More talent takes to the stage
20th July 2012
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Our town once more displays talented people living and working here. From the pen of Tony Phillips (actor, writer and Hitchinite) comes a reworking of the tense Hitchcock thriller 'Strangers on a Train'. Starring Phillips' granddaughter Lily Norman and Irwin Sparkes, lead singer of The Hoosiers, the play unnerved the audience at the British Schools Museum yesterday as part of

The Norman/Phillips clan includes film director Leslie Norman, film critic Barry Norman and TV presenters Jonathan and Paul Ross. Tony's own background is in music and drama, with a list of acting credits going back thirty years. It's fitting, then, that his latest play should give a part to Irwin, whose background similarly combines music and drama.

I have to claim a conflict of interest where Lily is concerned - while teaching at Hitchin Girls' School a few years ago, she was a Media student of mine. Difficult to teach film to someone whose family has lived and breathed it for decades, but we got on well and she definitely showed a flair for all things creative.

Last night's play was short but tense: Irwin's portrayal of that annoying person who sometimes imposes on your solitude turning to a very dark side. Both characters were believable and 'ordinary'. Lily was a blonde student, simply going from A to B until her path crossed that of Irwin's psychotic film buff. As conversation developed between the two, elements of humour crept in that helped temporarily dissipate the tension.

All in all, a nice tribute to the Hitchcock original by a local team and something we should be proud of as a community. Any film-makers out there want to develop it further? Give it a nice title sequence and you could start a revival. Tony Phillips Presents, perhaps?

About the Author

Hilary R

Member since: 31st May 2012

Writer and sax player. Brought up in Hitchin and - apart from uni and some ensuing madness of life in London - I've always lived here.

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