If you want to be spoilt this week make sure you pay a visit to the Attfield Theatre where they are putting on not one, but two, performances.

Opening their 2019/20 season is The Cagebirds and The Regina Monologues which I found to be poles apart, but with striking similarities.

David Campton’s The Cagebirds left me with so many questions. Featuring six ‘birds’ who have created their own nests within a cage managed by The Mistress (Christine Hughes), things are stirred up when she introduces The Wild One (Rob Davies).

You truly feel his despair and fear of being imprisoned, accompanied by his frustration that the other creatures choose that life over freedom.

A tale that has unexpected twists and turns, I spent a lot of time questioning what it all meant. Do the seven birds represent the seven deadly sins? Or are they relating to the modern world where we are so introverted and don’t like to get involved in other’s plights?

One thing is for sure, The Great Guzzler’s (Tony Holtham) comic lust for food from toffee to suet pudding, will have you rushing to the ice cream stand in the interval!

Following on is a very modern taken on The Regina Monologues which gives the wives of Henry VIII a chance to explore their relationships with one of history’s most infamous kings.

It may not have left as many questions as The Cagebirds, but it certainly made you think about the suffering each of his wives went through – albeit each was to a differing degree.

The carefree response from Anna aka Anne of Cleves (Janice Barber) was full of comedy, as was the gold-digging realist Katherine [Parr] played by April Ryder, but this was in stark contrast to the ever-hopeful and gullible Jane [Seymour] played by Bekah Plaisted as she fell pregnant and waited patiently to give birth to the king’s long-awaited son.

The performances by Debra Watson playing Cathy aka Catherine of Aragon, and Debbie Jones who was Annie aka Anne Boleyn, were a lot harder to watch as they went from hopefully newlyweds full of arrogance to fearful women who had given their best years to their husband, only to be thrown on the heap.

But hardest of all was the tale of Katie aka Kitty Howard (Grace Turner) who was just a teenager when she was forced into her marriage. Recalling what was essentially abuse and rape was excellently brought home as she walked around stage in a school uniform.

Once again the Attfield team have found the perfect mix of comedy and drama, and if that’s what the start of the season offers, I can’t wait to see what’s up next.


Tickets are available from the box office at The Guildhall in Oswestry, by calling 07544 113511 or at www.ticketsource.co.uk/attfield