14-18 June 2016
Reviewed by Debbie Lowndes
The performance was of ITV’s popular Sunday evening 60s police drama. It stars two of the original cast members. The touring performance makes use of video footage and a clever revolving set, which creates a great set and atmosphere for the 1960 series and creates a real feel of the rural Yorkshire area. The performance incorporated quality 1960’s music which was used within the TV series.
The performance commenced at 7:30 the cast included two of the original actors who were David Lonsdale who played David Stockwell and Steven Blakeley who played PC Geoff Younger. The main storyline of the performance revolved around a criminal who had travelled on the train from London and arrived at Aidensfield by chance. He was looking for somewhere to stay and was directed to the Aidensfield Arms. Gina offered him a room to stay in for a few nights. When he arrived Gina was in the process of positioning and setting up her new jukebox. She could not move the heavy jukebox into its position so Aiden (from London) moved this for her. As the performance materialised it was obvious Gina (played by Carly Cook) had a soft spot for Aiden (played by Callum O’Neil). Carly gave a great performance of the original Liverpool landlady Gina. Other actors included Matt Milburn who play played local Bobby Joe, David Horne who played Burnie Scripps plus many other actors.
There was a certain amount of comedy involving David and Geoff from lamping rabbits to digging graves. There were a couple of scenes I particularly found amusing and these were where David and Geoff dug a grave at Lord Ashfordly’s request only to find out they had the map upside down and they had actually dug in the wrong spot. They had dubbed the grave where Lady Ashfordly (Lord Ashfordly’s mother) was buried! Geoff agreed to help David with his duties and in return David was to help Geoff to learn to dance for the party at the Aidensfield Arms. The dancing that Geoff did at the party was asking another amusing scene. The clothes Geoff wore certainly caught your eye, bright orange shirt coupled with bright green cord trousers. One thing for sure he stood out as was very colourful.
The whole performance built up to one key scene. This was where the villain caught up with Aiden and the story evolved as to why Aiden had ended up in Aidensfield. He had done a runner with some explosives and it materialised that they had been stored in the jukebox. The villain had Gina, Bernie Scripps and Aiden held up at gun point within the Aidensfield Arms. He then knocked Aiden out, handcuffed Gina and Bertie together, set the bomb on a timer to explode and left the pub. Local bobby Joe came across the villain as he walked back from the pub. Joe worked out something was amiss then he when to the pub with the villain.The end result was hero Joe saved the day. He was able to get Aiden to unset the bomb and prevent the explosion.
I did feel the performance did have some flat spots, but all in all it was a good performance and a true reflection of the Heartbeat series.
I would rate the performance as 3 out of 5. Without the two original cast members I think the performance may have been a flop.
It is a pleasure to visit Buxton Opera House, it has welcoming with friendly staff, a great decor, lovely and clean and refreshments are reasonably priced too. What more could you ask for!!! I would rate the venue as 5 out of 5.
Heartbeat is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.heartbeatontour.com.
For other shows at the Buxton Opera House visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.
Buxton Opera House, Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN | 0845 127 2190