're performing to you. They're very much of the 'natural' style of performance. People who get very involved in the long-running soaps such as Coronation Street and Brookside would, I think, find this very accessible.
One of the skills of this group is that within ten to fifteen minutes of each new character being introduced, you not only had a passing familiarity with them. You felt you knew more about then than they'd actually told you. That takes a lot of talent to bring that over ina thoroughly convincing and natural way...FOr most of the time, one just wasn't aware they were acting. I do hope people will go and see this.
There is beautiful singing accompanied by guitar and flute. It's never intrusive. The harmonies were superb. These four people whose acting is thoroughly seamless. You watch them change from one character to another and you beieve it all. To find people who can sing as well is just super. The instruments are played extremely well - beautifully and sensitively played. Some of the music is a bit hard and rocky, other parts more folksy and lyrically styles.
[Of David Learner] I was totally wrapped up in the character he played. In Fields, he was very commanding...He had to play someone who was just a little off-beat and did it wonderfully well.
The play is very accessible, like a very well knitted pullover, knitted from a number of finely coloured strands. It develops beautifully. A very complex but not a complicated plot. A super show. It's a must.