Touring company mirrors author's thirst for adventure
Travels with my Aunt '“ currently enjoying a stage revival with acclaimed theatre company Creative Cow - will be performed at Buxton Opera House next month.
The production marks the 25th anniversary of author Graham Greene’s death.
Katherine Senior, actor and founder member of the theatre company, talks about the latest production: Q. Tell us about your latest production of Travels with my Aunt.
A. The play takes its audience on a whirlwind tour across the world and it plots one very ordinary man’s extraordinary journey of self-discovery – and change. Henry Pulling is a retired, risk averse and rather dull bank manager. His journey from a man effectively retired from life and the world to active participant in the swinging 60s and the vast changes those years brought is begun the moment his Aunt Augusta turns up at her sister’s funeral. From then on his travels begin and his eyes are opened to a whole new – and dangerous – world. Q. Why did you choose this particular play?
A. We love Greene’s thirst for adventure and risk – everything that, in the beginning, Henry Pulling is not.
Greene described ‘Travels’ as ‘the only book I have ever written for the fun of it’ and we like the way this work is a kind of parody of his more serious books. We chose this play because of its timeless appeal – we know it’s going to delight audiences all over the country.
Q. What are the themes of this play?
A. There are two kinds of journey going on – one physical and geographical, the other a journey of self-
discovery and change. The power of travel to transform lives is undeniable.
Q. What are you looking forward to most about this tour?
A. We are very much looking forward to visiting our regular haunts and also going for the first time to Salisbury Playhouse, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Theatre Royal Winchester and Churchill Theatre, Bromley. We have a lovely cast on board which makes for an enjoyable tour.
Q. Why is the company called Creative Cow?
A. Creative Cow happened because the first play we produced (The Private Ear and The Public Eye) was on our director’s farm and when thinking of a name for the company we looked out of the window and there was our answer! We still rehearse on the farm when the weather allows.
Q. What’s been your greatest success?
A. Success is a hard thing to determine. Each tour we do seems to build on the previous and most recently we produced our own version of A Christmas Carol with Exeter Northcott Theatre and played a four-week run over Christmas. We played to over 16,000 people and had a broad range of ages come along which was great. l Travels with my Aunt is at Buxton Opera House from May 2-4. Tickets £20, contact 01298 72190 or www. buxtonoperahouse.org.uk