History with a difference

Georgie Gulliford, Peter Trott, Mandy Watmough and Kay Fraser in Lettice and Lovage at Titchfield Festival Theatre.
Georgie Gulliford, Peter Trott, Mandy Watmough and Kay Fraser in Lettice and Lovage at Titchfield Festival Theatre.
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Standing in an historical hall and listening to the rain drum against the windows, is a welcome relief for bored tourists until they are told a truly interesting fact. But tour guide Lettice Douffet takes it one step too far, and decides to tell a history lesson with a difference.

Two women find solace in one another in Titchfield Festival Theatre’s production of Lettice and Lovage. The comedy runs from tonight until January 26, and was originally written by playwright Peter Schaffer.

Christine Lawrence is directing. She says: ‘This particular production was presented to me by Kevin Fraser, who had directed it in the past. It was many years ago and it’s a nice play to have a go with.

‘This is my first time with TFT directing a big production. It’s quite nice to do because it has a small cast and it’s a play I know because I’d seen it before.’

Lettice decides to inject some theatricality into her role as a tour guide in a very uninspiring stately home, but ends up turning a minor incident involving Elizabeth I into an epic romantic saga.

Christine says: ‘It’s a story of two women who are quite on the opposite ends of the scale.

‘ Lettice is a frustrated actress and Lottie gets wind of what is going on and comes to have a look.

‘She’s horrified and sacks Lettice. But then when she calls her into her office she becomes interested in this other character, who is the opposite to her really. She’s very grey; she works in an office and she’s frustrated.

Christine adds: ‘Then she sees this larger-than-life character and it becomes intriguing. Eventually the two become friends.’

It’s the first time Christine has directed a main production with the company, having only produced small. one-act performances in the past.

She says: ‘I’m hoping people will come to watch it because I think they will enjoy it.

‘ I’m really proud of what the team are doing.

‘Hopefully, we will start the year with a bang.’

Tickets cost £9 to £11 from Titchfield Festival Theatre on (01329) 556156 or go to titchfieldfestivaltheatre.com.