WHAT struck me most about this new production by FBATV is its simplicity.
High-energy performances usually associated with the company are still here, but is a beautiful, stripped-back-to-basics quality that makes this show really stand out.
The opening shots of Huddersfield accompanied by a beautiful, almost haunting soundtrack by Andrew Duggan, draw the audience into the funny yet emotive scenes that unfold.
The show’s theme of linking images of Kirklees present to its past is cleverly achieved through films showing journeys of the actors. Each finds a photograph from the past which links to the next onstage scene.
The action is drawn together by narrator Lucy McManus, who makes a lovely debut as the photographer.
An outstanding performance comes from Ben Langford, who is both funny as he finds himself with an unexpected day off, and convincing as a tyrannical mill boss.
Shelley Walker is touching as the unloved girl making a long train journey to Dewsbury, and Peter Wandke proves his aptitude for physical comedy in a particularly funny scene looking at the saucy Bamforth postcards.
The cast as a whole is impressive, creating snapshots of the past with enthusiasm.
The set by Jo McFarlane is basic but beautifully compliments the intimate cellar space and really draws the audience into the action.
Simply directed by Vanessa Brooks, but vibrant in the rollercoaster of emotions it conjures, this picture perfect show is not to be missed.
That Was Then, This Is Now is at the LBT until Saturday.