Rossendale Players review: Lord of the Flies meets Victoria Wood on Sheila's Island

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Lord of the Flies meets Victoria Wood on ‘Sheila’s Island’ – the latest hilarious production from the Rossendale Players.

A fab foursome of talented ladies – Heather Roberts, Joanne Shepherd, Holly Boland and Kathryn Bland – find themselves stranded on a typically wet Lake District island, remarkably presented on the tiny stage of the Player’s New Millennium Theatre for what proves to be a claustrophobic but hugely entertaining play.

Players debutant Heather, who takes the title role, is the glue that holds the four middle-aged middle management colleagues together, stranded in the middle of nowhere.

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The quartet spark off each other as they realise they will have to spend the night together on a work team-building exercise that reveals more than some of them bargained for.

Sheila's Island is being performed by the Rossendale Players at the New Millennium Theatre, WaterfootSheila's Island is being performed by the Rossendale Players at the New Millennium Theatre, Waterfoot
Sheila's Island is being performed by the Rossendale Players at the New Millennium Theatre, Waterfoot

Joanne, returning to the wet Waterfoot stage for the first time since 2018, is gifted with perhaps the best part – the rambunctious, outspoken but complex and vulnerable Denise.

Joanne strides around the stage delivering some of the most cutting lines from the witty pen of Tim Frith’s twist on his earlier all-male production Neville’s Island.

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Heather and Joanne are joined by Players regular Kathryn, ever hilarious, this time as socially awkward, bird-loving Fay. Holly rounds out the impressive cast as initially ditzy Julie, who finds an inner steel as the play progresses.

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The story is not all laughs, and deals with important issues of mental health, suicide and loneliness, but utlimately friendship and camaraderie win out in the end.

I always mention the sets but this time the company has surpassed itself with the island brought to life, literally, on stage.

The show runs until Saturday, June 8th.

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