Gareth Thomas in Dear Brutus

I really enjoyed it, and so did Mum. Here is our considered opinion of Mr Thomas!

Gareth plays Mr Dearth, who used to be a gifted young artist but is now a rich old soak trying to fend off his own disappointments and the anger of an extremely bitter wife.

When he first came on (as I'm sure you know, Mr Dearth doesn't appear until the end of Act I - I was starting to get a bit impatient!) he looked a bit rotten! His hair was all over the place, his voice was all rough and peculiar, and his hands were shaking badly - all part of the act, I hasten to add!

In Act II, the characters are in the magical forest, experiencing their 'second chance' at their lives. So we saw the 'alternative' Mr Dearth: immaculately groomed, in good health, alcohol-free (ahem!), still doing his painting and enjoying a close relationship with his adoring daughter.

This was more like it - he was much more effective here than in act I. He and the daughter practically carry the whole of the second act. It could have strayed into corny mawkishness, but never did, thanks to her energy and his sincerity.

The whole thing looked wonderful. The set was amazing - so simple but effective. The others in the cast were excellent, particularly the guy playing the philandering husband, Jack. He mined great humour from it, and Mum agreed with me that a youthful Paul Darrow would have been SENSATIONAL in this role.... (See - I go to see Blake, and still manage to get Avon a mention!)

review by c.e.