Where and When
20th – 22nd November 1952 @ Women’s Institute Hall, Wimborne
A farcical comedy about the straits to which British travellers may be reduced by shortage of foreign currency. Mrs “Bumble” Pelham is visiting Stockholm on business. She spends her traveller’s allowance all too quickly and cannot pay her hotel bill. HUnger drives her to appeal for help to her ex-husband, Reggie Pelham, but he is as badly off as she. They combine their talents to borrow money from an opulent and shady British visitor and his mistress. The attempt fails, and when they seek an illegal loan from another source, they are threatened with blackmail. But the series of hardships and petty disasters which Bumble and Reggie undergo at least serve the purpose of bringing them together again. Finally, a second honeymoon is almost forced on them by an enterprising Swedish hotelier.
- Tom Wright – Leonard Taylor
- Eva – Betty Viader
- Mrs Beatrice Pelham – Katherine Purchas
- Nicholas Rafferty – Hugh Trenchard
- Miss Tilsen – Kay Daniels
- Reggie Pelham – Paddy Brooman
- Lil Fowler – Hazel Drewett
- Lord Tilbrook – Donald Waterfield
- Sydney Fowler – Harold Midmore
- Mr Olson – Ronald Small
- Producer – Elizabeth Hervey-Murray
- Stage Manager – H. M. Coles
- Stage Lighting – Reginald L. Wilkinson
- Prompt – Megan Leleu
- Interval Music Recordings – Charles O. Chaleel
- General and Business Managers – R. L. Small and G. R. C. Hawkins
Wimborne Drama Club in Travellers’ Joy
Travellers’ Joy, Arthur Macrae’s farcical comedy was very completely played at Wimborne Women’s Institute last evening by members of the Wimborne Drama Club.
The scene of the three acts is the sitting room of a Stockholm hotel, where Mrs Beatrice Pelham, a successful traveller in textiles, and her secretary, Tom Wright, find themselves “flat broke” when the sailing of the ship on which they planned to return to England is delayed.
Their efforts to “raise the wind” following repeated visits from the manageress, Miss Tilsen, about the bill, provide many amusing incidents which reach a climax when Mrs Pelham’s wealthy (in England) husband Reggie (from whom she has been separated) arrives on the scene, also trying to borrow money after exhausting his allowance under the currency regulations.
Had it not been for the help of a Good Samaritan, Mr Olson, they would all have been in a very awkward position. As it turned out, Mr Olson not only go them out of it, but brought about a reconciliation between Mrs Pelham and her husband.
The players were most successful in doing full justice to the witty dialogue and getting every bit of humour out of the farcical situations. Paddy Brooman added to his lengthy list of successes with the club, his impersonation of Reggie Pelham being masterly. He was at his best in a scene in which, when dressed in tails about to go out to dinner, he is mistaken by a guest for a waiter and he serves champagne, cavier and other delicacies to the two guests who are telling Mrs Pelham what an unpleasant person her husband must be.
As Mrs Pelham (known as Bumble), Katherine Purchas was responsible for an outstandingly clever performance. Betty Viader as the vivacious and attractive waitress, Eva, was most successful, as was Leonard Taylor as Tom Wright, Mrs Pelham’s resourceful secretary.
Donald Waterfield played the part of Lord Tilbrook, Mrs Pelham’s old flame, with skill, and Harold Midmore as Sydney Fowler, the visitor who had no financial difficulties owing to some successful “fiddling” did extremely well. He was very ably supported by his girlfriend Lil, very cleverly impersonated by Hazel Drewett.
Although late on the scene, Ronald Small as Mr Olson, the good-hearted and genial benefactor, was responsible for the successful finale, and he acted in his usual suave style. The cast was very ably completed by Hugh Trenchard, an airliner pilot, and Kay Daniels as Miss Tilsen, the hotel manageress.
Miss E. Hervey-Murray is the very efficient producer. There are to be performances this (Friday) and tomorrow evenings.
Worthy of Better Play
If there was any criticism of Wimborne Drama Club’s latest presentation it must be that such a talented company deserved a better choice than Arthur Macrae’s three-act comedy Travellers’ Joy.
The club has many successes to its credit, and is well established for good entertainment, and though there were many hilarious moments in this play about hard-up British guests in a luxurious Stockholm hotel, seldom did it demand the high spirits that several of the players are capable of. Nevertheless , Miss E. Hervey-Murray, the producer, did extremely well within the scope the play offered her, and she was well supported by a first rate cast. Staging and acting were of high order, and with careful attention to detail there was a great deal to admire in the presentation.
Casting was admirable and there could have been no better choice than Katherine Purchas for the major role of Mrs Beatrice Pelham. Her obvious enjoyment of he part infected the other players and the audience as well, and her deligtful portrayal was faultless. In a similar category was Paddy Brooman, as Reggie Pelham. A player of tremendous versatility he was responsible for most of the laughter that rippled round the audience every few seconds, and once again he proved the mainstay of the company.
Credit must also be given to Betty Viader for her performance as Eva, the Swedish hotel maid. Though she had a big speaking part, never once did her accent falter, and she played the part with great natural charm. Kay Daniels was equally good as Miss Tilsen, manageress of the hotel, though her appearance was not so frequent as Miss Viader.
Other parts wewre capably managed by Leonard Taylor, who played Mrs Pelham’s secretary, Tom Wright; Hugh Trenchard as Nicholas Rafferty, an airline pilot; Donald Waterfield as Lord Tilbrrok and Harold Midmore as Sydney Fowler.
Outstanding among the minor players however, were Hazel Drewett as Lil Fowler and Ronald Small as Mr Olson. The former played her part to perfection and though Mr Small was seen only in the closing minutes of the play there was no doubting his ability.
The play was seen by large audiences in Wimborne Women’s Institute Hall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the reception given the players can leave them in no doubt that Wimborne will eagerly await the club’s production next spring of ‘A Woman’s Place’.
Officers responsible for last weeks production were H. M. Coles (stage manager), Reginald L. Wilkinson (stage lighting), Mega Leleu (prompt), Charle O. Chaleel (interval music) and R.L. Small and G. R. C. Hawkins (business and general managers).
Arthur Macrae’s farcical comedy, “Travellersj Joy”, was presented by the Wimborne Drama Club (Amateur) in the W.I.
Hall on Thursday and yesterday and will be repeated again tonight. This latest effort is produced by Miss E. Hervey-Murray and under her guidance the club does more than justice to the author’s representation of a member of the English aristocracy and her “ex”, both of whom find themselves in Stockholm unknown to each other and both financially embarrassed — also unknown to one another!
As Mrs, Beatrice Pelham, former wife of Reggie Pelham who becomes Lord Amberley, Katharine Purchas executes a long part with perfect ease, using the stage to the utmost advantage and making the part appear easy by the right inflection of voice at the right time.
Paddy Brooman as Reggie, divorced spouse of the aforementioned Mrs. Pelham, soon gets the feel of his part and his expression of delight or annoyance especially when he becomes tangled with Lil Fowler, living with one of her
“club members” in the same hotel, are a joy to watch. Those who know Paddy Brooman will also appreciate the scene where he is obliged to wait upon his wife and Lord Tilbrook, one of “beaus” as a hotel waiter.
In another difficult part Leonard Taylor plays Tom Wright, secretary of Mrs. Pelham, and his efforts to relieve his employer of her embarrassment, even going as far as selling her hat to the maid, are well executed.
Betty Viader (Eva the maid), makes the most of a lesser part and sustains her Swedish accent with convincing ease.
In another small part, but nevertheless one calling for perfect concentration, Kay Daniels makes a good hotel manageress and the same applies to Ron Small who appears a few minutes before the end of the play and delivers his
words in a convincing Swedish style.
Hazel Drewett plays Lil Fowler in what appears her perfect part and her “husband”, (Harold Midmore) as the bogus treasury official is good support. Lord Tilbrook is played by Donald Waterfield and Hugh Trenchard is Nicholas Rafferty.
Responsible for the smooth running of the production is stage manager H. M. Coles, Reginald Wilkinson in charge of the stage lighting and Megan Leleu (prompt). General and business managers are R. L. Small and G. R. C. Hawkins; interval music recordings by C. O. Chaleel.
President of the Wimborne Drama Club is Mr G. H. Watkins.