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David Porter » Reviews » Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean

Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean

Sewell Barn Theatre, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press 20th February 2010

Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean

A reunion of once like-minded people is going to be fraught with truths, twists, self-delusions and secrets from closets.

The Disciples of Jimmy Dean come back to the run down Five and Dime store twenty years after his death, and find not only is the past a different world, but the future will never be the same.

It’s the latest adventurous production at the Sewell Barn, where Clare Howard is directing a clever piece of stage writing full of bitter-sweet humour and revelation, hanging on whether a young fan slept with Jimmy Dean, or was it the boy who loved her and she never accepted it, nor that the resulting child is simple.

The action moves simultaneously and seamlessly between 1955 and 75 with the main superb characters as young (Anna Bailey, Joy Cruickshank) and older (Kerensa Harrison, Cassie Tillett).

It works well and the extremely strong cast of the young man (Tanwyn Smith-Meek) and the women (Gill Tichbourne, Jenny Belsey, Rachel Miller and Abi Dennington-Price, who carries off the most difficult part of a man become a woman with perfect balance) deserve full credit.

The hot, dry Texas atmosphere is conjured, the accents are well sustained, and an evening at the shrine of Jimmy Dean is recommended.

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