Drama - 1968; The Royal Pardon

 

 

1968; The Royal Pardon

 

(Presented in the School Hall 12, 13, 14 December, 1968)

CAST

Luke ...........................................Ian Barnett
Clown..........................................Robert Murdock
Esmarelda ...................................Margaret Johnson
Mr. Croke ................................... Alan Bretman
Mrs. Croke..................................... Lyndsey Mercer
William........................................ Danny Bootle
The Constable.............................. Roy Phillips
Under Constable........................... James Nicholls
Mrs. Higginbottom.........................Janet Skipp
Lord Chamberlain............... .............Christopher Brock
King of England............................. Duncan Kirkland
Prince of England............................ Peter Cozens
A French Officer............................. Nigel Reynolds
A French Actress............................ Isabel Hobbs
A French Actor .............................Andrew Cork
French King .................................Ian Rathbone
French Princess.....................................Maureen McDowell
French Cook.................................. Neil Rathbone
Gentlemen-in-Waiting................... Tom Braun & Philip Dulieu

Producer ... ........... Martin Daniels
Stage Manager ... Duncan Kirkland

Music specially composed by Gary Carpenter and played by "Gloriana":
Gary Carpenter (Flute, Treble Recorder, Descant recorder, Ocarina, Crumhorn)
Pay Arrowsmith ('Cello)
Chris. Page (Guitar, Mandolin, Cittern).

I saw this play on its last night, when the cast decided to send up the work they were supposed to be performing, and it is therefore difficult for me to pass judgement on the production. It is probably fair to say that the actors were somewhat embarrassed at finding themselves in a children's play, and failed to achieve the panache, the disciplined extravagance, which it requires. I also missed in this performance any sense of enthusiasm for the play's outrageously stereotyped accounts of the French and English national characters: an honourable exception was Nigel Reynolds' French officer.
In general, the men were more successful than the women. Ian Barnett compensated with vigour for what he lacked in subtlety, but was sometimes difficult to hear. Alan Bretman gave a colourful characterization of Mr. Croke, though he spoke too slowly, and moved about too much. Roy Phillips deserves much praise for his splendidly knock-about Constable. Duncan Kirkland and Ian Rathbone, who took over important parts at short notice, gave very enjoyable performances.
As with many recent Monoux plays, the specially composed music was by Gary Carpenter, and his inventive and tuneful score was deservedly applauded.
All in all, it was an enjoyable evening, and the producer is to be congratulated on a substantial success; but how splendid it could have been if he had had the wholehearted co-operation of the large cast (from two widely separate schools) in such tiresome but necessary details as attending rehearsals.

R.J.M.

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