City Grammar School Play June 1946

The Choral Society's production of "Iolanthe" marks not only a new venture in the School's history, but also a remarkable achievement of dramatic and musical art.

"Iolanthe" is so firm a favourite and contains so many familiar "hits" that one expects the production to be popular. Perhaps one doubted the ability of the School to find enough varied talent to make its production more than merely efficient. We have a tradition in straight acting and a reputation for choral singing, but could we stage an opera? There is no doubt about the answer. If one is to judge by crowded and delighted audiences, by the evident enjoyment of the cast, and by the educational value of a happy co-operative association of about a hundred pupils and thirteen staff, then one cannot avoid the conclusion that this must be not an isolated event, but the first of many.

The production was a personal triumph for Mr. Beale. His gentle and firm direction brought to life an artistic design in setting, a precise and rhythmic pattern of movement and an almost professional technique of restrained gesture. His success was the fruit of detailed analysis and careful preparation. He also played the Lord Chancellor, on whose part hangs the unity and from whose humours, depends the character of the opera. His pleasant voice, his clear diction, his suave and suggestive gestures, his agile yet regulated action deservedly won him great applause - "a clean old gentleman".

The performance of Fry, Senior, as Private Willis, was an outstanding success. He used his voice to fine effect and his coy manner was a delight, Mrs. Beale played the Fairy Queen with aplomb and professional sureness of touch. Her "Oh, foolish fay," was charmingly sung. Phyllis and Strephon were played by Gwenneth Chatterton and Bullivant. They were excellently cast and matched. They sang with the ease of long experience and their acting was graceful and deft. Tolloller and Mountararat (D. Hobson and A. Fry) gave great satisfaction. Their trio with the Chancellor, "Faint hear never won fair lady," was a high spot in the performance, being an excellent illustration of the precise timing and measured movement which characterized the whole production. Jacqueline Urquhart, Denise Cooper and Barbara Ashby played the principal fairies attractively. The chorus work was very effectively done, peers with solemn dignity marched round and fairies wove tripping patterns across the stage. One wondered at the hosts who moved so gracefully in so small a space.

loanthe - Jacqueline Betts                                 Lord Mountararat - Tony Fry
Strephon - Tony Bullivant                                  Lord Tololler - David Hobson
                                                                           Bill Dyson noted the position of the hands in this photo
                                                                           and christened it " Stitch and Stomach Ache"

Each Night Bill Dyson did the make up for just one of the Chorus of Peers.
John Barton (above) was made up to look as though he suffered from gout.

From the left :-
Lord Chancellor - Mr Stanley Beale               Lord Mountararat - Tony Fry             Lord Tololler - David Hobson.

From the left :-

Iolanthe - Jacqueline Betts              Strephon - Tony Bullivant         Chorus of Peers
Lord Mountararat - Tony Fry           Phyllis - Gwenneth Chatterton         Lord Tololler - David Hobson

Chorus of Fairies and in front from the left :-

Fairy Queen - Mrs Hilda Beale               Iolanthe - Jacqueline Betts                Lord Chancellor - Mr Stanley Beale

Private Wills - Harry Fry                              Lord Chancellor - Mr Stanley Beale
Fairy Queen - Mrs Hilda Beale                             Phyllis - Gwenneth Chatterton

The dainty little Fairies

The Principals

Iolanthe introduces her son, Strephon, to the Fairy Queen

The Fairy Queen meets Private Wills



From the left :-

Anthony Fry - Gwynneth Chatterton - David Hobson

From the left :-

Mr Stanley Beale - Anthony Fry - David Hobson

Stage hands.

One wishes to congratulate all who contributed to the success of the show, and especially Mr. Shield and his stagehands, Miss Johnson and Miss Hall for the scenery, Mr Dyson for the lighting, Miss Hammonds for the business management, the perruquiers, and not least the Orchestra led by Mr. L. Rhodes, under the expert baton of Mr. Taylor