Bridport Arts Centre

WILLY Russell’s powerful hit musical started life as a play and that is what Encore Theatre Club have presented us with for their latest production, cleverly taking a nod in the direction of the hit show by giving an airing to the song Marilyn Monroe as the play gets under way.

But if there is no music in the play, the strong story line is as gut wrenching as ever with twin boys separated at birth and growing up not knowing each other and with their very different backgrounds leading to turmoil and anger.

A first rate cast put all their efforts into this drama which highlights the social injustices of the 20th century where money means power and poverty means a life with no future.

In the leading roles as the separated twins are Matt and Harry Lockett, real life twins who bring energy and intelligence to their roles as they demonstrate totally different aspirations but somehow create a bond between them that they cannot explain.

In the role of the boys’ mother, Lois Glasspool is convincingly torn as she struggles to keep her four rowdy children under control while taking the agonising decision to part with one of her twin babies while Louisa Hardy is suitably posh as the adoptive mother.

Tamlin Morgan is well cast as the love interest of the boys and Dewi Lambert is the narrator in a production excellently directed by John Haylock and Emma Batchelor who capture the flavour of the 60s in Liverpool and bring a touch of humour into the scenario with the four children, played by middle-aged monsters who clearly have a great time being very naughty.

The production continues at Bridport Arts Centre tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at 7.30pm.