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Review: Harlow75: Party like it’s 1947: A love letter to the town of Harlow

Entertainment / Sun 4th Sep 2022 pm30 12:22pm

Review: Harlow Playhouse: Harlow75 by Matipo Arts

IF you wanted to see what a celebration, in the truest sense of the word, of Harlow’s 75 years, should look like, then this was it.

This was an hour of fun, pride, joy and laughter held in Theatre 2 of the Harlow Playhouse.

In her biography, it says that director Georgia Hardcastle works across a number of disciplines and that is exactly what was on show tonight.

From a wonderful opening where the actors wore badges with place names such as Passmores, Brays Grove. both looking for each other. And then Church Langley with Tesco bags, Newhall looking for a coffee and Gilden Park a little baby.

The disembodied voice of Sir Frederick Gibberd was present throughout but what was also present throughout was a love for Harlow.

This reviewer was born in the town in 1961, lived away for twenty five years (81-06) and came back. Therefore, his relationship, experience is different. But everybody’s experience is different. Different memories, different experiences and different emotions.

This production did their very best to encompass every experience, capture every emotion and embrace the town. It was quite a feat.

Plaudits must go to the three actors: Vicky Winnings, Poppy Evans and Greg Baxter. In each and every character they played, they celebrated and championed their town. Special well done to keeping going in a very very warm studio theatre. Especially done to capture the heatwaves of 1976 and 2022!

There was also a wonderful sense of imagination. The statues depiction, The Square to name just two.

Again, great work by designer Sally Hardcastle and stage manager, Imogen Adshead.

The play ended with hope. This reviewer certainly went away with feeling the town’s cultural legacy was in good hands.

This played to a packed audience. It will be playing again on Saturday October 29th at Harlow Museum.

We feel it should be performed a few more times. It would be great if both older residents and schoolchildren could see it.

Afterwards, there was a small party in the main bar. We hope they partied like it was 2022.

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3 Comments for Review: Harlow75: Party like it’s 1947: A love letter to the town of Harlow:

John Curry
2022-09-04 16:27:18

Having read your review, I'm so disappointed to have missed it. Hope to attend on the 29/10. JC

Richard Ashton
2022-09-04 22:00:22

Happy Birthday Harlow! Congratulations to all who contributed to this production too! So much to like , learn and enjoy. More please!

Tim the Turtle
2022-09-06 15:48:45

I loved the bit where we saw Sir Frederick Gibberd trying to provide all the money for all the different departments, what a job to create a town from scratch. The Square piece of the jigsaw will have brought back lot of memories for lots of people and the Sculpture section was another favourite.

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