Where and When
24th – 26th February 1983 @ The Allendale Centre, Wimborne
The leading lights of the village have decided to hold a pageant of local history based on a somewhat vague event, “The Massacre of the Pendon Twelve”. But there’s a young left wing teacher on the committee who decides to turn it into a rally for proletarian revolution. Committee meetings become symbolic battlefields for conflicting views – the right wing faction being led by the Chairman’s conservative wife. The event turns into a violent confrontation between the two extremes, with cataclysmic results. Police intervention brings matters to a relatively quiet conclusion, but already another pageant – Romans versus Britons – seems an attractive possibility.
- Ray – Spencer Hare
- Donald – Peter Brooks
- Helen – Michele Andrews
- Sophie – Tina Barnes
- Eric – Jim Ruegg
- Audrey – Margaret Pope
- Lawrence – David Green
- Tim – Michael Andrews
- Philippa – Susan Melhuish
- MAx Kirkov – A N Other
- Director – Joyce Eidmans
- Stage Managers – Gordon Eidmans and Nick Hollingworth
- Lighting – Roger Grenville
- Sound – Clive Emerson
- Wardrobe – Muriel Brooks and Carol Andrews
- Publicity – Carolyn Woodward
- Prompt – Pam Feltham
- Backcloth – Thelma Dryden
- Properties – Kathy Hollingsworth and Carl Dewane
Town Crier in top form
What’s this – the Town Crier of Wimborne in on the act again! The town often hears Mr. mike Andrews in full cry, but until now he has not held forth on stage. That chance came his way on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, when he appeared in Wimborne Drama Club’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy Ten Times Table.
Mr Andrews did not have the leading role – but as the plot thickened he did, in more senses than one, play a leading part. He is the commanding officer of Redcoats in a small town pageant commemorating what the organising committee conceive to be a peasants revolt of long ago.
Much of the fun revolves around the committee meetings with Cllr Evans and his aged mother, played by Peter Brookes and Margaret Pope , trying to run things their way. The trouble and the fun is that the other members of the committee have their own ideas, with the exception that is of the chairman, who is firmly put in his place by all and sundry, including his wife.
Spencer Hare gave what have been a deliberately meek showing as the chairman, in sharp contrast to Michelle Andrews as his wife. Tina Barnes as the man-seeking sophie did little wrong, while James Ruegg, as the self-confessed Marxist, determined to make political capital out of the pageant, also did well in his first stage performance.
David Green was quite a hit in the role of Laurence Anderson, who has matrimonial troubles and pageantry problems on his mind at the same time. But the one really in top form, the man who made himself heard in no uncertain fashion, was appropriately the Town Crier himself Michael Andrews.
Susan Melhuish, appearing in amonor role lent a touch of glamour to the proceedings.
The play was directed by Joyce Eidmans
So good they were awful
So good was the latest performance by Wimborne drama Club that it was awful. They chos Alan Ayckbourn’s Ten Times Table, a comedy based on the goings on of a small town committee and captured the flavour exatly.
Small town committees tend to be somewhat pompous and boring and the players could not have been more realistic. For a newspaper reporter accustomed to covering committee meetings of every sort, the play was something of a busman’s holiday.
As one type of councillor Peter Brookes was superb. He was long winded, methodical and very wooden and could not have played the part better. James Ruegg as Eric the Red was the zealot – keen to promote a coase however lost it was going to become, while Margaret Pope was the wonderful deaf old lady who bought out her knitting and sucked boiled sweets.
David Green, in one of his best roles for the society, was the sorry for himself drinker – always that little bit off balance at very meeting, while Mike Andrews provided the retired military presence essntial to any committee.
Susan Melhuish was the mouse – the one that sts in the corner and says nothing – while Michelle Andrews provided the type that like to think that they are the most important member. Tina Barnes was the effusive scatter-brain, while in charge of the drab proceedings was the equally drab and ineffectual chairman played by Spencer Hare.
Alan Ayckbourn certainly provided a classic line up of parts which Wimborne filled excellently. It was one of their best productions so full credit to director Joyce Eidmans.
One of the players, Mike Andrews, is Wimborne’s town crier and for himself and daughter Michelle it was their first parts with the Drama Club. It will be a pity if their plans to leave Wimborne materialise because both are an obvious asset to the society. Susan Mehuish and James Ruegg were also first timers on stage, proving that Wimborne is acquiring great strength in depth.
Behind the scenes were Gordon Eidmans and Nick Hollingworth, the stage mangers; Roger Grenville, lighting; Clive Emerson, sound; Muriel Brooks and Carol Andrews, wardrobe’ Carolyn Woodward, publicity; Pam Feltham, prompt; Thelma Dryden, back cloth; and Kathy Hollingsworth and Carol Dewane, properties.