Where and When
April 1969 @ Wimborne Modern School, Wimborne
An odd assortment of guests are warned against going into the woods for it is Midsummer Eve (there is no woods in the neighborhood, but legend says that it sometimes appears). A philanderer, his young wife and the current object of his affections; an artist who has lost faith in himself and his wife who despises him; indolent lady and a delightful old couple venture into the forest that appears outside the windows and find dreams and desires answered. When they return, they gradually revert to their former state, but not without a memory of the wood.
- Matey (The Butler) – Arthur Brooks
- Mrs Coade – Muriel Brooks
- Mrs Dearth – Elizabeth Anthony
- Lady Caroline Lamey – Thelma Dryden
- Mrs Purdie – Jenny Waring
- Joanna Trout – Christine Spink
- Lob – Leonard Mottram
- Mr Coade – Sam Fawcett
- Mr Dearth – Christopher Hughes
- Margaret – Pat Nott
- Director – Leonard Mottram
- Setting and Decor – Barrie Nott
- Stage Manager – John Poat
- ASM – Ian Raeburn and Christopher Ridout
- Prompt – Brenda Sammons
- Properties – Rosemary Poat
- Costume Mistress – Brenda Sammons
- Lighting – John Poat
Large stage gave players more scope
Switching from their usual venue at Church House to Wimborne Modern School for their production of J.M. Barrie’s Dear Brutus last week, Wimborne Drama Club took a chance that paid of handsomely. The houses were well up to expectations and the larger stage gave the players much more scope.
As might be expected when directed by a craftsman of Mr L. H. Mottram’s experience, the productin was an extremely sensitive one, which captured the essential spirit of fantasy and whimsicality. ‘Motty’ himself gave a delightful characterisation as the elf-like Lob, and Arthur Brooks was suitably ‘down to earth’ as the light fingered butler Matey.
Christopher Hughes plays Mr Dearth with deep understanding and his sequences with his ‘wife’ (Elizabeth Anthony) and his might-have-been daughter, Margaret (played beautifully by Pat Nott) were exceptionally fine. John Anthony drew plenty of laughs as the philandering Mr Purdie, unable to decide positively between his wife, Mabel, and his soul-mate Joanna Trott (parts well contrasted by Jenni Waring and Christine Spink) and Sam Fawcett and Muriel Brooks made an excellent couple as the joyous Mr Coade and his wife. Thelma Dryden was well cast as Lady Caroline Lady.
Barrie Nott and John Poat stage-managed and were also responsible for settings, decor and lighting, which, especially in the wood scene, helped immensely in creating the essential atmosphere. They were assisted by Ian Raeburn and Christoper Ridout. Brenda Sammons prompted and acted as wardrobe mistress and Rosemary Poat looked after properties.
Big Audiences for Brutus
Excellently produced by Mr L. H. Mottram, Wimborne Drama Club’s presentation of J. M. Barrie’s Dear Brutus drew big audiences to Wimborne County Modern School. Himself giving a first-rate characterisation as the ageless Lob, the producer set a pace that was well sustained throughout the performances, and helped to create the atmosphere of fantasy so necessary to this story of a group of disillusioned people who receive a second chance through a visit to a mysterious wood on Midsummer Eve.
Christopher Hughes and Elizabeth Anthony gave fine performances as Mr Dearth, the run-to-seed artist and his wife; and the former made a delightful cameo of the scene with his “might-have-been” daughter, played with genuine artistry by Pat Nott. Thelma Dryden kept well in character as Lady Caroline Laney; Arthur Brooks scored full comedy points as the thieving butler, Matey; and John Anthony raised plenty of laughs as the philandering Mr Purdie, not sure if he was in love with his wife (Jenni Waring) or with his mistress, Joanna Trout (Christine Spink). Sam Fawcett and Muriel Brooks were convincing as the elderly Mr and Mrs Coade.
Setting, decor and lighting – including the very effective wood scene – were contrived by Barrie Nott and John Poat, who stage managed, assited by Ian Raeburn and Chrisopher Ridout. Brenda Sammons prompted and was responsible for the very effective costumes; and Rosemary Poat was properties mistress.