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Haddenham Youth Theatre

Saturday 26th January saw the second performance of the Haddenham Youth Theatre's productions of Ghost Writer by Nick Warburton and Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore (adapted for stage by Jill Hyem).

This was the most ambitious production for some years and it showcased some of the very talented young people in the village.

The full capacity audience were first treated to the hugely entertaining Ghost Writer, performed by the younger members of the cast. In this piece two script writers find that they cannot control their play about a murder as the actors, director, producer, audience and even the ghost of a playwright all add their own interpretations. The wonderful performances by individual cast members — particularly the Colonel (Kyle Eldridge), the Director (Charlie Benfield), Miss Cashflow (Alisha Oakley) and her sidekick Arnold (Thomas Blowfield) — will ensure the quality of future performances, as the older members of the cast leave the village for university and new adult lives.

And so to Lorna Doone....

The audience were captivated by the story of love and treachery set in Exmoor at the time of the reign of Charles II.

This play has a large cast and takes place over a period of several years. There were some superb performances but it was the talented Robert Cairns as the hero John Ridd who brought the whole play together. This will be Robert's last year in the Youth Theatre but there is no shortage of other performers who will be able to take on the challenge.

Kai Feltham as Judge Jeffreys made the audience laugh and Will Russell as the evil Carver Doone elicited boos and hisses. Other notable performances included Anna Hale as Lorna Doone, Hector Fraser as the highwayman Tom Faggus, Ella Vickers as John Ridd's mother Sarah, Kyle Eldridge at the young John Ridd and Greg Vickers, who played the King's envoy Jeremy Stickles — despite being on crutches after a rugby accident!

Lynne Colley, the director for 10 years, and her team should be congratulated on providing us with a wonderful evening's entertainment.

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