Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s (TAODS) next production is a fast-paced comedy mixed with tragic loss, writes Andy Fraser.
‘TWO’, as with writer Jim Cartwright’s other work, all comes from the deep and personal characters he creates.
Cartwright, born in Bolton in 1958, has never written straight-forward plays. ‘I Licked a Slag’s Deodorant’ shocked audiences not only with its name but with the sympathetic portrayal of a middle-aged, crack-addicted prostitute.
‘Bed’ featured seven older actors all in a 30ft wide bed on stage and TWO has fourteen characters all played by two quick-changing actors.
The setting is a traditional local pub and the action takes place around the hub of a landlord and landlady caught in a loveless marriage.
The key to Jim Cartwright’s success is his strong and believable characters. He invests them with sympathy and real-life details.
He is careful to preserve their northern roots and to give them all their own tales to tell, so no one on stage is there only to make up the numbers.
This allows his story-telling to sway between laugh-out-loud comedy to bitter sadness and keep an audience on the edge of their seat.
The enduring quality of these characters can be seen by the regularity with which Cartwright’s shows are performed.
In February, the Royal Exchange in Manchester produced ‘TWO’ and ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’, famously turned into a film starring Jane Horrocks, is about to open at the Bolton Octagon.
‘TWO’ comes to the Hippodrome Theatre, Halifax Road, Todmorden, from June 20-23.
Tickets are available from Todmorden Information Centre, by calling 01706 818181 or online at www.todhip.org.