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If Only... - The Bread & Roses Theatre

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by London Schweppes (subscribe)
Domestic goddess and backyard explorer with a passion for freelance writing!
Humorously charming, evoking nostalgic familiarity

"If Only" is a play presented by Rare Moustache and First Light Theatre at the Bread and Roses Theatre in Clapham, London. Written by Canadian playwright Michel Tremblay, in a translation by Bill Findlay and Martin Bowman, it is a unique production which envelopes the viewer in a nostalgic blanket of familiarity from the very beginning.

Key credits also include designer Alex Doidge-Green, original music by Will Stuart, projection designer Simon Cooper and director Stephen Whitson, who have all done a wonderful job in bringing the play together, creating a sense of comfort yet illustrating the inquisitive and child like imagination of the narrator, played by Monty d'Inverno.

The protagonist or heroine of the play, Nana, originally was to be played by Marianne Adams, who we were told was unfortunately taken ill just prior to press night. She was replaced by Alexandra Grierson, who did a fantastic job learning the vast number of lines in a short time, projecting motherly emotions in a humorous and charming way. I think we can excuse that she was intermittently referring to the script given the circumstances, as it didn't seem to make much of a difference to the quality of the production.

For me personally the highlights of the play were its simplicity of characters and sets, and the undercurrent sentimentality alluding to unconditional love, family, home and the innocence of young dreams eventuating into an glorious reality. 'If Only' embellished the heartfelt nature of the bond between mother and son, paying homage to the writer's own mother, via a cleverly manicured script, that humorously alluded to the familiarly, comfort and charm of a loving home and a loving mother.

The mother and son relationship was highlighted through a series of different time periods in their lives, from 13 years old to adulthood. It was sweet yet dignified and the magical ending, a culmination of the imagination, dreams and hopes of the narrator amalgamated beautifully with the special effects, leaving the viewer satisfied and nostalgic.

Tickets can be purchased for 10 each or 8 for concessions at the theatre/ pub or by booking in advance via email from the website. 'If Only' runs for a total time of 1 hour and 45 minutes with an interval in between.

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Why? Humorously charming, evoking nostalgic familiarity
When: as above.
Phone: TELEPHONE BOOKINGS: 0333 666 3366
Where: Bread and Roses theatre, Clapham
Cost: 10 each or 8 concession
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