For the very first time the popular police drama, Heartbeat takes to the stage starring some of the TV cast from the ITV series.
It was warmly welcomed by The Churchill Theatre, Bromley this week and whilst I confess to only briefly watching about half an episode of the drama a number of years ago, on Tuesday 16th May 2016 – that all changed! It was a thoroughly enjoyable show that had everything a play needs to take the audience into it’s heart.
This stage adaptation along with the use of some clever video footage and the popular Heartbeat music, recreated a sleepy Yorkshire village, with the majority of the story being set in the Aidensfield Arms, which is run by Gina Bellamy (Carly Cook), as well as up on the moor.
The story itself is based around a stranger in the village who asks to stay at the pub for a few nights, and following a visit from a member of Scotland Yard ‘Special Branch’, everything is not all it appears to be. This results in a rather chaotic turn of events with a bomb being planted in the jukebox – but you’ll have to see for yourself what happens.
Another story which features the likes of PC Young (Steven Blakely), reprising his TV role and David (David Lonsdale) going ‘lamping’ at night which ends up being a rather funny and warming tale! Blakely plays PC Young fantastically well and he had me laughing many times throughout the show – he has a very natural comedic charm which comes across naturally and really suits his character.
The casting for this tour has been done so perfectly, not because it featured some of the TV cast, but because they worked amazingly well together and I felt the genuine connections between each of the characters and the plot line.
The set for this production whilst small, has been designed well and was well used throughout the show. The set made full use of the Aidensfield Arms on one side, for it to revolve and become a piece of moorland or part of a building. There were various scene changes and along with the clever use of music and lighting and this gave the production a warming touch, coupled with the casting and storyline – this made a perfect mid-week show. I could hear many of the audience members signing along to song popular tunes from the 1960’s.
Heartbeat is currently playing at The Churchill Theatre until Saturday 21st May and then continues it’s UK tour – make sure you get tickets to see it – it’s a heartwarming story that will take you back to the 1960’s for a few hours!