For a three-hand play Lotty’s War deserves a capacity audience next week.
Just look at the cast. Ian Reddington may have duelled with Christopher Lambert in the original Highlander but is best remembered for his roles in Coronation Street (Vernon), EastEnders and Robin Hood.
In his native Sheffield he’s the actor behind Relish, a film celebrating Sheffield’s most famous export (with Pulp and Ian) - Henderson’s Relish. Which makes Lancashire Sauce look like a pale also-ran and Worcester sauce positively wimpy.
Victoria Emslie is not only on stage for the duration of the show but has run a marathon in film terms too. She’s appeared with Eddie Redmayne twice - in The Theory of Everything and The Danish Girl. Then there was a stint as Lady Edith’s secretary Audrey in Downton Abbey. She’s rapidly carving out an international fan base too - regularly featuring in glossy magazine spreads.
Add War Horse’s Matt Ruttle to the mix and you know this is going to be a theatrical tour de force for all the lack of numbers on stage.
It comes to the Grand ahead of a West End run - here from Monday through to Saturday. The drama is set in German-occupied Guernsey in the Second World War and won rave reviews when it played the island.
It’s a cracking piece of writing by islander Giuliano Crispini, inspired by the real life diaries found in the vaults of Guernsey, one of the least documented of the Channel Isles when it comes to the Occupation.
It opens with the Germany invasion in 1940 with Lotty grieving her father - lost as the Luftwaffe bomb the harbour. She refuses to flee, watches the last boat leave, and waits for the inevitable.
Lotty (Charlotte Herve) is pitted against a triangle which tests love and loyalties - becoming dangerously attracted to the German commander General Rolf Bernberg quartered at her home while attempting to maintain illicit radio contact with her love Ben, a member of the Resistance.
The fact it’s based on a true story makes it all the more remarkable - and the reviews have reflected as such en route to the resort. It’s been hailed as mesmerising and a must see and the calibre of the cast ensures it will attract some first timers to theatre as well as regulars.
It runs nightly 7.30pm, matinees Wed and Sat 2pm. Box office (01253) 290190.