Where and When
29th – 30th April 1954 @ The County Modern School, Wimborne
A flood in the fen country has trapped two prison officials and their prisoner, Sarat Carn, who is on her way to the gallows for the murder of her brother. But Sister Mary Bonaventure is convinced of her innocence and just before the police launch arrives, a confession is forced from the real murderer.
- Nurse Phillips – Pam Mottram
- Nurse Brent – Betty Viader
- Sister Josephine – Daphne Young
- Willy Pentridge – Douglas Treharne
- Sister Mary Bonaventure – Hazel Drewett
- Doctor Jeffreys – Frank Burley
- Mother Superior – Vida Jeffrey
- Melling – Harold Midmore
- Sarat Carn – Thelma Dryden
- Miss Pierce – Elaine King
- Martha Pentridge – Ethel Cornish
- Producer – Douglas Treharne
- Stage Manager – Theodore Kendrick
- Prompt – Nicol Rowan
- Chief Steward – Leslie Young
- General and Business Managers – Jack Drewett and Norman Rowe
- Refreshments – Megan Leleu
Another Drama Club Success
Wimborne Drama Club, well-known for 20 years for the high quality of entertainment it provides, added yet another triumph to its already long list of successed by presenting a very fine performance last week of Charlote Hastings play Bonaventure.
Through the kindness of the headmaster (Mr D. D. Whitmore) and the governors, the magnificent hall and stage in Wimborne County Modern School was available to the the club and for the first time the players had a stage worthy of their efforts and Mr Douglas Treharne, the producer, had lighting and equipment reaching professional standards. By making full use of all the facilities available and backed by a highly-talented and enthusiastic cast, Mr Treharne’s production was faultless.
With tremendous appreciation and feeling Hazel Drewett gave a beautiful portrayal of Sister Mary Bonaventure while Thelma Dryden as Sarat Carn scored yet another success with her brilliant study of the young artist, whose appeal against the death sentence for murder has just been dismissed.
An extremely talented actor, Douglas Treharne himself played Willy Pentridge and, as was expected, achieved through his ability a very high standard. Frank Burley, a comparative newcomer to the club, also proved his qualities and his portrayal of Doctor Jeffreys was equally creditable, particularly towards the end of this exciting play.
Other in the cast were : Pam Mottram (Nurse Phillips), Betty Viader (Nurse Brent), Daphne Young (Sister Josephine), Vida Jeffrey (Mother Superior), Harold Midmore (Melling), Elaine King (Miss Pierce) and Ethel Cornish (Martha Pentridge)
The action of the play takes place in a convent and the realistic set heightened the effect. It was painted by Richard Drewett. Stage manager was Theodore Kendrick, with Nicol Rowan as prompt. Jack Drewett and Norman Rowe were general and business managers and chief steward was Leslie Young. Megan Leleu arranged the refreshments.
At the end of friday’s performance Mr George Watson (club president) and Mr Leonard H. Mottram (club chairman) congartulated Mr Treharne and the cast on the success of the presentation, and Mr Treharne spoke appreciately of the co-operation of those taking part and of those responsible for allowing the club the use of the school hall and stage.
Wimborne Drama Club have added yet another triumph to their long list of successes – this time with Charlotte Hastings play “Bonaventure.
For the first time the players had a stage worthy of their efforts. Through the kindness of the Headmaster, Mr. D. ‘D. Whitmore, and the governors, the performances took place on Thursday and Friday on the stage in Wimborne’s new county modern school at Pampill. Special transport arrangements were made to convey people by coaches to and from the town.
“Bonaventure” was produced by Douglas Treharne, who played the role of Willy Pentridge with great feeling and understanding, as did Hazel Drewett, who portrayed Sister Mary Bonaventure.
Thelma Dryden returned a faultless portrayal of Sarat Carn, the young artist whose appeal against conviction for murder had been dismissed, and Frank Burley was equally capable as Doctor Jeffreys.
Others in the cast were Pam Mottram (Nurse Phillips), Betty Viader (Nurse Brent), Daphne Young (Sister Josephine), Vida Jeffrey (Mother Superior), Harold Midmore (Melling), Elaine King (Miss Pierce), and Ethel Cornish (Martha Pentridge).
Staging, lighting and effects were of high order, and behind the scenes were Theodore Kendrick (stage manager), and Nicol Rowan (prompt). Richard Drewett painted the set, and Leslie Young was chief steward, with Jack Drewett and Norman Rowe as general and business managers. Refreshments were arranged by Megan Leleu.
Mr. Treharne and his cast were complimented by Mr. L. H. Mottram and Mr. G. H. Waton, chairman and president respectively of Wimborne Drama Club.
FINE PERFORMANCES AT PAMPHILL
Audiences totalling about 500 on Thursday and Friday evenings saw first-class performances given by Wimborne Drama Club of their latest production, “Bonaventure,” at the County Modern School, Pamphill.
Having hitherto been accustomed to less spacious conditions for their presentations, the Club demonstrated that they were well able to take full advantage of the facilities offered by a full-sized stage. But the judicious use of simple, but effective, scenery, coupled with acting of ahigh standard, they gave a thoroughly satisfying performance.
Expressed in its simplest terms, “Bonaventure” might be described as a whodunnit with a difference. Murder and discovery of the criminal do, indeed, form the basis of the plot, but it is a story rather out of the ordinary.
Set in a convent in East Anglia which; at a time when phenomenally high tides are breaking the sea walls, and flooding the countryside becomes a haven for the influx of refugees – the play increases in tension from the arrival of three unusual visitors until its final climax. These visitors are two prison officers and a condemned murderess, halted by the floods in their journey from hearing the dismissal of her appeal in London to Norwich Goal.
The play asks much more from broducer and players alike in presenting the reactions of the personalities involved, particularly as these personalities include those who were witnesses at the trial, a Sister who believes that there has been a miscarraige of justice and, of course, a real murderer.
Praise was doubly by Douglas Treharne; who, as producer, brought the whole thing to life, and who, as actor, gave a superb performance as the simpleminded odd-job man – a role in which he was never for a moment out of character.
An almost equally fine portrayal was given by Thelma Dayden as the wrongly condemned woman, while as Sister Bonaventure, the sole believer in her innocence. Hazel Drewitt gave a sympathetic performance, although she could with advantage have imparted to the audience a littel more strongly the firmness of her belief. Similarly a little les restraint would have benefitted an otherwise sound performance by Frank Barley as the doctor.
Vida Jeffrey was an understanding yet authoratative Mother Superior and excellent character studies were provided by Ethel Cornish, Daphne Young, Pam Mottram, Betty Viader, Elaine King and Harold Midmore.
The stage manager was Theodore Kenfrick, the propmpter Nicol Rowan and cheif steward Leslie Young.
School’s stage gave players more scope
Only those who have spent years planning and executing movements on “pocket handerkerchief size” stages can fully appreciate what the resources of the spacious stage at Wimborne County Modern Shool meant to members of Wimborne Drama Club, when they presented Charlotte Hastings play Bonaventure last week.
Here was a production in which the players were to move about freely and without the danger of “masking” and the resulting gain in confidence was very noticeable.
The penalty for the facility was, of course, the deman for “outsize” settings; but those were splendidly contrived by combining curtains and flats. The overall effectiveness remarkbly convincing, reflecting great
credit, on scene-painter Richard Drewett.
The general level of Douglas Treharnes was extremely high, and his interpretation of the part of Willy Pentridge was “dead i character”. Thelma Dryden’s “Sarat Cam” was a fine study of a sensitive artist. Hazel Drewett combined gentleness and shrewdness in the role of Sister Mary Bonaventure; and Daphne Young made something very big of the comparatively small part of Sister Josephine.
Vida Jeffrey was an understanding Mother Superior, though her voice lacked the tone of calm authority usually associated with the character. Frank Burley’s Doctor Jeffreys was well restrained.
Harold Midmore and Elaine King, both made the most of the rather unrewarding parts of Melling and Miss Pierce. Betty Viader and Pam Mottram were well contrasted as Nurses Brent and Phillips; and Ethel Cornish was a natural in the role of Martha Pentridge,
Theodore Kendrick was responsible for stage management and Nicol Rowan prompted. Jack Drewett and Norman Rowe were general and business managers and Leslie Young acted as chief steward.
At the end of Friday’s performance the Club’s president Mr G. H. Watson congratulated the producer and cast and appealed for new members to join in either an acting or non-acting capacity.
Mr L. H. Mottram also congratulated all concerned and expressed to the governers, headmaster and staff of the school for the use of the premises.