Putney Playwright Producing His Play at Barons Court Theatre

John Philips' Dolly Day Dreams opens 27th June Stars Abi Titmuss

Abi Titmuss

ADMISSION: £14 (£12 Concessions - First Week only)

PERFORMANCES: Tuesday - Sunday (7.45 p.m.)
Additional Matinee: Saturday (2.30 p.m.)

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This is really fresh new play that showcases some amazing talent and is well worth seeing. Early booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment.

Staring former glamour model Abi Titmuss who is continuing her budding stage career in this new musical.  This wonderfully nostalgic story of a young working-class girl's dream to become a dancer is set in a Yorkshire mill town in the summer of 1939, just before the outbreak of war. The comic and the tragic combine with song and dance to make an unforgettable evening's entertainment. Now an award-winning actress, Abi Titmuss demonstrates her talent and versatility, playing three powerful supporting roles. 

Totally Theatre - "Dolly Daydream" Review -10th June 2010

by Vicky York

Dolly Daydream is a fresh new play by John Phillips. It has everything. It's showing at a theatre in the cellar/vaults of The Curtains Up Pub at Barons Court. This week it's a happening place for more reasons than the premiere of Dolly Daydream. The likes of Nadal, Andy Murray, and Andy Roddick may be seen as they wander in and out of the tournament at Queens just around the corner.

However, the focus is on this brilliant new play which has it all. It is based on real life. It has a touch of glamour in the Fred Astaire dance sequence. It is set during the second World War, which is an emotional time in history. It has depth, as current events at the time are recounted through the voice of the BBC. There is drama, but with the prevalence of the fresh air of the untarnished hopes of innocent youth. This play though touchingly presented by the director Mark Pollard is deserving of greater things, possibly The National or the West End.

A frenzied beginning was soon put aside with the disarming and beautiful dance sequence exceptionally well choreographed for such a small stage by Melody Squires and brilliantly performed by pert, Yasmin Wakefield playing Dolly, and a very dashing Alan Hunter playing Fred Astaire.

Yasmin Wakefield is clearly a very talented young actress and a particularly skillful dancer. She has abounding energy, and an effervescent quality with a good stage presence which needs a little modulation. Her sensitivities need a little sharpening, but a lovely performance for all that.

Her superlative dancing skills were clearly above those of her dance tutor and a revisiting of the script may be in order here, especially as the author is on hand.

In entered Hannah Wood playing Elsie Pickering, and she made the play real. She grounded the production and just made it completely believable. Elsie was a genuine best friend to Dolly. A solid 15 year old Yorkshire lass in every respect. Wonderful. She was just loveable.

Abi Titmuss was extended in this production and played 3 quite different roles, Lizzi Hemmings, Dolly's mother, Mrs Turner, the dance teacher, and Mrs Braithwaite the local snob.

Guy Roberts was in very good voice as announcer, and Harlequin Hodgson-Tuck could have given us a better clue as to his real character.

I was uncomfortable at the use of the words "Once it has gone it has gone". These words were spoken in pensive mood. The words themselves are dubious, particularly within the context of the subject matter. If virginity is freely given and lost, then the words and mood may be appropriate, but not if it was forcibly taken and from a very young innocent girl. It reflects a lack of understanding of the female psyche. The subsequent effects would be devastating and life changing for any girl, let alone a young innocent child. 

This very important connection was missing in an otherwise very entertaining and excellent play.

June 22, 2010

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