The School Play, 1962
"The City Grammar School's production of 'Thieves' Kitchen' . . . " - so at least began a report in The Star. Those of us who saw it knew better. In fact, after the hectic weeks, which come before First Night, weeks during which posters blossom like daisies in a field and we queue at twelve o'clock in room 18 for tickets (don't block the corridor, please!), weeks when odd lengths of scenery bump along the corridors and the stage curtains remain mysteriously closed during assembly, we were unlikely to get the title wrong.
Anhouil's farce, "Thieves' Carnival", can be at first rather confusing. Perhaps the weakness is my own; still, one has some grounds for the allegation when the female chair-attendant who turns out to be a man with a Welsh accent introduces herself (or himself?) as a Spanish nobleman. But why quibble over trivialities such as these? The puzzled frowns of the audience soon give way to smiles of amusement and relief as the penny drops and anyone who still doesn't understand by the end of Act One can have it explained to him over runny choc-ices.
Much of the credit for the production's success must go inevitably to the actors and their producer, Mr Bailey. Considering the range of accents, dialects and brogues they produced between them one would think they were members of a troupe of professional impersonators rather than pupils in our sixth form. Yet even they would have seemed very ordinary without the almost surrealist atmosphere lent by the scenery and the impertinent tunes on the clarinet. There are always too many people to thank in projects like this. I think they would all be content with the fact that the play was tremendously enjoyed.
Joan Heppenstall (6U)
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