The first thing that struck me as I arrived at The George Hotel was how busy and inviting the auditorium was in the appropriately named Garrick Suite.
Produced by Elle Knight and with lighting and sound by David Ashton and Steve Baker, David Titley gave a tour de force performance and kept the audience spell-bound as he was, for two hours, transformed into St Chad himself.
As the music began and built to a crashing crescendo of thunder and lightning, David or rather St. Chad, took to the stage and prayed to the Lord for his blessing. Well, he certainly gets my blessing, as he gave an unforgettable performance that kept me rapt throughout.
The set was simple, but worked well, there was a delve into the family history of St Chad, and then a meander through the times of the Anglo Saxons and the kingdoms of Britain in the 7th and 8th Century.
Through eventful twists and turns, there were pauses for thought, and some unexpected laughs.
David’s feat of driving the story through the life and times of St Chad, including his time in Ireland, had me instantly transported to the days of yore and the trials he faced.
The crook was his blessed companion, and the horse was used at the insistence of St Theodore for long journeys around his diocese.
The little chair refers to the Greek word for a little chair or stool which is ‘cathedral’.
The cast was just David Titley, who was captivating from the start in his portrayal.
The calm and light humour nature that Titley brings to St Chad was a delight. His references to still-found local Lichfield places and features (the well, of course, hardly needs a mention from me but please do visit when you can and say a prayer) added more layers to the character.
The end of Act 2 was quite moving. With the angels calling, St Chad left us. A huge ovation followed and I left feeling replenished and uplifted.
Surely as much a tribute to Titley as Chad.
This production was an excellent example of the quality of work produced by Intimate Theatre and the Lichfield Festival, and the talent within the local theatre community.