ACT Reviews 2022-2023 Season

OUR DAY OUT by Willy Russell Directed by Kevin Kay Burnley Garrick Theatre Group This was my first experience of both Willy Russell's “Our Day Out”, and of visiting the Burnley Youth Theatre – I am pleased to know that I will be visiting the Theatre again soon and, based on this production, I certainly hope that I will have the opportunity to watch “Our Day Out” again. Arriving at the theatre, there was a lovely, excited atmosphere among the audience members and everyone I spoke to from the theatre was warm, friendly and welcoming – thank you. I also thought the welcome to the audience by Vice President, Martin Chadwick was a lovely touch. The production opened with an informative projection sequence giving the economic and societal background to the play. From the reactions of the audience poignant parallels could certainly be drawn between then and now, immediately bringing the audience into the perspective of the young people who are central to the story. This play has a large cast, and frequently throughout the production there were many actors on stage together. This was handled skilfully by both the director and the cast themselves. The cast members, without detracting from the main action, were consistently acting and responding at all times even when they were not the focus of the scene. The cast also handled the transitions seamlessly between "straight" dialogue, Russell's poetic rhymes, and the songs. This kept it fresh for the audience and maintained my focus throughout, rather than it feeling jarring which I imagine it could if done less effectively. Rachel Bailey, as Carol, provided the first solo and gave us a taste of the beautiful and moving song she presented at the climax of the show, “Want to Stay”. Rachel won the audience's hearts from that first solo which meant that by the end of the production everyone was moved by