A Review of Churchill

churchill_lectern_suw8by Gerry Roe

Amana – The Old Creamery Theatre’s current Studio Production, Churchill, written and performed by Andrew Edlin, opened to a nearly full house on May 28. The production continues through May 31 and will return for another run October 1-4. As I told Mr. Edlin during the talk-back, that gives us more time to spread the word about this excellent production.

I’m old enough to remember Sir Winston Churchill as an elder statesman, and I knew he was an accomplished author. He was in fact awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He wrote, among many other books, The Second World War and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. In addition, he was an officer in the British Military and a politician for many years, serving as a Member of Parliament and twice elected Prime Minister, first during the Second World War and second from 1951 to 1955.

But comparing my knowledge of Churchill to Edlin’s would be like comparing a gnat to an elephant. If he had put everything he knows about Churchill into his play it would probably extend over several days. Although the play he performs takes less than two hours, we get a fascinating picture of Churchill and an appreciation of his well-deserved reputation as a great man.

Usually performed in a much larger theatre, this production attains an intimacy that serves the play and Edlin’s performance extremely well. On the Studio’s small stage, Edlin is able to establish such a rapport with his audience that we often feel he is speaking directly to each of us as individuals, and the effect is riveting.

One need not know much about Churchill to find Edlin’s play and his performance fascinating and a deeply moving experience. It is also faithful to Churchill’s reputation as a wit, incorporating a great many humorous moments. Set at the time when Churchill must decide whether to continue as Prime Minister or resign, leaving the enormous responsibilities of government to his successors, there is an immediacy that provides the arc of the play.

This production continues through May 31, with a return engagement in October. See it now, if you can, or mark your calendars for its return. Or both. It’s that good.

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