The character that sticks out most is that of Anna Tolputt’s Hertha, a neurotic, painfully shy librarian whose hopes in Arthur are cruelly dashed, resulting in the play’s climactic psychic storm.
All the women shine…..Most startling of all, perhaps, is Anna Tolputt as the extraordinarily named Hertha, a bespectacled, bookish image of lovelessness who early on puts a curse on her hateful town, like some strange harbinger of Stephen King’s “Carrie.” Announcing to anyone who will listen that she’d like to die in a storm, Hertha is, I suppose, the play’s sacrificial lamb.
Anna Tolputt shines as the shy, ardent librarian, devastatingly left on the shelf by Arthur.
the almost unbearable poignancy of the homely librarian beautifully played by Anna Tolputt
It is only the death of a lonely librarian, beautifully played by Anna Tolputt, that reminds us of the sadness beneath the civic comedy
Anna Tolputt is exquisite as mousy librarian Hertha
Storm damage comes in the shape of lonely librarian, Hertha, beautifully played by Anna Tolputt
Uniformly strong cast… Anna Tolputt as Hertha, a spinsterish librarian aching for but rejected by Arthur. You can almost feel the hot tears on her cheek.
Arthur's drunken flirtation with repressed librarian Hertha (neat and quietly desperate Anna Tolputt) ends in defiant tragedy….Nothing in either playwright's output could ever be accused of being underwritten, yet their writing is too often overplayed. Not here.
Above all there is Anna Tolputt as that “love of his life”, who as a spirited Miranda simply sparkles, makes one believe, in the nicest possible way, that she really does love men, “beauteous mankind” and that with such people in it the world has to be brave and new. Far and away the finest Miranda I’ve seen on this stage…
Anna Tolputt creates the role of Laura’s weary mother, proud yet humble in adversity and with a tenderness exemplified as she breaks down in despair to her aging father.
There are also some subtly but acutely delineated relationships, in particular that between Laura’s mother (Anna Tolputt) and her depressive father, a bricklayer with more intellect and ambition than his job can satisfy, who drowns his frustrations in drink.
Most heart-rending was the plight of Laura’s mother, Emma, the 'pocket-venus', beautifully drawn by Anna Tolputt. She doesn’t really belong in the village, but is shackled by circumstance.…The ensemble playing was terrific and the production manages, without shirking the serious comment, to be a lively, joyous and rather thrilling evening out.
David Threlfall brings out the mutual aggression between Anna Keaveney's working-class Phoebe and Anna Tolputt's politically militant Jean, ….a defining production.
…there’s not so much chemistry between Anna Tolputt as Hermia and Carl Ferguson as Lysander as sheer electricity…
Anna Tolputt gave a stunning performance as the young teacher, Alice Barbin. Having lived 18 years of her life as a woman, Barbin was diagnosed, by Dr Gilbert Chesnet, played by Alastair Danson, as a biological male.