City Grammar July 1957 School Play
The Winter's Tale


Henry Hinchcliffe as Florizel - Anne Duke as Perdita

Peter Clark
Pamela Harston - Paulina
Michael Duckworth - Polixenes
Malcolm Yorke - Leontes
Hazel Cooper - Hermione
Norma Shepherd - Mopsa
Mavis Earnshaw
Valerie Carr
Christopher Linskill
XXX Drury
Mavis Knight - Dorcas
Bill Thompson
Michael Wolstenholme - Autolycus
Anne Duke - Perdita
Henry Hinchcliffe - Florizel

"The Winter's Tale"

We must congratulate the Dramatic Society on its production of Shakespeare"s "The Winter's Tale", which was played in the School Hall, on three successive nights, to enthusiastic audiences.

The play deals with a king's unfounded suspicions of his wife.  This jealous tyrant, Leontes, was skilfully portrayed by Malcolm Yorke, and his patient and forgiving wife by Hazel Cooper.  Considerable talent was displayed also by Pamela Harston in her vital role as Paulina, and by Michael Wolstenholme who played the rascally but likeable rogue, Autolycus.  Anne Duke made a charming and sweet Perdita.  Nevertheless, the success of the play was due not merely to these outstanding members, but also to the talented co-operation shown by the remainder of the cast - and we must include here, stagehands, electricians and all who helped to make things run so smoothly.

The audience derived much pleasure from the musical arrangements by Mr. Taylor and Dr. Linstead.  We are extremely grateful to both, and especially to Dr. Linstead, who composed some of the songs for the occasion.  High praise, too, must be given to the costumes and to the scenery, which once again provided an ideal background to the play.  Make-up and lighting were also most efficient.

Some comic moments of the play were no less hilarious because they were unrehearsed.  No one who was present will forget the "terrified Antigonus" chasing the "savage bear".  And the visible success of each performance gave no indication of the confused mass of bodies backstage, which ensured that entrances were made on time, that lightning flashed and plywood rolled when necessary, that beards looked real, and that the right scene was ready for curtain time.

Barbara Hunt -  Sandra Woodhead


What You Didn't See!   -   by Anon, Form 4A

Did you consider, when you were sitting comfortably in your seat in the School Hall, watching the "The Winter's Tale", what might be happening at that very moment back-stage?  (By back-stage I don't mean merely those few square yards immediately behind the scenery;  I mean the length and breadth of the upper corridor from the Library to the Headmaster's study).

Our boundaries were set by the stage upstairs, the girls' entrance, and a blackboard in the middle of the top corridor which forbade us to go any further.  (Of course no one noticed if we exceeded those limits occasionally!)  An hour before the curtain was to rise on the first act the Library was a hustle and bustle of Elizabethan clothes and greasepaint.  (The two were mixed occasionally;  such things can happen!)  Perhaps it was because talking was impossible when '5' and '9' is being pummelled into one's jaw that the general chatter was reduced.

The chairs outside Miss Cole's room were littered with transfigured characters who were waiting to laugh at similarly transfigured friends.  Under the experienced hands of the "Maker-uppers" great changes (some for the better) occurred on members of the cast.  The Anthem was being played, faces were turning slightly green under bright orange and pink hues of grease-paint, but at last it had begun.  Night school people were somewhat disturbed to find a greying old man or handsome page boy flit gaily past the door.

Actors from the opening scenes were only too willing to encourage characters who had not yet appeared, with such comments as "Lousy audience, this one!  Don't laugh at the right bits!  Got a hair in my mouth during that scene.  You might avoid walking on my corns next time you have to cross the stage."

Half-time brought more gleeful comments, when a crate of orange juice arrived for the cast and helpers.  Friends from the audience were smuggled past the barriers, so that criticisms could be heard in the "quiet" of the changing rooms.  Various members of the cast who were beginning to "moult" had to have their beards re-stuck.  Certain gentlemen of Leontes' court became experts in the art of fencing after a few practices behind the scenes.

Friday's audience was described as "stale"  (N.B:  most of the Staff came on Friday).

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