GrapevineLIVE
Grapevine Magazine and its sister website GrapevineLIVE.co.uk have been promoting LIVE entertainment in East Anglia for over 25 years through our trusted free listings service. Register online today and add your events.

Our Country’s Good

New Wolsey Theatre

The play tells the true story of convicts transported to Australia who, in 1789, put on a production of The Recruiting Officer by George Farquhar.  Our Country’s Good is a play about class, injustice, poverty, identity, freedom, language. And how imagination  itself can save and transform you, even in the  darkest of  hours.

Ramps on the Moon is  a company which integrates D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled  performers seem to reimagine and re-invigorate every production they do. Last year’s Tommy was one of the best shows I’ve seen. I wrote at the time that it finally made sense of the Who’s Rock Opera  for me and it was definitely worth the wait – since I bought the album in the 80s!

For a play that has at its centre the power of language and performance, the act of signing, captioning, and characters having other performers speak the lines adds a dimension  which is completely compelling.  That theatre and the performing itself is presented as transformative  in the context of the show, this layer undoubtedly  adds a dimension of inclusivity and ownership of the stage itself.

Our Country’s Good is earthy and shows the human spirit in all its filth and glory. Sex is a commodity  for the women of the play, a means for survival.  Fifi Garland as Dabby Bryant is energetic , powerful and totally embodies  the character’s yearning, emotions and indomitable spirit. As Liz Morden, Gbemisola Ikumelo is a powerhouse of dignity and rage. Her  performance of Lizzy’s monologue of slang is a highlight.

Neil Murray’s stage design creates a stage on a stage . All the action fittingly happens here in this play within a play. The cast, as an ensemble, work seamlessly together throughout  to create the atmosphere within this play that leaves you feeling as enraged and desperate as the convicts themselves and eager for them to triumph.

Recommended.