On Friday we went to the Heron Theatre in Beetham, with friends, to see Old Herbaceous. We weren't sure what to expect, but all the reviews I had read were excellent, so we decided to relax and see how it went! The one man show is based on the novel of the same name by Reginald Arkell. I have something of a penchant for Arkell's novels!
I have to admit that the first couple of minutes weren't great, but then Giles Shenton really got into his stride and gave an excellent performance. Over ice cream in the interval, we all agreed that we had had the same experience. The second half was even better than the first half, and the gentle, and somewhat, humorous story unfolded.
Old Herbaceous is essentially a love story of a single-minded yet gentle man with a passion for plants. Reviews of the play, and novel, say "this acute, sometimes hilarious observation of relationships between the classes in a simpler age, blossoms into tender humour, in an understated English early 20th century style. Head Gardener, Herbert Pinnegar, invites you to a private chat from a comforting, bygone age, leaving you feeling that, perhaps, all’s right with the world."
I left the theatre restored, and somewhat comforted. In a frequently difficult and stressful world, it was really enjoyable to spend a few hours thinking of simple times, the nature of friendship and loyalty, as well as the joys of the garden.