DISS CORN HALL:
WE WILL BE FREE
The Burston Strike centenary and this Tolpuddle Martyrs play are a timely reminder of social injustice.
Townsend Productions, with a cast of two, presented the story of the men transported in 1834 for swearing an oath to a Friendly Society.
Remarkably, long before online petitions, 800,000 signatures called for their release.
Using the frame of a Dorset mummers play, Neil Gore and Charlotte Powell gave a hugely entertaining evening of people-friendly theatre.
Neil Gore, who also wrote the play, looked as though he really could plough a field, as well as preach a sermon. Charlotte Powell had the enduring dignity of a countrywoman; and the whiplash charm of upper-class figures. Both sang and played instruments to moving effect.
Humour alternated with the chill winds of penury. Perhaps the jollity was slightly overdone as transportation was no joke.
But the reunion of one of the martyrs and his wife on his return fair tugged the ‘eart strings. BASIL ABBOTT