Past Productions
A complete archive of every major YAT production since 1970
Tom Jones
Tom Jones

Tuesday 25 March 1980
Saturday 29 March 1980
(5 performances)

Hampton Court Theatre
Hampton Court House, Surrey
United Kingdom

Tom Jones
by Joan Macalpine
Novel by Henry Fielding


Review by George Allan (April 1980)

Youth Action Theatre can always be relied on to fill the stage of Hampton Court Theatre with bubbling vitality.

And its most recent production there, Tom Jones, in an adaptation from Henry Fielding's novel by Joan Macalpine, ran true to form.

The vitality was very much the saving grace of the production, for I found the adaptation to be patchy and to rely overmuch on the device of using Tom as narrator of his own story.

The part of Tom was played with considerable charm by Gary Jones, but he, along with others in the cast, found difficulty in sustaining a Somerset accent. Nevertheless, he was completely convincing as the irresistible and unresisting young stud.

He was partnered beautifully, in both senses, by Abigail Dooley as his "true" love, Sophia Western, while Nick Harman have a splendidly bellicose and consistent one as her father.

Debbie Lane made a marvellous Mrs Waters, and Rupert Maas was imposing as Captain Fitzpatrick, while Charlotte Goddard emerged as an elegantly false Mrs Fitzpatrick.

There were many other fine performances in the huge cast, many of them of tiny roles, but director Eric Yardley blended them all into a consistent and satisfying whole.

The set, designed by Graham Osborne, who also played Tom's uncle, Squire Allworthy, was excellent, although changing the name of the inn at Upton in order to make a cheap joke, was hardly necessary.

Lighting, by Chris Davies was a fine feature of the production, as was the sound, each adding to the final exciting and vivid picture.
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