Review: Hasland Theatre Company creates a work of art

Kathryn Hardy,   Nicky Beards  and Tony Keeton in Hasland Theatre Company's production of The Bright and the Bold Design.

Kathryn Hardy, Nicky Beards and Tony Keeton in Hasland Theatre Company's production of The Bright and the Bold Design.

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Struggles in the workplace provide the theme of this week’s production by Hasland Theatre Company.

The Bright and Bold Design starts out as a cosy play about factory girls painting handmade earthenware in the Potteries.

But the arrival of an ambitious art director who refuses to let the old guard stand in the way of progress and whose socialist principles put him at loggerheads with capitalist chiefs cause cracks to appear in the tight-knit workforce.

Tony Keeton gives his all in the role of dynamic revolutionary Jim Rhys, delivering memorable speeches with inspiring conviction and a steely glint in his eye.

Kathryn Hardy plays working-class Jessie Frost with a talent for design and a quiet, measured voice of reason in this drama by Peter Whelan which is loosely based on acclaimed ceramic painter Clarice Cliff.

The play is as much about empowering women as it is about conflict. Nicky Beards shines as Mabel who is promoted from factory floor to commercial traveller, a job traditionally done by men in the Thirties.

Directed by Gary Keeling, this thought-provoking production is a true work of art. There’s even a touch of synchronicity to the multiple scene changes.

The Bright andBold Design is showing at Hasland Playhouse until Saturday, January 23.