The Empty Nesters’ Club

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - 4/STAGE - THE­ATRE ROYAL WAKE­FIELD JULIE MAR­SHALL

I’ve long been a fan of John God­ber’s work and have seen just about every­thing he’s writ­ten over the years, ever since I came across a pro­duc­tion of Bounc­ers in the late 1970s and was thrilled to find a play­wright speak­ing my lan­guage.

I’ve en­joyed some of his plays more than oth­ers but what they all have in com­mon is an em­pa­thy and an un­der­stand­ing of how the good folk of York­shire tick.

The Empty Nesters’ Club is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant to a great swathe of so­ci­ety and very well ob­served. Any par­ent of a young person em­bark­ing on a new life whether to univer­sity or a job away from home and fam­ily will have no dif­fi­culty in see­ing as­pects of them­selves and their sit­u­a­tion, por­trayed so elo­quently by Phil Bar­ret and Jane Hog­a­rth.

They con­vey the con­fu­sion and sad­ness felt dur­ing this mile­stone of their daugh­ter’s life beau­ti­fully. No longer able to nur­ture and keep her safe, it’s a fright­en­ing time.

Josie Mor­ley as daugh­ter Mol­lie is equally ac­com­plished. Mak­ing life-chang­ing decisions on a whim: a throw­away line and a shrug of her shoul­ders, with no thought to the con­se­quences and how much store her par­ents set by her sta­tus as a suc­cess­ful stu­dent, and by im­pli­ca­tion, theirs. As you’d ex­pect with God­ber, though there’s drama and tears, there’s plenty of hu­mour too and the mu­sic through­out is ex­cel­lent.

To Fe­bru­ary 4.

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