Playbox borrows Cambridge actors

Young Cambridge actors have key parts in the coming Playbox Theatre company’s production of The Borrowers which opens I just over a week.

Thomas Briston, Holly Fulforth, Liam Dobson and Lyra Slaughter are among a cast which has only two players over the age of 17.

Cambridge players in The Borrowers, from left – Thomas Briston as Campfurl, Holly Fulforth as Mrs Driver, Liam Dobson as Pod and Lyra Slaughter as the gypsy girl.

The Borrowers has been a satisfying challenge on almost all fronts according to Playbox director Glen Mathews – who has also played at Gaslight in Cambridge.

The Borrowers is set around a family of tiny people who live secretly below a clock in a house located in England  and “borrow” from the big people above them in order to survive.

The play, by Charles Way, is based on a book by Mary Norton.

Key characters are Homily, Pod and Arrietty. Pod goes ‘borrowing’ for items, Homily does the usual domestic jobs and Arrietty becomes even more curious about the life of the ‘Big People’.

The source of the plot is the interaction between the minuscule Borrowers and the “human beans”. The main character Arrietty often begins relationships with the big people that have chaotic effects on the lives of herself and her family, causing her parents to react with fear and worry.

Mathews gained his introduction to theatre through church and school productions before being introduced to the work at Riverlea Theatre.

He has performed in Doubt at Cambridge’s Gaslight Theatre and started his own production company with friend Jason Wing.

Mathews has loved The Borrowers story since he was a child.

“’When I discovered there was a play written for The Borrowers, I knew straight away that I wanted to take on the challenge of recreating the magic of the story on stage. I searched for the script so I could read it – but couldn’t find it anywhere.

”Eventually I was able to contact Charles Way and email him asking where I could purchase a copy from – he very generously emailed me a copy of the script.”

Mathews said the Playbox had been lucky with the cast of this show, ending up with a cast of relative theatre newcomers.

Cherie Lockley and Glen Mathews

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