'Moving On'


Last night I attended what I would class as a rather intimate performance of a new production entitled "Moving On" a one woman play written by and starring Michelle Ellerington of Old Forge Productions. This is a theatre company based in Lincolnshire who have performed before at Bowhill House, Selkirk.

"Moving On" is the story of Katherine or Katy, depending at which point we find ourselves as she shares her interesting life with us. It is the story of to quote Michelles own words –"one womans tale of love, life, laughter and living" and right from the first few minutes of this play it was most certainly that. Katherine takes the audience on a journey with her as she reflects on her life from being a little girl sat on her daddys shoulders to a young woman and then through to mother-hood. Along the way we meet her mother, father, nanna, best friend and various other people, all of whom play an important role in this clever, speculative outlook on her life.

The resourceful way in which only two chairs and a table were used only enhanced our vision of when Katherine and her friend Dick were sat in a private box at a theatre for example, or when they were ingeniously moved to render the image of a tennis match. There were times when Katherine would address a relative or friend sat in a chair and to all intents and purposes you could see that person they were there, in the room with you.

The adept and skilful way in which Michelle drew you in evoked a myriad of emotions. I found myself laughing but then all of a sudden crying, empathising with many of the situations she described and then unexpectedly laughing again. The ingenious choice of music throughout only seemed to amplify and appropriately reflect the mood of the scene.

As the play finished and we came to the end of Katherine’s journey and the audience were making their way out of the theatre you could almost hear them pondering their thoughts on what they had just witnessed. I do mean this in a positive way because I’m sure they were doing what I was and that was realising that what you had just observed made you think of your own experiences in life and that together with the people you meet along the way makes us all into who we are today.

In the programme Michelle made a point of saying if there was just one thing in the play that the audience could relate to then she will have succeeded in her aim. Well in my opinion she not only achieved that but far surpassed what I can only imagine her intentions were.

I wish her all the best for her forthcoming productions and truly hope this is a success for her wherever she performs, as it is most deserved and of course hope to see Old Forge Productions again in the not too distant future.


‘That was amazing’, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that before, it was fabulous!’

‘I felt like I was living that life WITH you’ ‘It had something that every man, woman and child could relate to’ 

‘I was laughing one minute and in a split second, I was crying’ 

‘Demonstrated life beautifully’

'Incredible piece of theatre'.

“Congratulations on a stunning performance at the Broadbent Theatre tonight! Quite an emotional roller-coaster, loved every minute.  You were right about the tissues! Wept through a good part of it”! - Bill Bartlett

“Brilliant performance at the Broadbent last night.  Good luck with rest of the tour! 5 Stars!” - Ian Rushby

“I was so impressed with the performance tonight....all those emotions, and changes, all those characters! You portrayed the life of a woman remarkably, amazingly many congratulations, a very difficult task which you pulled off in style! I love the way you speak to the audience, draw them in....very well done. Other things I liked was the set, the music, and the chairs used extremely well to suggest so many scenes. Excellent acting, truly” - Gill Blow

A stunning performance from Michelle and the Old Forge team last night. "Moving On" is certainly very moving....” - Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby

"An excellent evening last Friday; not only because of Michelle Ellerington's captivating and professional performance in ‘Moving On’, but also the opportunity to visit Broadbent Theatre, Wickenby; such a lovely, quaint and intimate theatre, within 20 miles of home, which before last week, I didn't even realise existed! I highly recommend you make the effort to see both. This is a one woman play, written by and starring Michelle and you'll be surprised at the roller coaster, emotional trip, that she takes you on, as she reflects on her life thus far. You’ll also be delighted at the ambience of the theatre. Wandering through hitherto uncharted and  twisting lanes of the Lincolnshire countryside that Friday evening, was like being on a car treasure hunt and we found our pot of gold at the end! Well done Michelle and shake a leg, for all future Old Forge Productions" - Rod Boyers, Kirton in Lindsey.

“Just wanted to say a massive congrats on 'Moving On'. It was so so good! You had the audience right where you wanted them all the way though. Great great acting. A full range of emotions! I envy your talent I really do, and I greatly admire your ambition and how hard you work.  You are quite the example many should look to for how it's done” - Laura Martin

'Shirley Valentine'

"BEING able to hold theatre-goers in a trance for two hours is no mean feat but Michelle Ellerington did just that in Shirley Valentine. The first of three performances saw Apollo Theatre-goers truly absorbed in the emotion and humour of this popular monologue. As if made for the part, Michelle travelled from Lincolnshire for the production, which tells the story of a disgruntled housewife whose life is transformed when she goes on holiday to Greece and meets a new man.
The actress pulled off the Liverpudlian, Greek and Manchunian accents to a tee and gave a word-perfect performance in what must have been an extremely hard script to memorise. Particularly impressive was the way she successfully found the balance between the comedy and sentiment of this thought-provoking piece.
Her quips, sarcasm and jokes provoked regular bouts of laughter but her nostalgic daydreams also left the audience feeling meloncholy, revealing Michelle's diverse acting ability. Her stage presence was what really made the show a hit, while her use of facial expression and movement made her character likeable and kept the audience enthralled throughout.
Money raised from the show will be split between Newport's Earl Mountbatten Hospice and Cancer Research UK."  
- Lorraine Parker, Isle of Wight County Press

"It was absolutely incredible. She just captivated the audience. It easilly rivalled the London stage performance with Pauline Collins. It was mesmerising" - A. Millett, Scotter
"I saw the show a few years ago with Pauline Collins in the West End, and this was equally as good. She held the audience really well. This lady is a fine actress. She never faltered" - D.Moore, Messingham

"Just to say you were absolutely marvellous last night at Old Nick - what a performance! Bravo to Michelle and all the team. This was a special night. Superb acting.....Congratulations to you all" - G.Blow, Gainsborough

'Talking Heads'

"The latest event, staged by Old Forge Productions, was of two well-known Alan Bennett “Talking Heads” plays – A Chip in the Sugar and Bed Among the Lentils. Old Forge Productions are building up quite a following locally, having brought excellent productions to the region in previous years. As this indicates, they are not afraid of tackling the well known. On each occasion Michelle Ellerington has played a very convincing starring role. A warm and appreciative audience were drawn into her peformance as Susan, the vicar’s wife in Bed Among the Lentils, as she led us through the tale of the alcoholic wife trying to cope with her insensitive husband and his super-efficient, fussing, flower-arranging fan club. Switching from the extremes of tear-generating humour to heart-breaking sadness, she mastered Bennett’s script brilliantly. Andy Pontin, in the challenging role of Graham in A Chip in the Sugar, had the unenviable task of following in the footsteps of the master himself, but in his performance we saw and heard the Bennett character very convincingly portrayed. A middle-aged man with mental health problems, who is living with his mother, he has his life turned upside down when an old flame of hers enters their lives. Switching ably from the familiar Leeds accent to those of other characters in the tale. Carefully selected extracts of music linked the scenes of both plays, supporting the ever changing moods. Old Forge Productions specialise in providing small cast touring productions and an intimate venue is a perfect show case for their work.' - Galloway Gazette

 "A delight to be able to enjoy such good entertainment delivered by two very talented people. I'M just waiting for the next show. Thank you very much for an enjoyable evening" - J R Robinson

‘Brilliant show tonight! Excellent acting, very intimate performance. If you can go on Saturday, do, it's a great night out!’ - R.Cooper, Crowle

‘Just wanted to let you know we thoroughly enjoyed the performance tonight. Both actors did the material great justice.’ – G.Thorpe, Gainsborough

‘Outstanding acting by Andy and Michelle. Very thought-provoking and true to life, for some. Had a very enjoyable evening, anyone who wants a good night’s entertainment get yourself down there.’ - A.Barley, Scotter

‘Excellent show tonight at The Old Nick. If you've a free night tomorrow I suggest you go along and see it.’ -C.Blackwell, Gainsborough

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