Since opening in March 2018 The Barn at Cirencester has never ceased to impress with their productions. They are always organic, familiar and feel-good as well as exciting and boundary-pushing.
Daddy Long Legs is no different. The only musical running this year, this production is a Cinderella story with love letters and mysterious correspondence. They’ve taken on the tale based off the musical, which is based off the 1955 Fred Astaire movie, which is based off the 1912 novel. Although this production goes right back to the original novel with a considerable amount of dialogue taken straight from the book.
“Poor Jerusha Abbott” grows up as an orphan and is whisked away to be educated paid for by a mysterious fellow who she nicknames Daddy Long Legs. She writes him letters keeping him up to date on her Latin lessons and new best friends and assumes he is an 80 year old bald man, but all is not as it seems…
Rebecca Jayne-Davies is perfect at capturing the youthful Jerusha Abbott. She was captivating, dynamic and exuded energy. Her ‘Daddy Long Legs’/John Smith/Jervis Pendleton played by Ryan Bennett kept up well with the leading lady, making the pair a strong duo to carry the entire two and a half hour production.
Rebecca and Ryan are both outstanding actors, with Rebecca in particular showing her diversity as she impersonated Mrs Lipett and fellow orphans. Their relationship puts a smile on your face and brings a warm fuzzy feeling to you heart, in fact the whole production does.
The pair were accompanied on stage by a cellist, guitarist and pianist who kept the production flowing with the fabulous soundtrack written by Paul Gordon. The three were brilliant at taking part as actors as well as setting the tone and atmosphere for the scenes.
The scenery is gorgeous with letters pasted across the walls and books cascading from shelves. There is no detail unthought of and no avenue unexplored. It’s this sort of focus, energy and heart that is poured into the Built By Barn productions that makes them so special.