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Criterion Theatre
Kes (2014)
Robert Alan Evans adapted from a novel by Barry Hines
Wed 23rd July to Sat 26th July
Director – Helen Withers
Production Photos
Billy Casper – Daniel Overton
The Man – Trev Clarke
Stage Manager – Becky Cribdon
Props – Stella Gabriel
Wardrobe – Maureen Liggins
Lighting Designer – Paul Harrison
Lighting Operator – Paul Harrison
Sound Designer – Dave Cornish
Sound Operator – Alexander Mushore
Prompt – Stella Gabriel
Artwork – Emma Withers
The Play

A new adaptation of the classic book A Kestrel for a Knave, Kes tells the story of a day in the life of Billy Casper; a 15-year-old boy about to leave school and determined not to end up working down the pit like his older brother Jud. Billy doesn't know what he'll do, but one thing has changed his life forever, allowing him to soar above the narrow confines of his family and this town, his kestrel hawk, Kes. Kes is the story of Billy's heart. How it came to beat and how it came to break.
Nominated for a CATS Award for Best Play for Children and Young People this is a beautifully written two-hander where one actor plays Billy and the other all the people in Billy's life.

Kes triumph at the Criterion
Kes at Criterion Theatre, Coventry, from 23 to 26 July. y 26.
Despite now being too late to see this terrific new adaptation of the 1968 classic novel, From A Kestrel For A Knave, the latest play at the Criterion Theatre does deserve special mention.
After only appearing in school productions, former Woodlands Academy pupil Dan Overton successfully auditioned for his first major role with Earlsdon's cutting-edge amateur theatre, and certainly does not disappoint.
The 17-year-old plays the much younger Billy, a lad with little going for him in life except his fascination with wildlife and the fledgling kestrel he has reared and trained.
Many of us at least know the film version of Kes, but Dan and fellow performer Trev Clarke take on every role in this period drama set in a pit village.
I loved the direction by Helen Withers and the choice of music from the time really added to the atmosphere.
Trev Clarke, it has to be said, is little short of a minor miracle as he effortlessly metamorphises from ugly big brother, to a mother making herself up for a night on the town, to a schoolmaster lecturing the audience on the loose morals of modern society.
I really enjoyed the choreographed scenes when Dan and Trev become handbag-carrying women together...just before they get everyone on the edge of their seats for the nerve-wracking fight scene just ahead of the tragic, inevitable, denouement.
All human life was there. And all was portrayed by a fine and highly experienced older actor, assisted by a very accomplished young apprentice.
Barbara Goulden - marks out of ten.... 8
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