A Man For All Seasons

May 1998

by Robert Bolt, directed by Avril Pattinson


Common Man - Bill Pattinson

Sir Thomas More - Anthony Morris

Richard Rich - Nathan Curry

Duke of Norfolk - Gordon Halliday

Lady Alice More - Margaret Butt

Margaret More - Kate Onyett

Cardinal Wolsey - Eric Hume

Thomas Cromwell - John Palmer

Signor Chapuys - Peter King

Chapuy's Attendant - Andy Parsons

William Roper - David Batty

King Henry VIII - Ian Bond

A Women - Rose Gander

Production Team:

Director - Avril Pattinson

Stage Manager - Freddie Jacobs

Set - Clare Girvan

Wardrobe - Isla Morgan

Production Assistant - Rose Gander

Properties - Sylvia Brace

Lighting - Stuart Yerrell & Margaret Yerrell

Music - Geoffrey Brace

Poster Design - Clare Givan

Front of House - Lynn Leger and team

Crew - Brian Bowker, Cass Thorne & Keith Palmer


From Estuary News:

...handsomely costumed; uncluttered in design; its action pleasingly matched to music and sound effects...

This is a play for all seasons: some characters are entering their winter, others have barely left their spring - and an appointment with the grim reaper will cut off next summer for quite a few. It is a complex piece, in that it interweaves the demands of public service and private aspirations, hopes and fears. It calls for clarity of presentation in setting and concentration in performance, and happily, it receives both in Avril Pattinson's thoughtful production.

A simple set on two levels allows the action to flow, so that the audience accepts without difficulty that the upper stage edge forms a riverside, that a trellis represents a cell in the Tower of London, and the siting of a painted coat of arms and two throne-like chairs introduces us to the dignity of the Hall of Westminster.

We are guided through the story as it unfolds by the Common Man. Bill Pattinson plays him with sly wit, changing costume and character with deft skill. In the massive role of Sir Thomas More, Anthony Morris gives us, with increasing authority, a man bedevilled by his own conscience and doomed as a matter of principle to sacrifice his own life and the fabric of his family. Margaret Butt as Lady Alice, and Kate Onyett as their daughter Margaret, convey with touching dignity and pain the bewilderment of a parting they can see no real reason for. John Palmer gives us a splendidly devious and malicious Cromwell. Ian Bond's vigorous Henry VIII is brimming with threatening bonhomie and among a host of other parts, larger and smaller, all played with proper attention to detail, Eric Hume's Wolsey stands out, like a malignant tortoise in a blood-red carapace.

This is a war-horse of a play, strong and well-muscled; handsomely costumed; uncluttered in design; its action pleasingly matched to music and sound effects; it adds lustre to Estuary Players' record of successful productions over the years.

- Reviewed by: John Marshall