‘The Spiegeltent was at its best when integral to the work. This cannot be better demonstrated than by Ragroof Theatre’s ‘Make Do and Mend’, which transported audiences back in time to a 1940s tea dance. The wooden floor is bought to life by dancers of all ages energetically jiving away to big band music. Just as the audience is getting comfortable with their cuppas, there is an air raid siren. The dancers scatter, and the story begins as a gawky female narrator spills a tin of buttons onto the floor. From these buttons flow a montage of memories, channelled by the six-strong cast. Local people’s reminiscences of living, loving and longing in 1940s Brighton are beautifully evoked through text, movement, gentle comedy and powerful soundscape. Three female performers, gorgeous in pillar box red 40s dresses, seem to totally embody the period as they create exquisite, clear images through elegant gestural choreography. It is difficult to think how else this genuinely poignant piece could be improved. A live band perhaps? Maybe this will happen in Ragroof’s next planned collaboration with older people, a bandstand tour.’
Katie Etheridge, Total Theatre www.totaltheatre.org.uk