01 Pam Harston - 02 John Clarke - 03 Ann Britton
Standing - 01 Mr McPherson - 02 Maurice Turner - 03 Peter Kelly - 04 Roger Mellor - 05 Peter Oliver
06 XXX Broomhead - 07 Fred Snow - 08 Mr Bailey
Seated - 01 Helen Davies - 02 Miss Thorold - 03 Brenda Bullard
Standing - 01 Pam Harston - 02 Michael Cowes - 03 XXX - 04 XXX - 05 Margaret Thomson - 06 XXX
07 Robert Mulvey - 08 Lawrence Mulhearn - 09 XXX - 10 XXX -
11 XXX - 12 XXX - 13 Maureen Marshall - 14 June Bowers
Seated - 01 David Roberts - 02 Ann Britton - 03 John Clarke
Every year at rehearsals those of us backstage mutter, "This play's awful; they'll never have it ready", and every year we are proved wrong - so wrong in fact that our public tells us each year that the play has never been so good.
This year, as in previous years, the credit for any success must go to Mr. Bailey, the producer, who with infinite skill and patience changes gauche and indifferent sixth formers into a team of competent actors, without ever losing his temper or raising his voice.
However, such calm does not prevail everywhere. The audience, seeing our finished production, does not realize the panic which exists back-stage even during the performance, much less that which has reigned during rehearsals. Those elaborate wigs - yes, they were put in curlers every day. And that other less elaborate wig, which strongly resembled a coconut, had to go to the hairdresser's for a "perm" - with disastrous results. Only hard work with needles, cotton and safety pins, and frantic last-minute visits to the theatrical costumier ensured that the cast did not look like a group of poor relations. The forms which visited the art room during the painting of the scenery will realize under what difficulties that was done.
But we all enjoyed it immensely: even those of us who, caught on the stage as the curtains opened, made unexpected public appearances. Although we stood in the wings and held our breaths when the unrehearsed incidents occurred, or searched vainly for the character who was due on stage the next minute, or endlessly powdered countless shiny faces and swore we would never have anything to do with a play again, we shall be there.
And what of the actors? Nothing can minimize their achievement. They tackled a difficult play with a confidence worthy of far more experienced players. Perhaps the full sparkle of seventeenth century Gallic wit was not attained, but the broader comic aspects were well played. The production moved smoothly and a good pace was maintained in spite of lengthy scenes of dialogue.
It would be invidious in such an even performance to single out individuals. Those stalwarts of recent years, Maureen Marshall, John Clarke and Robert Mouldy, again gave first-rate performances, and special mention must be made of those many members of the cast who overcame "nerves" and lack of belief in their own abilities, and made first appearances in this play with so much success.
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