City Secondary - School Play
Iphigenia
March 27th. & 28th. 1936


Many of you, I hope, saw the Form II Latin Play.  As you saw the finished product only, I will try to give you some idea of what was happening at the same time behind the stage.

Here, in a glorious confusion, were actors, actresses, electricians, dressers, producer, musicians and prompter, besides many who had no definite task, but wandered round vaguely, trying to look important.  There were cries of "Safety pins, please"! - "Who's seen my sheet?" - "Will you please be quiet!"  Whilst A_____n searched feverishly for a lost crown, others of the company were chasing one another round the school, one of them having the crown.  A certain member of the cast got stuck fast in a sack and nearly smothered himself;  shields and swords were appropriated, and others left for the unwary to fall over.  Finally the noise faced out and the curtain rose.

All went well, even the singing, and the actors retired covered with glory and honour.  One anxious damsel was heard to whisper excitedly to a colleague that she hadn't laughed once and wasn't a bit frightened.  (Here the violinist retreated chuckling, and came to share the joke.  One little offender was soundly rated for letting a spear fall with a crash near a distracted musician who immediately went and knocked down the violinist's bow, much to her own chagrin and others' great but ill-concealed enjoyment.

Often the fall of the curtain would find one musician mingling with the crowd of electricians, whilst the other mingled with the white-robed ones.  A loud whisper of "Music!" Would recall them, and each would begin on the open music:  Sometimes, by a lucky chance, they both started at the same place.  The prompter kept coming to help the musicians as his efforts in his own direction were completely disregarded by the actors.

The last curtain fell on scenes of furious excitement.  The remaining electricians "fiddled" with the lights;  half dressed actors came at a run, feverishly attiring themselves to take a final curtain call;  the violinist searched for his "pad", helped by one of the dressers, who went on searching long after it had been found;  producers listened deliriously to words of praise;  the prompter, complete with drumsticks, beat a tattoo on the platform;  and all was great excitement.  Gradually the tumult and the shouting died, the "duces" and the king departed, and the remainder of the cast having been restored to proud parents, we were free to depart, ears still resounding with the noise, and back tingling from the slaps of energetic, half-dressed, actors.

B