Review: We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea

Eastern Angles’ summer offering takes us back to a time when life was so much more simpler and more fun. Children were encouraged to go out to play and just come back at meal times. The days when, (those of us old enough to remember) went out and had real adventures rather than those in some digitised computer game.

These were the days when Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven or Famous Five books had us eager to turn the next page.

Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons pre-dates Blyton’s works and involves the Walker children, John, Susan, Titty and Roger (the Swallows) and their adventures with the Amazons, the Blackett family.

Following the success of the 1930 book Ransome went on to write a whole series and in 1937 “We Didn’t Mean to Go To Sea” saw the Walker children on the River Orwell.

sea02Eastern Angles’ have performed this piece before but now they move to The Hush House at Bentwaters Park with an all-new cast.

The children meet with Jim when he arrives on the Orwell onboard the Goblin and persuade their mother to allow them to spend some time onboard. However things start to go wrong, the engine runs out of petrol, Jim disappears and the yacht begins to drift in the fog.

It’s a delightful story of days gone by when life seemed so much easier and children could be children.

A stellar cast of Rosalind Steele – Susan; Joel Sams – John; Christopher Buckley – Roger and Matilda Howe – Titty all put in outstanding performances.

It’s always difficult having grown-ups playing children, but such is story and performances that you just accept every cast member as children.

The performers are assisted by some great direction, superb set design and sound and lighting which adds to the atmosphere.

The production is of the usual high-standard that we have come to expect from Eastern Angles.

The Hush House, Bentwaters Park, Woodbridge until 9th July

Nene Park, Peterborough, 13th July-17th July.

Box Office 01473 211498 –

Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine
Pictures: Mike Kwasniak