Humble Boy won numerous awards in the early part of the decade and this revival tour should enjoy great success nationwide.
There are no huge box office names, but this extremely talented cast of six makes it a show not to be missed. Within a beautifully designed floral garden set they bring forth the joys and sorrows that this riveting play conjures up. Judging by this Theatre Royal, Winchester opening, the play appeals to a wide section of ages.
The moment Peter Cadden, as George Pye, walks on stage this production really takes off and his character’s vocabulary and antics ensures the audience is not disappointed. It’s a gem of a performance and particularly enjoyed by those who now own bus passes.
John Dorney as Felix Humble, gives a masterful performance in a very complex role and creates all sorts of emotions. His occasional moments of intended stammering are so well perfected. Pauline Whitaker as Flora Humble, is something of the mother from hell and gives a very accomplished performance. If it was pantomime she would certainly get booed and hissed at.
Carole Dance is a joy as the scatty and sometimes irritating Mercy Lott, who creates one of the play’s best lighter moments. In a feast of quality acting, both Catherine Harvey (Rosie Pye) and Martin Wimbush (Jim the Gardener) make their own mark in diverse roles.
It’s a strong theme full of clever comedy lines and, in complete contrast, scenes that really make a strong personal impact. Several of the many confrontational moments, between virtually every member of the cast, are superbly executed. With bees as a recurring theme, there is certainly more than one sting in this particular tale.