Holy, Unholy and everything in between. Folk was heavenly humorous but had also many notes of devilish charm that tickled many funny bones in the audience.
It was a refreshing story told that entertainingly drew the audience into a world of three lives that were thrown together for a very short space of time, but one that would have lasted a lifetime, as Sister Winnie forgave Kayleigh for throwing a brick through her window, much to Stephen’s displeasure. It focused on the theme of unconditional love and forgiveness, as the stories darkened and refuge in each others’ friendship grew urgent.
Connie Walker portrayed Sister Winnie with a lot of bounce and effervescence, and it was something to look forward to every time she walked back on stage. Connie breathed life into Winnie with so much sweetness and naughtiness that our hearts were not big enough to cope. I would want to watch her every day. Chloe Harris, who some may recognise from Russell T. Davies’ Banana, was marvellous at playing a fifteen year old teenager, encompassing trouble and innocence very convincingly, and built her story very well from beginning to end. Stephen, who was played by Patrick Bridgman, was awkward, a little mean, but falling-in-love-worthy, particularly towards the end when he offered Kayleigh a place to stay, after all their differences. Patrick played him delicately with notes of timidness that were spot on for the character, and was a character that the audience may not have been on the side of, at the start, but Patrick’s sensitive portrayal of Stephen kidnapped our hearts when he came out as gay and thought too old to be in love.
Favourite element of the story for me was seeing the development of Stephen (Patrick) and Kayleigh’s (Chloe) relationship from bitter to unconditionally caring for the other as the passing of Winnie had facilitated. It went from trying each other’s patience to sharing their stories until the late hour of the morning. Music was the breath that gave life to the play and it was sister Winnie’s best-loved pastime. When Stephen and Kayleigh set their differences aside to play to her was one of the sweetest moments of theatre I have seen.