Peter Gill, playwright and theatre director
Morning Star review
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Sensitive probe of love and sexuality

The York Realist

by Peter Gill

Bristol Old Vic, Bristol

Review by Simon Parsons, Morning Star, 29 November 2001

Peter Gill has returned to familiar territory with this naturalistic exploration of a love affair between the relatively inarticulate farm labourer, but gifted amateur performer George and visiting London director John.

Set in a tied cottage in rural Yorkshire during the early '60s, the assistant director of the York Mystery Plays is drawn to the rustic and direct George and his world.

Apart from several superimposed time sequences, the play is really a kitchen-sink drama, which mainly operates as a flashback of the men's developing affair, building to the inevitable decision faced by the two men from such different backgrounds.

They are surrounded by local friends and family, who are all oblivious to the sexual nature of their relationship.

The affair is sensitively and touchingly depicted by Lloyd Owen's taciturn farm labourer George, who is at ease with his sexuality and willing to take the lead and Richard Coyle's kind and gentle director, quietly gauging the alien world.

The rest of the cast, who are intelligently directed by Gill, turn in a range of fine supporting roles, fleshing out George's world.

Anne Reid's performance as his ailing mother is a beautiful nonmaudlin creation, delivering a number of unintentional ironic sexual innuendos with winning innocence.

The production is a sensitive exploration of the ties of sexuality and love and those of class and background, but the format suffers from a distinctly jaded feel.

Copyright 2001 People's Press Printing Society Ltd


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