Rural Yorkshire. George, a farmer, has been cast in the Mystery Plays being performed in York, a bus ride away from his isolated farm. A man of the land, he has proved his worth as an amateur actor, but has been missing rehearsals due to the demands of his job and a lack of interest. During teatime, when the family ties and bonds are established, John arrives, the Assistant Director, to persuade George to come to rehearsal. Peter Gill’s tender, beautiful play, follows the love affair of George and John as the play rehearses and then performs, the tragedy being that neither of them can leave their environment and commit to each other in a time when homosexuality was illegal. For bohemian John, how could he move into the farmhouse without arousing suspicion and far from the theatre work he loves? And George’s roots are so firmly in the ground he will never leave, not even after his mother’s death when he could take his chance and change. On a perfectly created set by Bob Neville and team, an excellent cast play out the many depths of the characters, what is unsaid and hinted at being more important than the everyday trivia and routine that is chatted about. Wayne Setford, fresh from his triumph in Shrek the musical, gives George an earthy masculinity, and a beautiful tenderness that he shares in private with Nick Edgeworth’s John, successfully conveying the joy and the heartbreak of love in equal measure. The rock that everyone revolves around is Mother, a superb performance by Jennifer Horn, practical and loving, and making the audience wonder, when she invites John to stay overnight and he’ll have to “share with George”, how much she knows and tacitly approves of. His sister, Barbara, down to earth, certainly knows, as she quietly points out he can leave after Mother’s death. It’s a insightful performance from Hanna Nunn, and she works well with Adam Duarte-Dias, playing her husband Arthur, both creating a realistic, working class and weary marriage. Religion is also another restriction on feelings, and Josephine Carter beautifully conveys Doreen’s faith, and her quiet yearning for George. The excellent cast is completed by George Penny, stepping in at the last minute, playing young Jack, his wanderings around the fields and his reluctance to go home indicating that he will be the first one to leave the tender trap of his family. Daniel Dunt’s direction chimes perfectly with the text, it’s understated and heart-breaking but the cast also relish the humour of the play. There are moments when the production needs to breathe a bit more, the opening night first half went very fast, due to some nerves, and some of the unspoken moments need to land just a little more. But it’s a highly naturalistic production, a real slice of life from the 1960s, and another Headgate Theatre production to savour