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The Theatre of Life

Recently I had a reminder of how ‘good theatre’ can transport you to a place within yourself in two hours where psychologists and counsellors spend months and even years trying to uncover trapped emotion.

After 20 + years of living as an expat all over the world, we decided to settle in York, one of the attractions being because it has 7 theatres and even an Opera House, how often do I go?……Very seldom……..I don’t know why I don’t.

I went to London for the Chelsea Flower Show, 2nd year running with my good friend and since it was her birthday I thought I’d surprise her with a booking at the Theatre where our mutual friends daughter had a leading role. We have witnessed Niamh growing up and felt as though we were going to see one of our own daughters perform!

I couldn’t believe what a great theatre it was, hidden away in Finsbury Park; www.parktheatre.co.uk relies on private funding support as well as ticket sales. It’s a fantastic small theatre with every seat giving a great view of the stage and the added bonus is that you can enjoy a glass of wine during the performance.

The Play was ‘Who Shot Liberty Valance’, and apart from having some distant memory of a cowboy film, I didn’t know what the story was about, the attraction being that our surrogate daughter was playing in it.

The subject matter of the play was quite profound, being catapulted back to days where prejudice and racism were rife and life was about survival and struggle but ultimately, respect, love and forgiveness overcome everything.

From the opening exciting music with a voice over by the legendary actor Robert Vaughan, I felt spell bound. The quality of the production took me by surprise, the sound, the music, the atmosphere, the costumes and then the Actors, and the acting………

In the space of 90 minutes I felt as though I went on a roller coaster ride of emotion, laughter and tears, followed by joy and sadness. Pride and pleasure in the quality of the work, the quality of the acting and then the absolute fascination that I had forgotten how live theatre can provoke the release of these emotions, which ultimately is a good thing.

After a disastrous attempt to get home along with 80,000 people leaving a music concert in Finsbury Park, sadly any elation I’d felt disintegrated into unimaginable frustration and stress. Next time I’ll have an exit plan in place and maybe a comedy may be a good idea.

One thing for sure as I read through Yorks’ Grand Opera House Summer programme, I wont be leaving it so long before I make an effort and go.

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