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Back in 1972, a group of actors from Toronto visited the farmland communities of Ontario in search of material for a devised work – The Farm Play - based on their experiences.

Canadian playwright Michael Healey’s touching 1999 three hander pays tribute to those who took part, focussing on a student actor, Miles, and the two men, (Angus and Morgan) friends from boyhood and World War II veterans, who let him observe and take part in their day to day lives.

The play takes its title from the artistic skills Angus hoped to develop – before, that is, a wartime accident in London addled his memory and limited his future. He can handle the farm accounts and make sandwiches, but that’s about it, and his chief delight is listening to Morgan tell their story over and over again.

Eleanor Rhode’s production is beautifully played – by Simon Lee Phillips as the gullible townie Miles who appropriates their personal history and uncovers the truth, and by Neil McCaul as the gruff yet tender Morgan whose relationship with John Bett’s childlike, dependant Miles evokes echoes of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
 
 

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Theatre review: The Drawer Boy by Canadian playwright Michael Healey at Finborough
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