Off to see ‘Touched’ at Nottingham Playhouse, I was excited to for Vicky McClure’s theatre debut.
Written by local man Stephen Lowe, Touched tells the story of three sisters from Nottingham and their lives at the end of the second world war. A new hope is beginning but still fear and uncertainty remains.
Sandra (Vicky McClure) is a strong Nottingham woman who has been left home to keep things together whilst her husband is away fighting in the war. Her husband had been missing in action but recently found, is now rehabilitating in Australia, still leaving Sandra alone to deal with personal tragedy and wrestle with her emotional demons. She has family support in the shape of sister’s Betty (Chloe Harris), Joan (Aisling Loftus) and her Mam (Elizabeth Rider), but do they really understand what she is going through? Is tough love and British stiff upper lip really going to work for Sandra?
Vicky McClure is flawless as the feisty but fragile Sandra. If there was doubt from anyone about a stage debut then her performance blew it out of the water, she is a seasoned professional of screen AND stage. Chloe Harris (Betty) seemed familiar to me, it was really bothering me where I thought I knew her, then it finally dawned on me that I was thinking of Sheridan Smith! I can’t really single anyone out though, all of the actors were so incredible and played such believable parts. The play was very emotive and took you back to that time, I had many a lump in my throat thinking about that period in my city and what my relatives would have been going through.
Such a humbling story that makes me proud of my home city, the talent that comes from here and the history we have – particularly of strong women, such as Sandra, Joan and Betty, who could easily have been one of my Grandmother’s. I don’t want to give too much away, as this production is a must see. Such a stellar cast and crew built up of local Nottingham talent who were either from here or have a connection with the place, that’s what makes it work so well. Combine this with the fantastic writing, production and direction, you cannot fail to be ‘Touched’.
Photo Credit : Robert Day