An entertaining and slightly disturbing first night out

After a couple of months unwell and now recovering, my first night out was the chance to see some extraordinary performances in 'Vernon God Little' at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin.

Barney Taylor put in an impressively nuanced performance as Vernon, accused of an increasing list of murders in small town America. The language was fruity and subject matter difficult but Barney - together with his fellow actors - made it credible. The audience went from laughter to shock and several of us were close to tears a few minutes before the end. Themes as tricky as gun control, domestic violence and philandering men were handled in a way that was not always sensitive but always made us think.

Every once in a while, Big Spirit (the youth theatre arm of Bancroft Players) produces an actor who deserves to go far. I could list those in recent years I'm keeping an eye on, but that wouldn't be fair. Similarly this year, at least three of this cast deserve greatness. A bit of hard work alongside their undoubted talent might just fix that.

Directed by two talented women juggling full-time careers with herding these cool cats, the play included a live band on stage. And all the musicians were part of Big Spirit. Impressive.

The night was exhausting as a first one out in difficult circumstances but not once did I wish I could leave.