Modelling Spitfires

The Studio, York Theatre Royal

Julia Pattison in the Pocklington Post

“Yellow Leaf Theatre Company was founded in 2002 to celebrate the voice of experience. Every performer is a seasoned professional with a wide and varied background in theatre and TV. Their new play, Modelling Spitfires (written by one of the founder members of the company, Vanessa Rosenthal), is set in a room in a house in the North of England, winter 2005.

“This three hander deals with psychological menace in a series of deepening revelations that give it an overall feel of a thriller.

“Maurice, (brilliantly portrayed by Chris Wilkinson ) sixty, suffered from schizophrenia. It is great credit to the writer that the play never preached to the audience, yet through the characters we got to see the long term effects on mental illness on the other members of a family. Who is the manipulator and who is the manipulated? At times it was very hard to tell.

“Far from being an all dark play though, Modelling Spitfires contained many moments of laughter and humour; Vanessa Rosenthal, playing Maurice’s long-suffering fifty-six year old sister, proved to be an excellent actress as well as a talented writer. Dee Whitehead made a dramatic entrance at the end of the first half, playing Janet, Maurice’s new found love.

“In the second half of the play, we got to know more about Janet, who seemed to be far more sympathetic to Maurice’s obsession with model aircraft and flying than his sister. All was not as it seemed though, and the tension reached boiling pitch, giving the innocent phrase, “Shall I be Mother?” a whole new meaning.

“A well-performed, quality production that got off to a flying start and soared throughout.”

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