Sheffield Pupil Teacher Centre - School Play
Two One Act Plays
Spring 1932

On the 27th and 28th of March the Pupil Teachers and Staff presented a programme of four one-act plays before a crowded and appreciative On the Tuesday and Wednesday before the Whitsuntide Holidays two One-act plays were given by the Staff.  Rehearsals were difficult to arrange, but we did rehearse, our secret was difficult to keep, but in spite of weird rumours which floated about, we did manage to keep it and on the dates mentioned gave "The House with the Twisty Windows," by Maud Pakington and "Katherine Parr" by Maurice Baring.

The caste in the first was as follows:-

James Roper, K.C.    .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..  Mr. Sheldrake
Charles Clive . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ....... Mr. Taylor
Lady Ponting . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..... Miss Foster
Anne     } nieces to . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ............ Miss Hewitt
Heather } Lady Ponting  . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ............... Miss Hall
Derrick Moore . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...... Mr. Cawton
Stepan . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .... Mr. Redden

In the second play:-

Katherine Parr . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... Miss Cole
Henry VIII .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ........ Mr. Redden
The Page . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... Miss Jackson

Miss Wastnidge was the Producer, Miss Johnson and Miss Hall  were  the  Scenic  Artists, Mr. Goodfellow "made up," Messrs. Taylor, Sheldrake and Redden were responsible for the lighting and the general stage management and Mr. Davies conducted a very efficient orchestra.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves (what the students thought can be read further on in this issue).

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The Staff Dramatic Performance
(By our Dramatic Critic).

Of my own will, I would rather have called Shaw a synonym for Shakespeare than dared to criticise those figures of Olympic awfulness-the staff.  But I am a pressed man, so having, willy-nilly, to write on the Staff play, it shall be in my own sweet way.  I could not write a formal criticism.  Canute did not criticise the in-flow of the irresistible waves;  like a wise man he cut and ran.  Neither am I completely out of my mind.

Were I to drip eulogies over the play, you would all say 'By'r lakin-a presumptuous youth.'  Were I full of carping criticisms, you would all say something pungent.  You must consider then the dramatic Critic has doffed his judicial wig and donned the empty cap and bells.

There was a large audience at the last performance, including many celebrities.  Indeed owing to the presence of many Pupil Teachers, one might say there was a slightly festive air about the night.  But these same are curious animals.  Music was provided by native fiddlers and pianists.  The musicians created a happy atmosphere by fraternizing and commingling with the audience when not playing.  Moreover they created a great sensation, too, by their daring innovation of playing one piece twice over;  but there, ability warrants presumption.   The Old Gym is not an ideal theatre, having but one pillar in a hard situation.  It was hot as well that night.  At the beginning, when the lights clicked out, and the play began, we were thankful to find the setting in Russia.  We appreciated most strongly the management's forethought, though not the shivering fits of the actors.  A piece of unconscious dramatic irony.  And to crown it all, Stepan the Bolshevik warder announced soup.  Steaming soup, mind you!  Little wonder that even the actors refused to sup on it.  Speaking of the admirable Stepan;  he seemed to be the "deus ex machina" who, without speaking over much, dominated the tragedy, arranging all the vital threads of the play, bringing in food, love and death.  But it was really too bad of him to treat Anne so roughly, especially since raw meat was evidently so scarce.  Still he was at heart a good fellow and showed admirable restraint when Charlie provoked him with fists.  Perhaps the vile travesty of boxing caused him to pity rather than to punch.

The age of chivalry is not dead.  If Burke had seen our Staff play, he would have wept from pure joy.  French poets would eke have rhapsodised over that lovely moonlight we saw when two of the players told the old, old story.  It is a pity that Derry told his fairy tale then.  The effect was spoiled.  You say not - but think:  Derry's fairy tale - all moonshine.

The play was the more enthralling in that we saw old faces in a new setting.  (The which is rather subtle.)  I am sure we read more into the play than even the author.  The joke of the hair restorer was more sublime because of its absence.  And the description of C_____ as a Colossus was exquisite to a degree.

The final scene was the grandest.  Exit the hero.  Silence.  Someone gave a hoarse order in English.  But the Russian soldiers were fin linguists.  They shot their victim in Russian.  And the curtain and the actors swooned to the floor.

Again the musicians fiddled whilst the heroes burned.