Parsnips get to the root of town’s ghostly past

Harborough Theatre.
Harborough Theatre.

REVIEW: Parsnips Youth Theatre’s Footsteps at Harborough Theatre (November 27-29).

With a new idea created by local youngsters and a script developed by Claire Parsons, Parsnips Youth Theatre performed a powerful and tense drama which had the audience both intrigued and very slightly chilled!

Footsteps was a fantastically original, yet cleverly thought-out exploration of what really did happen to local 17-year-old Hannah Buswell who lived and worked in The Green Dragon Inn (formerly on the site of the theatre in Church Square) back in 1791.

The opening scene launched the twin themes of humour and tension with a glimpse into life at The Green Dragon.

Maeve was terrific as Hannah, the doomed barmaid, and Chloe was delightful as the officious Bernadette. Alistair and Ben were a great, humorous double act, and Hugh and Charlie were excellent as John and Frank.

The brooding presence in the room was Henry, artfully played by Sam, always with one eye on Hannah and the other on his ale!

Niamh was a kind and caring Clara.

But...instead of delivering a predictable murder mystery, Parsnips shook it all up and produced a really gripping piece of time travelling drama, whereby, a contemporary youth theatre company is haunted by the footsteps and cries of a girl from the past.

Sounds confusing? Well, it really wasn’t, and as the actors got into their stride, powerful and assured performances lifted this into something really compelling.

Seb and Ben were a great comic pairing as Bill and Tom – they clearly couldn’t live with or without each other and they were really well-supported in their scenes by Tara, Emily and Megan, playing Gwen, Julie and Sarah respectively.

Events in 1999 produced some really strong performances with Alice and Joe showing professional-standard comic timing. Sally was convincingly confident as an assertive Kate, Christina was a calm and composed Joanne and Ben C and Ben B as Luke and Jack added some really well-placed laughs.

Alasdair and Rachel were outstanding as the bickering Matthew and Alice with Harry supporting those scenes as a very concerned James.

Have I mentioned them all? I hope so, because they were really fantastic – all of them – a massively talented group of Parsnipians of the future!

Review by Rachael Eddy