|The Sorcerer||Dec 1963|
|A Man for all Seasons||Dec 1964|
|Twelfth Night||Dec 1966|
|Serjeant Musgrave's Dance||1968|
(performed 6-8th December 1963)
Constance and the Notary
Dr Daly and Mrs Partlet
The Programme (4 pages with signatures)
Chorus of Villagers
A Man for all Seasons
(11-13th December 1964)
The Programme ...
... select a page
The Common Man Wolsey & More Cranmer, Norfolk, Cromwell & Assistant
Strephon, an Arcadian shepherd, wants to marry Phyllis, a ward of the Court of Chancery. Phyllis does not know that Strephon is half fairy -- down to the waist. When Phyllis sees Strephon kissing an apparently young woman, she assumes the worst. But her "rival" turns out to be none other than Strephon's own mother, Iolanthe, a fairy -- fairies never grow old. But Phyllis' guardian, the Lord Chancellor of England, and half the peers in the House of Lords are sighing after her. Soon the peers and the fairies are virtually at war, and long friendships are nearly torn asunder. As in Trial by Jury, the Legal Mind comes up with a clever solution to the problem.
CAST : The Lord Chancellor, Mr. M. Brand ; Earl of Mountararat, Trevor Wilson ; Earl Tolloller, Leo Barnes ; Private Willis of the Grenadier Guards, William Weston ; Strephon, an Arcadian Shepherd, Philip Trett ; Queen of the Fairies, Bridget Flaxman; Iolanthe, a Fairy, Strephon's Mother, Nicola Chittock ; Fairies, Celia, Thelma Worby; Delia, Carol Combe ; Leila, Ruth Moss; Fleta, Christine Brown ; Phyllis, an Arcadian Shepherdess and Ward in Chancery, Eileen Forster ; Train-bearer to Lord Chancellor, Gerald Wynne ; Chorus of Dukes, Marquises, Earls, Viscounts and Barons, Jeffrey Amis, John Carver, Derek Chown, Clive Crouch, Alan Dean, Adrian Dubock, David Eddy, Timothy Fitt, Alan George, Stephen Hazard, David Holloway, Peter Kemp, Andrew Latten, Adrian Marfleet, Hamish McLay, David Mobbs, Stephen Oliver, Ian Palmer, Gregory Powell, Theodore Stibbons, Clive Swetman, William Weston ; Chorus of Fairies, Margaret Amberton, Margaret Barclay, Penelope Buck, Sarah Coggles, Jane Cordle, Margaret Cornwell, Anita Dorok, Elizabeth Emerson, Margaret George, Sally Howell, Penelope Jacobs, Christine Lawton, Perdita Morgan, Stephanie Randle, Catharine Sadler, Jane Stollery, Barbara Timbrell, Susan Watts, Hilary Weaver, Linda Worsfold .
Choirmaster : Mr. Berry .
Producer : Mr. Garrard .
Ladies' Costumes : designed by Miss Johnston, and made at the College by members of the cast, assisted by Miss Johnson, Miss Watson, Sarah Betts, Elizabeth Case, Linda Jarvis, and others .
Scenery constructed and erected : under the direction of Mr . Mullenger and Mr. Moore.
Scenery designed : by Miss Colls and Mr . Mullenger, and painted by Miss Colls, assisted by Nicholas Barton, Catherine Bowden, Judith Chambers, Alan Davies, Roger Hayward, Amanda Peace, Caroline Stubbings, John Whyte .
Make-up : under the direction of Miss Bowles and Mr . Prescott, assisted by Linda Bunting, Judith Chambers, Christine Gavan, Judith Lord, Jane Mullenger, Priscilla Noon, Amanda Peace, Valery Pyne, Caroline Stubbings, Patricia Yeldon .
Dances : arranged by Mrs. Herrington .
Lighting : David Clitheroe, Richard Fuller, Philip Harvey, Duncan Jones ;
Stage Manager : Mr. Prescott ;
House Managers : Mr. Staveley, Mr . Siviour, Mr. Fox .
Programme Cover : design by Margaret Cornwell .
Messrs Garrard and Berry directing a rehearsal, with Trevor Wilson delivering a solo. The photo shows the well-engineered modular stage (a product of the workshops?). Names? Carol Combe in the long socks. Thelma Worby sitting at the front of the stage? Peers and an Arcadian princess. Back row 6th left (4th right) Theo Stibbons. Trevor Wilson and Eileen Forster in the foreground. More names? Eileen Forster .... Queen of the Fairies (left) - Bridget Flaxman. Trevor Wilson, Thelma Worby, Carol Combe, ... then probably Christine Moss and Ruth Brown (in that order?). 'A very susceptible Chancellor' - Michael Brand. Bridget Flaxman saying/singing something to amuse the assembly, including William Weston at the sentry box. "I recognise the 4th fairy from the right - she liked 'sandalwood' scent, but I can't remember her name!" - Adrian Dubock.
(PDF file - 120KB)
Serjeant Musgrave's Dance
Programme (4 pages)
John Ord (Parson) & John Langham (Mayor)
Anne Thorsen (Annie) & John Scott (Private Hurst) The whole cast
David Holloway (Serjeant Musgrave) & Ian Hamilton (Private Attercliffe)
David Holloway (Serjeant Musgrave)
Write-up in the 1969 College Magazine
"Serjeant Musgrave's Dance" by John Arden, marks a break with the traditional non-didactic school plays, and was an unusual though successful choice for the College production. The story concerns the quest of an obsessed sergeant in charge of a group of deserters, and the action takes place in a Northern mining town in the last century. Musgrave is obsessed with a need to engineer what he calls logic—the killing of the people he feels are responsible for the death of his comrade in a Colonial war. The play is anti-violence, for Musgrave fails when he attempts to use violence as a means of protesting against violence—"two wrongs do not make a right", as the saying goes.
Despite the many changes of scene in the play, the production was smooth, and good use was made of the two stages. The audience's imagination was taxed by the sparse scenery, which evoked each scene rather than represented it. The lighting, too, helped this process of evocation, but at times it was rather too harsh and one-sided. The simplicity of the sets was essential if the play was to progress with the minimum amount of interruption. Of the two major set changes required, one was during the interval, whilst an attempt was made to add interest to the other through pre-recorded music. Whether or not this verged on the melodramatic is a matter of opinion, but it was an attempt to connect the two acts in an original way. Where the use of pre-recorded music was effective was in Musgrave's "dance" itself, his apocalyptic words augmented by jagged music. Apart from the use of recorded music and sound effects, there were other innovations for a College production. There was no curtain, and the actors changed scenes while the lights were dimmed, thus giving an effect of continuity. The use of two stages in this respect has already been mentioned.
The acting ranged from expressive to wooden. Holloway, Hamilton and Rowe played their parts with the most feeling, although Ord projected the hypocritical parson well. Holloway had the largest part. Sergeant Musgrave himself, and his performance ranged from ecstatic to despairing. His menacing gyrations beneath the skeleton, his pious praying beneath the lamp, his half-demented ravings in bed all gave the impression that Holloway had become Musgrave. It was the same with Hamilton, who played Private Attercliffe—anger, pathos, resignation, a pacifist who accidentally killed his comrade. All these emotions were portrayed with the same skill as Holloway portrayed Musgrave. Rowe buffooned and fell through the part of Bludgeon, throwing himself into his performance. It was hard to tell whether he acted as well as the other two—his part calls for a narrow range of emotions and more clowning than acting.
The part of the parson was taken by Ord who played his stereotyped hypocrite well. However, the part was stereotyped, and the author has made the parson's character clear. Still, Ord could be heard, and he helped to convey the hypocrisy.
Another feature of "Serjeant Musgrave" is that there were few female parts, and so each part was taken by alternate actresses in alternate performances. There were two female parts - Annie, a young "whore to the soldiers" and a barmaid, and Mrs. Hitchcock, who owns the pub. Heather Ramsay, playing Annie, was more aloof than Anne Thorsen, who also took this part, but she projected Annie's personality more forcefully. Annies' cynicism was conveyed more strongly in her performance, although Anne Thorsen seemed more coarse. The two girls playing Mrs. Hitchcock were Deborah Moore and Mollie Mallet, and, although Mollie Mallet projected her voice more strongly into the hall, Deborah Moore looked and sounded more like a North country landlady. Her main fault was that it was difficult to hear her, although she improved in this as time went on.
The remaining actors were all male, and Elsegood certainly stands out as one of the best actors in the play. As an angry union leader, trying to hold his men together in a strike, he shouted, argued and almost fought—all of this felt real, unfeigned. The bitterness and the anger of the collier came over to the audience so that they could almost feel the same anger. Elsegood's companion colliers did not stand so well in comparison. They lacked the same fire, and although their performances were audible they were not convincing. The parson's comrade in authority, the mayor, was played by Langham, who marred an otherwise good performance by speaking too quickly.
His jovial patronising air was convincing, however. Ramsay was the policeman—his trouble was that he made the fact that he was acting obvious. Finally, Musgrave's two remaining companions, played by Scott and Jones. Scott stayed on one emotional plane when he should not, but perhaps this was because he could not have made himself heard otherwise. He also had a common fault - he spoke too quickly. Jones acted well, but failed to be convincing because he looked and sounded too refined for the character he was playing. If he had been a little more vulgar, he would have come over well.
"Serjeant Musgrave's Dance", then, rather defied tradition - its message, its use of swearing, the fact that it was written by a modern playwright, and the technical aspects of its production, all mark something new for the College. Breaks with tradition cannot be generalised into good or bad, but have to be judged on their own merits. The College production of "Serjeant Musgrave's Dance" had the best acting and the best direction of all the annual productions I have seen.
PRIVATE SPARKY ................................. David Jones
PRIVATE HURST......................................John Scott
PRIVATE ATTERCLIFFE.........................lan Hamilton
BLUDGEON, a bargee.............................Nicholas Rowe
SERJEANT MUSGRAVE.........................David Holloway
THE PARSON ...........................................John Ord
MRS. HITCHCOCK ..................................Mollie Mallett/Deborah Moore
ANNIE ........................................................Heather Ramsay/Anne Thorsen
THE CONSTABLE .................................. Andrew Ramsay
THE MAYOR ............................................. John Langham
A SLOW COLLIER ...................................Anthony Cronin
A PUGNACIOUS COLLIER .................... David Payne
WALSH, an earnest collier ...................... John Elsegood
A TROOPER OF DRAGOONS ............... William Quinney
AN OFFICER OF DRAGOONS .............. Christopher Garner
Other colliers .............................................. David Bennett, Derek Watling
The parts of Annie and Mrs. Hitchcock were taken on alternate performances by the girls named.
PRODUCED BY MR.GARRARD.
Costumes for the ladies designed by Miss Colls and made at the College by Jennifer Cole and Patricia Murrell.
Stage and Scenery erected under the direction of Mr. Mullenger and Mr. Moore.
Scenery painted by Miss Johnson, Mary Cameron, Anne Furbank, Robin Sewell.
Make-up directed by Miss Bowles, assisted by Penny Bishop, Lynne Garton, Barbara Harvey, Barbara Howe, Helen Legg, Judith Rollings, Ann Wright, Dorothy Wyer.
Songs chosen and rehearsed by Miss Essam.
Lighting: Mr. Parsons, David Baldry, John Hinchliffe, Nicholas Wincott.
Stage Managers: Miss Mackenzie, Helen Douglas.
House Managers: Mr. Staveley, Mr. Noble, Miss Gasser, Miss Wilson.
Cover design of programme: Robin Sewell.
Programme Front Cover Four photos
Write-up in the 1970 College Magazine
Mr. Garrard's biennial excursion into the topsy-turvy world of Gilbert and Sullivan was as successful as its three predecessors, and in some respects outshone them. "The Mikado" is not the easiest of operas to produce, for although the music is very pleasing and contains some of Sullivan's best-loved tunes, the costume in general is unprepossessing, ungainly, and particularly difficult to manage on the stage by inexperienced players. Every time a movement across stage was pending, there seemed to be a deal of female leg-swishing to get trailing kimonos into position for the off! Hats also had an inhibiting effect, so that a determination to keep them on, or at least straight, led to some very stiff-necked movement. In fact, if one is to get adverse criticism out of the way to start with, one must state that much of the acting was wooden, partly accountable by the reasons just given.
Gilbert and Sullivan lyrics and tunes are so familiar to older people that they tend to forget that to the average school audience they are completely fresh and altogether foreign to modern trends. The fact that members of the chorus go around for weeks chanting singly or in groups their favourite airs does help to popularise them a little, certainly, but it says much for the quality of this pop music of the past that it very quickly gains its new fans in each new generation. Some of the Sixth intelligentsia feel obliged to pooh-pooh it as typical bourgeois pap, but on the whole it is still well received, and the performers themselves obviously enjoy singing it. They certainly gave that impression in this production, anyway.
The chorus work, therefore, was one of the best features, and Miss Essam can take considerable credit for moulding the normal college choir plus untrained reinforcements into such a tuneful homogeneity. The orchestra also was welded from all the talents available, including members of the teaching staff and the County Grammar School, and they gave enjoyment to themselves and the audience. It was pleasing to see Willy Weston amongst them once more.
As in former years the outstanding principal was Mr. Brand in the plum part of Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner. We have come to take for granted his verve, musicality and excellent sense of timing, and one cannot doubt that the producer must thank his stars for having at least one mainstay to take some of the strain. May we hope that Mr. Rice-Oxley will become another ? He played Pooh Bah with just the right blend of sneer and conscious ferocity, and his voice was powerful.
This could not be said of the voices of David Bennett and Christopher Eddy, who performed well when the music was within their scope, but who had some awkward moments at other times. This, I feel, tended to inhibit their acting, for neither gave the impression that there was much fun in being on stage, though it might be said of Eddy that he was the embodiment of Eastern inscrutability - his expression never changed.
The three little girls from school looked charming and sang prettily — Pauline Vincent, Louise Oxley and Stella Sparks. The latter showed the most vivacity, the others had the better singing voices. Ingrid Meyer had real presence and dignity in her acting of Katisha, and made a good job of this difficult contralto part. Finally the Mikado, very well acted by Robin Sewell, had a memorable make-up which made him look like Genghis Khan.
On the whole the make-up was more professional than in previous productions, and the costumes were particularly commendable, for not only were they designed by Miss Colls and made at the College, but the Kimono patterns were printed and appliquéd by members of the Fourth Forms. The scenery was simple but extremely effective in conveying a sense of the orient, and all who helped Miss Johnson and Mr. Mullenger in its design and construction are to be congratulated.
There is no doubt that all the audiences thoroughly enjoyed this production, and as this is the main object of any producer, Mr. Garrard and all his assistants can be well satisfied with the results of the very hard work they put into it.
THE MIKADO OF JAPAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robin Sewell
NANKI-POO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Bennett
KO-KO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. M. Brand
POOH-BAH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. A. Rice-Oxley
PISH-TUSH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christopher Eddy
YUM-YUM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pauline Vincent
PITTI-SING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Louise Oxley
PEEP-BO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stella Sparks
KATISHA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ingrid Meyer
CHORUS OF SCHOOL GIRLS:
Angela Ash, Penny Bishop, Jayne Booking, Caroline Browne, Christine Collins, Clare Cooke, Sara Dearden, Barbara Goodwin, Daryl Hughes, Rosemary Jacobs, Lorelie Kentish, Suzanne Lewis, Rosemary Liffen, Elizabeth Marter, Janice McAvoy, Julia Mingay, Juliette Morgan, Patricia Murrell, Susan Napier, Kathryn Oxiey, Anne Pond, Carol Rudd, Margaret Sayers, Penelope Start, Heather Waddell, Caroline Waring.
CHORUS OF NOBLES:
Michael Barford, Stephen Booty, David Bowerin, Bruce Carman, David Cox, Stephen Dobbin, Timothy Edwards, Alan Harvey, Peter Hearmon, Andrew Holmes, Terence Moore, Julian Musgrave, Derek Powell, William Quinney, James Roberts, Timothy Rowan, lan Smith, Pietro Stasi, Clive Tully, Derek Watling, lan West, Kenneth Whitall, Philip Williamson, Terence Wright, Alastair Younger.
GUARDS AND COOLIES:
Andrew Bawden, Steven Bishop, Charles Jenkins, Roger Keely, Stephen Mason, Gary O'Shea.
KO-KO'S ATTENDANT: David Giblett.
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC MISS S. ESSAM
PRODUCED BY MR. R. GARRARD
Wymondham College Remembered - Rolls neater, smokes sweeter