Team Review for ‘Pollyanna’ – Titchfield Festival Theatre
Adapted and directed by Sarah Miatt
Eleanor H. Parker’s enduring tale of the eternally optimistic Pollyanna is beautifully and vividly brought to life by TFT in this special screened version, cleverly adapted and directed by Sarah Miatt. Pollyanna is a young orphan who is sent to live with her cold and distant Aunt Polly. Pollyanna charms everyone she meets with her positive outlook on life, cheerfully determined to make the best of things! She arrives in the village like a ray of sunshine, sharing her positivity and teaching people her ‘Glad Game’, opening their hearts and minds to appreciate what they have, to put aside past resentments and to come together, a valuable message which particularly resonates at the moment.
Sarah Miatt has ingeniously used the lovely countryside around the theatre to shoot some outdoor scenes, creating the feeling of the production being made ‘on location’. She uses the local area to great effect and this is interwoven with the indoor scenes shot in the theatre. Not only does this creative blend of indoor and outdoor filming give the production an extra dimension, but it also inventively overcomes some of the issues of mounting a production during the current Covid restrictions.
I watched the screening with Emily Felton as Pollyanna. This is such a huge and challenging part to play, as Pollyanna appears in the majority of scenes. Emily shines in the part and plays this brave young heroine to perfection and with such great conviction, giving a truly outstanding and assured performance.Emily is utterly captivating and charming in the role, and completely captures the essence of Pollyanna’s character, melting the hearts of everyone she meets and changing their lives forever with her infectious optimism. A star is born! The ending will have you reaching for the tissues, if you haven’t already!
The cast is a small one due to Covid restrictions, but each cast member gives a strong performance, playing their part well, and is to be commended for rising to the various challenges of mounting a production in such difficult times for live theatre.
‘Pollyanna’ is screening until Sunday 25 April and also features another young star, Jessie Tennant, who shares the title role during the run. This wonderfully engaging and heart-warming production is not to be missed!