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Review: Epsom Downs, Salisbury Playhouse
Until May 26
SALISBURY Playhouse’s new artistic director Gareth Machin has a winner in Epsom Downs, an innovative production timed to run up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Nine versatile actors play no less than 45 roles in this wonderful pastiche of British life on Derby Day 1977, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year.
Costume and effects are superb. The thunderous arrival of helicopters, conveying racehorse owners, swirl litter over the grassy set.
All human life is there and horses, too, played magnificently by Mark Meadows and Simon Muller.
A gypsy girl peddles lucky heather, while a desperate family longs to strike it rich.
In a packed show, with a fantastic energetic cast, we encounter a disgraced Labour Peer, owners, trainers, bookmakers, stable lads, a bunny girl, evangelists haunted by old addictions, police officers, traders and even the spectre of suffragette Emily Davison, revisiting the scene of her demise.