Where and When
11th – 13th January 1961 @ W. I. Hall, Wimborne
Where Elizabeth slept is a tumbledown country cottage that Norah Fuller has just bought. Her husband is less enthusiastic about it than she is, particularly when he discovers that there are no modern conveniences, not even running water. How he and Norah deal with their uncomfortable acquisition and eventually manage to turn it into a place fit to live, makes a delightful and hilarious play.
- Mr Kimber – Paddy Brooman
- Norah Fuller – Margaret Dodd
- Michael Fuller – John Anthony
- Madge Fuller – Patricia Wood
- Steve Hadlett – Kenneth Dodd
- Katie – Esme Henbest
- Mrs douglas – Stella Tory
- Clayton Shaw – Arthur Brooks
- Rita Leslie – Thelma Dryden
- Hester – Daphne Young
- Ramond – Christopher Rideout
- Colonel Prescott – Donald Waterfield
- Uncle Stanley – Sam Fawcett
- Producers – Anthony Allison and Thelma Dryden
- Incidental Music – J. Chalmers
- Stage Manager – R. Cowling
- Lighting – E. Henbest
- Wardrobe – Pamela Mottram
- Properties – Jennifer Meek
- Effects – Gordon Cottrill
- Make up – L. H. Mottram
- House Manager – W. L. Young
- Business Manager – K. C. Dodd
- Prompt – Katherine Waterfield
Fine performance by Wimborne Drama Club
The joys of buying a delapidated cottage in the country, and the trails and tribulations that ensue, set the scene for Wimborne Drama Club’s presentation of the three-act comedy Queen Elizabeth Slept Here in the W. I. Hall last week.
The first night audience was thin for this rural romp by Talbot Rothwell but this did not seem to affect the splendid performances given by these talented players. All the action takes place in the living room of an old cottage in Buckinghamshire complete with a bedroom in which the Virgin Queen is reputed to have slept.
The bucolic countryman Mr Kimber, played as large as life by Paddy Brooman, brought many a laugh with his helpful interruptions as did the brief appearance of Esme Henbest as Katie, the cook, endeavouring to cope with inadequate facilities, and Daphne Young, as Hester, the maid with a mind of her own.
Norah Fuller, the country loving wife intent on a place of her own, especially one with historic associations, was splendidly portrayed by Maragret Dodd, ably supported by John Anthony, as her author – husband, struggling manfully against the noise and irritations of the rural life. These two, hardly ever off the stage, carried the fun along at a cracking pace.
Patricia Wood, as the husband’s sister Madge Fuller and Kenneth Dodd as her boyfriend, Steve Hadlett, were able helpers. Thelma Dryden as Rita Leslie, a repertory actress, brought her part vividly to life, while as her matinee-idol husband, Clayton Shaw, Arthur Brooks looked every inch the part.
The rich Uncle Stanley upon whom the Fullers depend for their ultimate salvation, bring their hopes low, and finally turns out to be their saviour; was well played by Sam Fawcett. Donald Waterfield was the peppery Colonel Prescott, who tries his best to foreclose on the mortgage in truly villainous style and young Christopher Ridout played the artful Raymond, a child whom anyone could have cheerfully murdered. Stella Troy bought charm and graciousness to her brief appearances as Mrs Douglas, who unearths the ancient map which proves the Colonel next door is the villain of the piece.
The play well produced by Anthony Allison and Thelma Dryden, was given tone during the intervals by the fine playing of J. Chalmers at the organ. He was also incharge of the incidental music. Others who helped in the production were: Stage management and lighting R. Cowling and E. Henbest; wardobe, Pamela Mottram; properties, Jennifer Meek; effects Gordon Cottrill; makeup L. H. Mottram; house manager, W. L. Young; business manager, K. C. Dodd; prompt, Katherine Waterfield.
DON’T MAKE DRAMA A FARCE
A big disappointment came the way of the members of Wimbome Drama Club last Thursday, the first night of their farce, Queen Elizabeth Slept Here, staged at the Women’s Institute Hall, Wimborne – only 27 filled the seats out front.
Still, the next two nights’ audiences were better. And those who saw the production must agree that the Talbot Rothwell three-act play was well presented by the 13-member cast. Top marks go to producers Anthony Allison and Thelma Dryden. But there is a black mark for local people who did not support the play. For those who didn’t see it here’s a warning: If you don’t leave your television sets occasionally to support local shows there will soon be no shows to support. For even the keenest amateurs won’t carry on when the size of audiences make production a farce in itself.
Farce is diffcult to put over well and get the laughs. But the audiences found plenty to smile about in this production. Biggest laughter-maker was countrified Mr. Kimber, played by cheerful
Paddy Brooman. He captured the country character and voice of Mr. Kimber to make many humorous situations. Then came the quietly polished Sam Fawcett taking the part of the “they think I’m rich but I’m really broke” Uncle Stanley. His performance would have done credit to any ageing relative who complains at the discomfort.
Another good performance came from Thelma Dryden playing Rita Leslie. Rita, a hardened actress, is found to be stony even to the extent of taking her husband’s flirtations with women for granted. Arthur Brooks plays husband Clayton Shaw. Creating a deal of noise and trouble was Raymond, played by Christopher Rideout. Christopher had a good time bounding about and shouting on and off stage.
Norah and Michael Fuller, played by Margaret Dodd and John Anthony, bought a run-down cottage. Michael didn’t like it… Norah did. But Norah had support in her home choice from Madge Fuller (Patricia Wood) and Steve Hadlett (Kenneth Dodd).
Dealing with the cuhnary side of life at the cottage, which was becoming a big liability for the Fullers, was Katie (Esme Henbest), who resigned, and country girl Hester (Daphne Young), who got into trouble, with a local male friend. Two neighbours who crop up in the story are Mrs. Douglas (Stella Tory) and the villain of the comedy, Colonel Prescott (Donald Waterfield).
Providing the incidental music was Mr. John Chalmers; stage management, and lighting was arranged by R. Cowling and E. Henbest; wardrobe was done by Pamela Mottram; properiies by Jennifer Meek; effects by Gordon Cottrail; make-up, L. H. Mottram; house manager,. W. L. Young; business manager, K. C. Dodd; prompt, Katherine Waterfield.