Review: A Zimmer of Hope, Unscene Suffolk, The New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich, July 15

Unscene Suffolk's Mark Conquer, Carolyn Allum, Julie Bennett and David Appleton perform Zimmer Zumba

Unscene Suffolk's Mark Conquer, Carolyn Allum, Julie Bennett and David Appleton perform Zimmer Zumba, part of their latest production A Zimmer of Hope. Photo: Mike Kwasniak - Credit: Archant

I’ve seen the last two productions from Unscene Suffolk, the theatre group for the visually impaired, and have enjoyed them immensely so was really looking forward to this production. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Unscene Suffolk's Denise Tillier and Fran Ling as Aunt Em in East Coasters, part of their latest pro

Unscene Suffolk's Denise Tillier and Fran Ling as Aunt Em in East Coasters, part of their latest production A Zimmer of Hope. Photo: Mike Kwasniak - Credit: Archant

It was my first time at this venue and I was really impressed. It’s modern, but has a cosy intimate atmosphere. Wherever you sit you are close to the stage and I shall certainly be returning in the near future.

The play was a light-hearted look at experiences of ageing, done with great humour and some extremely clever writing by the acting company whose ages range from 30s to 80s. Set in an old peoples home the story was based around four residents, three who went on a secret mission and one who stayed at the home to look after her goldfish.

The scenes were set as if on TV in the home. They were very funny and had the audience laughing throughout, including news and weather reports, adverts for Zimmer Zumba and WC Tours, an episode of East Coasters, a game show and finally a talent show where three of the residents appeared singing and dancing about the joys of ageing.

The audio describer becoming a character in her own right was a nice touch and gave us a wonderful insight into how audio description works and how it benefits the non-sighted audience members. It was different to their previous productions as it was more sketch-based and their was certainly a nod to Carry On films. Having us laugh at the thought of growing old ungracefully.

As with their other productions one of my favourite parts are the group songs, which are always catchy and get stuck in your head long after their performance has ended.

It was very well received by the audience, as I left I overheard one lady say “I found it very inspiring coming to see Unscene Suffolk, the dedication that’s put into the shows it brilliant”.

Learn more about Unscene Suffolk.

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Le-Anne Burman