Where and When
7th – 9th November 1963 @ Church House, Wimborne
When the imperious, embittered Mrs. Bramson learns that her young maid Dora is pregnant, she summons the child’s presumed father to her bungalow. The young man, Dan, is charming but mysterious. Could he be responsible for the recent murder and beheading of a local woman, and could Mrs. Bramson be his next victim? Skillfully, Dan insinuates himself into Mrs. Bramson’s affections and attemps to seduce her skeptical niece, Olivia. Despite strong suspicions of Dan’s diabolical intentions, Olivia finds herself attracted to, and fascinated by, the young man. Emlyn Williams’ classic thriller, a hit on stage and screen, provides thrills and surprises for audiences of any era.
- The Lord Chief Justice – Sam Fawcett
- Mrs Bramson – Stella Tory
- Olivia Grayne – Rita Stuckey
- Hubert Laurie – Tim Eling
- Nurse Libby – Esme Henbest
- Mrs Terance – Daphne Young
- Dora Parkoe – Dorothy Penny
- Inspector Belsize – Paddy Brooman
- Dan – Hugh Gray
- Director – Vincent Watters
- Stage Manager – Clifford Cowling
- ASM – Edmund Henbest
- Properties – Patricia Wood
- Prompt – Jenni Meek
- Stage Effects – Thelma Dryden and Murile Brooks
- Sound Effects – Peter Brooks
- Interlude at the Organ – John Chalmers
Wimborne Drama Club Impresses In Night Must Fall
A pleased and impressed audience left the Church House, Wimborne last night after the first performance of Wimborne Drama Club’s production Night Must Fall, by Emlyn Williams. The club have chosen a play which brings out the cast’s talent well, having plenty of good characterisation, and at the same time it is a play which holds one’s interest from the start.
The conception of Night Must Fall is a familiar one. The responsibility for a murder is worked out in the confines of a small group of people. Some of them have edges knocked off in the process; traumatic experiences lie in wait for others. Meanwhile the red herrings are being disposed of, and the net is closing round the criminal.
Night Must Fall requires sustained performances for its atmosphere, and this is got with increasing confidence from the players as the first night butterflies were chased away. One player in whom confidence developed notably was 16 year old Hugh Gray, taking part in a Wimborne Drama Club production for the first time. As he realised the audience was on his side, he spoke more effectively and his actions became more fluent. He carried all before him in the climactic scenes, where much of the effect depended on him.
Another big hit with the first nighters was Stella Tory. As a hypocondriac and a complete nuisance to all those who were at her beck and call, she had a part she could really get her teeth into, and she wasted none of it.
Parked in her wheelchair in the centre of the stage, she was always in command and voice, face, gesture worked together to create the general effect. Rita Stuckey has no easy task as the old woman’s neice, an imaginative, introspective young woman, but she conveys the right impression of great depth and a half mysterious quality with great success.
Daphne Young is another member of the household, putting the acid wit of the text to good pupose, and for contrast there was an empty headed servant girl, played in the right spirit by Dorothy Penny.
The unobstrusive prodcution was in the hands of Vincent Watters.
Wimborne production of ‘Night Must Fall’
Emlyn Williams’s well-known murder play. ‘ Night Must Fall,’ attracted good attendances when presented at Church House last week by Wimborne Drama Club.
Acting honours went easily to Stella Tory, who gave a wellsustained performance as the tyrranical hypochondriac Mrs. Bramson. She was strongly supported by Hugh Gray, who, in spite of extreme youth, made a remarkably creditable Danny. But both he and Rita Stuckey —
who played sincerely as Mrs. Bramson’s niece, Olivia Grayne — lost much dramatic impact by lowering their voices to the point of inaudibility in moments of tension.
Throwing away her lines with professional a plomb, Daphne Young scored every possible laugh as the housekeeper. Mrs. Terance; and Esme Henbest was completely convincing as Nurse Libby. Paddy Brooman, Tim Eling and Dorothy Penny supported capably as Inspector Belsize, Hubert Laurie and Dora Parkoe.
The production, by Vincent Watterk, was greatly enhanced by an extremely attractive setting, designed and constructed by Clifford Cowling, assisted by Ted Henbest. Stage staff comprised Patricia Wood (properties). Thelma Dryden and Muriel Brooks (stage effects) and Peter Brooks (sound effects). Jenni Meek prompted and musical interludes were played by John Chalmers at the organ.
Business and front of house management were conducted, respectively, by Muriel Brooks and the club’s Chairman, Major W. Leslie Young; and Mrs. M.Williams was in charge of catering arrangements.