REVIEW: The Titfield Thunderbolt by the Exmouth Players

PUBLISHED: 14:27 13 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:36 13 July 2017

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

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Audiences at Exmouth’s Blackmore Theatre were taken on a journey of nostalgia when the Exmouth Players presented The Titfield Thunderbolt.

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

A comedy by Philip Goulding, it was based on the Ealing comedy screenplay by TEB Clarke, skilfully directed by Nick Lawrence.

Greeted by a bevy of delightful ladies dressed in colourful frocks and pretty hats, the scene was immediately set for 1952.

A tongue-twisting opening sequence highlighted the closure of many branch lines by British Railways, but as the inhabitants of Titfield were introduced in their various guises, it was clear that they were made of sterner stuff.

Mimicking the lines of this clever script, the cast took to their roles like ducks to water. Annette Driver did sterling work as village matriarch Lady Chesterford, rallying the troops against adversity to operate the branch line themselves, and was well partnered by Mark Blaber as the Rev Weech and newly promoted engine driver.

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

Wendy Bishop doubled brilliantly as the Town Clerk/Ministry Man, a ‘jobsworth’ performance that was very well received.

Martin Moore played wily poacher Dan Taylor, puffing on his pipe and jumping on and off the moving train with hilarious dexterity! Lee Haddow was suitably morose as civil servant Mr Ruddock, though not adverse to the charms of Katherine Lister as the duplicitous Miss Coggett.

Jasmine Tapp made an attractive love interest as barmaid Joan Weech and an efficient railway porter.

As local rogues the Crumps, Mike Hamilton and Kieran McGarry rather stole the day, setting up a rival omnibus company, they sabotaged the railway at every turn.

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

Doubling as the upper-class wealthy ‘soak’ Mr Valentine and village ‘bobby’ Sergeant Wilson, with Kieran also as old Mrs Bottomley, their timely expressions and reactions were perfect, particularly when the dialogue called for all the characters to be on stage together! A cleverly designed set transformed with the action, and scene changes smoothly handled by the Titfield Ladies. Audience members were much encouraged to ‘climb on board’ and the unexpected arrival of an unbelievable Titfield Thunderbolt engine at the end brought the house down – full steam ahead!

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services

"The Titfield Thunderbolt" at the Blackmore Theatre. Picture: Emma Crane of Exmouth Photo Services


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