The Killing of Sister George

Presented by the Woolpit Drama Club at the Woolpit Village Hall from 25th to 27th March 2010.

The killing of Sister George could be seen as a simple, if somewhat dark, comedy, but once one remembers that the play takes part in a post de-criminalisation of gay and lesbian acts era and should be seen as belonging to that period, then one can also perhaps understand better the difficult relationships that are being enacted here for us.

Actress June Buckeridge plays the part of Sister George in a long running radio series, who’s part is being killed off by the BBC, but she is not going to go quietly. She has a lesbian relationship with Alice McNaught who she calls Childie, a childish girl-woman who is her ‘flat mate’. Childie has to suffer the moods swings and drunken tantrums of June whilst dealing with her own inadequacies in work and life.

Mrs Mercy Croft is the BBC’s representative who seems to be helping June to get through this difficult time, but she also has her own agenda.

The only ‘normal’ person within George’s circle of friends is Madame Xenia a ‘foreign’ lady and even she claims to be able to read the future!

The play exposes a society which is unable to deal with the truths that are around it unless they are given a sugar coating.

This all sounds as though this might be a bit of a boring play. Not a bit of it. George was played magnificently by Lesley Pearson and was on stage almost the whole evening. She needed no prompting and gave the part a level of depth that would have been wonderful to see on any stage.

I have not seen Susan Richardson before but I believed in her as Childie and with her truculent and childish attitude she gave the part depth and interest.

I loved Gayle Wade as Madame Xenia, her accent was excellent and her scene whilst reading the cards was portrayed very well.

Overall an excellent production, with gifted players who brought to life an excellent play with the right amount of humour and sadness. I was enthralled until the very last part and came away feeling very sad for George, as I am sure was the intention. Rex Mounfield March

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