City Grammar 1953 School Play
The Bartered Bride

"The Bartered Bride"

The first words of the opening chorus of "The Bartered Bride" are "Come then let us all be merry", and this atmosphere of happiness was apparent throughout the performance.  Everyone seemed to enjoy himself:  singers, dancers, the audience, and eve those behind the scenes.

When this opera was first suggested for a joint production by the Choral and Dramatic Societies, it was regarded by many as far too ambitious a choice.  In spite of this, singers, actors and dancers were trained, sets painted and built, and costumes made.  Talents hitherto undiscovered were unearthed in many unsuspected places:  confidence increased, and hard work on the part of the cast, Mr Bailey and Mr Taylor resulted in a production of great merit.

Special mention must be made of Enid Hartle's performance as the heroine, Marenka.  She excelled both as a singer and as an actress, and was an example and inspiration to the rest of the cast.  Robert Mulvey, as the simpleton, Vasek, proved that he has a considerable talent for comedy, and a good sense of timing.

Those members of the Dramatic Society not already in the cast provided the circus whose arrival in the village helps to provide the comic background which assures us that all will end happily.  Ballerinas, strong men, acrobats, clowns, a cannibal, a bear, a beautiful Spanish dancer, and even a horse paraded under the ringmaster's guidance.  Their "Dance of the Comedians" was justifiably popular.

This happy combination of singing, dancing and mime, brightly clothed and performed with pace and attack must rank high among the school's achievements.

Finally, a word of censure:  not for those concerned with the opera, but for the rest of the school.  In recent years there has been a lamentable lack of support for school productions.  Students neither attend themselves nor make the least effort to sell tickets to other people, with the result that, financially, neither the opera nor the previous play was a success.  We cannot go on losing money, and it is up to everyone in the school to support the school's production by coming themselves, and bringing their parents and friends with them.