Where and When
28th – 29th January 1956 @ County Modern School, Wimborne
A comedy of manners in which an American movie actress is preparing to wed a British earl. Smack in the middle of a sedate dinner in the English mansion comes Miranda’s former flame and current Hollywood sensation, Don. Miranda is furious at the intrusion and would send Don packing except that the wary and wise Countess, knowing that the actress is no match for her son, blithely invites Don to stay for the evening. She privately tells Don not to give up, for she knows that the engagement will be shattered shortly. And it is, when the outraged maid can no longer stand Miranda’s pretense and discloses that she is her sister. The ties that bind are royal blue. The British line remains intact as Miranda goes home with Don.
- Crestwell, the butler – Leonard Mottram
- Alice, the housemaid – Betty Viader
- Mrs Dora Moxton (Moxie) – Megan Leleu
- Felicity, Countess of Marshwood – Katherine Purchas
- Lady Cynthia Hayling – Daphne Young
- The Hon. Peter Ingleton, Felicity’s nephew – Frank Burley
- Admiral Sir John Hayling – Harold Midmore
- Nigel, Earl of Marshwood – Gordon Patrick
- Miranda Frayle – Hazel Drewett
- Don Lucas – Hugh Trenchard
- Producer – Leonard H. Mottram and Harold Midmore
- Stage Manager – Douglas Treharne
- Decor – Douglas Treharne, Thelma dryden, Pam Mottram and Brenda Parsons
- Properties – Thelma Dryden
- Prompt – Joan Wilkinson
- Chief Stewrad – Leslie Young
- General and Business Managers – Norman Rowe and Jack Drewett
Presented With Enthusiasm By Wimborne Club
The choice of Noel Coward’s comedy Relative Values by Wimborne Drama Club for their two day presentation last week was a venturesome one. This light, almost brittle piece – first presented at the Savoy Theatre, London , in Novenber 1951 – is like so many other first rate comedies in that it can easily become heavy going if the cast are not right on their toes. At the two performances to large audiences at Wimborne County Modern School on Friday and Saturday, the players charged the piece with wit and enthusiasm.
The play gives a new slant on the old story of the actress who marries the peer. Hollywood star Miranda Frayle is brought to Marshwood House in East Kent, ancestral home of Nigel, Earl of Marshwood as the future Countess of Marshwood. Hours before they arrive, Nigel’s mother learns that her personal maid ‘Moxie’ (she’s been with the Countess for 19 years) is Miranda’s sister – they have not seen each other since childhood. The rigorous traditions of English aristocracy decree that, although a Peer of the realm may freely marry an actress, it is somewhat embarrassing that his sister-in-law should be ‘in service’. For convenience sake, it is agreed – unknown to Nigel and his fiancee – to promote Moxie to the rank of personal companion instead of mere maid.
Outstanding among the cast is joint-producer Leonard Mottram, perfectly cast as Crestwell, the butler and family sage. Full marks also go to Katherine Purchas as Felicity, Nigel’s mother, Megan Leleu, as Moxie deserved special applause, and as Miranda’s persuing flame Don Lucas, Hugh Trenchard gave a creditable performance.
Also taking part were Hazel Drewett as Miranda, Gordon Patrick as Nigel, Frank Burley as the Hon. Peter Ingleton, Daphne Young and Harold Midmore as Admiral and Lady Hayling and Betty Viander as Alice, the housemaid.
The play was produced by Leonard Mottram and Harold Midmore. Behind the scenes were stage manager, Douglas Treharne; decor, Thelma Dryden, Pam Mottram and Brenda Parsons; properties, Thelma Dryden; lighting, Reginald L. Wilkinson; prompter Joan Wilkinson and chief steward, Leslie Young.
High Standards Maintained in Coward Comedy
No-one who saw Wimborne Drama Cub’s first-class presentation last week of Noel Coward’s comedy Relative Values could appreciate that a few weeks earlier there was serious talk of abandoning production through lack of players. The play proved delightful entertainment and well maintained the high standards that for a long time have been associated with Wimborne Drama Club.
Once again the magnificent stage of Wimborne County Modern School was available for the players and full use of its lavish equipment. So immense are its possibilities that Leonard Mottram, who with Harold Midmore, was responsible for production, suggested after Saturday’s performance, that the facilities made the schools large assembly hall a natural centre of live entertainment in the district and might be possible to establish a week’s festival of plays there with groups and schools from all a parts of Dorset taking part.
Credit for the play’s success belongs to every member of the cast, but special mention must be made of Katherine Purchas, who played Felicity, Countess of Marshwood and Megan Leleu as Moxie. Their portrayals were extremely convincing and delightful. Leonard Mottram added considerably to the fun with his fine study of Crestwell, the family retainer.
Others in the cast were Betty Viader as Alice, Frank Burley as the Hon. Peter Ingleton, Gordon Patrick as Nigel, Earl of Marshwood, Hazel Drewett as Miranda Frayle, Hugh Trenchard as Don Lucas and Harold Midmore and Daphne Young as Admiral Sir John and Lady Hayling.
Stage manager was Douglas Treharne, with Thelma Dryden , Pam Mottram and Brenda Parsons in charge of decor. Reggie Wilkinson was in charge of lighting and Joan Wilkinson was prompt. Chief steward was Leslie Young and general and business managers were Norman Rowe and Jack Drewett.