The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
September 28, 29, 30 – October 1 & 2 1982
by Daphne du Maurier
John King – Frith
Frances Moulton – Beatrice Lacy
Ronald Cheesman – Giles Lacy
Douglas Tucker – Frank Crawley
Jill Redman – Roberts
Daphne Thornton – Alice
Neil Shepherd – Maxim de Winter
Lorraine Hanner – Mrs de Winter
Pat Moss – Mrs Danvers
Ralph Dawes – Jack Favell
Brian Moulton – Colonel Julyan
Frank Child – William Tabb
Stage Manager – Barrie Bowen
A.S.M. – Jill Redman
Lighting & Effects – Frank Hurrell
Lighting & Effects – David Child
Properties – Margaret Davy
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Front of House – Rosemary Biggs
Programme Cover – Antony Muzzall
Foyer Photographs – George Porter
Box Office – Frances Thorne
Box Office – Nicholas Thorne
Programme Note #1: Rebecca
JB wrote: “Dear Audience, Thank you for coming to this performance of Rebecca. I was asked to write a programme note but I feel it would be presumptious [sic] of me to venture an introduction to such a well known story. Let it suffice to describe it as a drama of love and mystery. This is Mrs De Winter’s story.
As a relatively recent member of Wick, I was surprised and flattered to be asked to direct the first production of this Season – a daunting task – but I should now like to thank my cast for their dedication and good humour and the back stage crew for their support and hard work. I have survived with far fewer grey hairs than I had anticipated.
We have had a great deal of pleasure rehearsing this play and sincerely hope you will enjoy the results. Should our presentation encourage any of you to become members as well – that would be a delightful bonus.”
Programme Note #2: Rebecca
Jill Redman has for a number of our plays now, appeared on the programme as the ASM which hides her very important rôle back stage – the prompt. Never one to say much during a production, Jill has now been persuaded to step out from the wings as Roberts. When reading the play Jill was puzzled by Mrs de Winter having no name. To find the answer Jill wrote to the authoress, who replied –
“Dear Miss Redman
Excuse a brief reply to your letter, but I have been unwell for some months. The reason I gave no name to the second Mrs de Winter was A – because I wanted to see if it were possible to write a novel without giving a name to the heroine, and B – because anyway I could not think of a suitable name!
I wish you all the success with your production.
signed Daphne du Maurier”
Review #1: Rebecca
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: Issue October 8 1982 – page – 11
Reviewer: Murray Morse
Text Header: “Rebecca treat”
LOCAL theatre buffs are being treated to some excellent amateur productions this season. The latest gem came from the Wick Theatre Company last week when they staged Daphne du Maurier’s enthralling mystery Rebecca at the Barn Theatre, Southwick. It was their first production of the new season and they are going to find it tough to beat.
Directed by Joan Bearman, the full and intriguing characters which build up the jigsaw puzzle to the story came across with vivid quality. Depicting Mrs. de Winter, who is ‘haunted’ by first wife Rebecca, petite Lorraine Hanner gave a powerfully dramatic and sometimes emotional display. At times she completely stole the limelight from Neil Shephard, who seemed to struggle to set into his rôle as injured widower Maxim de Winter.
There was no doubting the staying power of Frances Moulton and Ronald Cheesman as the witty and over-whelming Beatrice and Giles Lacy. Frances grabbed her character portrayal by the throat and was quite marvellous as the brash Beatrice with the booming voice.
Fine support for the central characters came from Douglas Tucker, as Frank Crawley and Pat Moss [Mrs. Danvers]. There were the usual sturdy performances from experienced Ralph Dawes [Jack Favell] and Brian Moulton as Colonel Julyan.
Yes, this was a real treat.
Review #2: Rebecca
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: Unknown
Text Header: “A case of murder…”
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a brilliantly constructed play with a finely wrought plot of a murder that need never have been, with characters that give great acting opportunities for the most part very well taken in last week’s production by the Wick Theatre Company.
Lorraine Hanner was the second Mrs de Winter whom Maxim married after the tragic death by drowning of his first wife, Rebecca. She did a difficult job very well from her first timid and rather gauche entrance as a young bride out of her depth through growing strength and authority as the story of her husband’s involvement in murder unfolds. Lorraine has not reached her peak and I should like to see her in one of the great rôles, Hedda Gabler perhaps or Cordelia.
Neil Shephard as Maxim de Winter well contrived the tension underlying the atmosphere of clam. The acting part in the play is Mrs Danvers, long time housekeeper to the de Winters and devoted to the memory of Rebecca. A dark sinister character with a brooding hatred of the new Mrs de Winter, she was very well portrayed by Pat Moss.
Ronald Cheesman and Frances Moulton were Giles and Beatrice Lacy, cousins of de Winter and rather horsey types. I must fault the playing of Beatrice by Frances Moulton, a comic character given to frightful gaffes, maybe, but not a caricature. Did producer Joan Bearman really not observe how this caricatured rendering cut across the whole atmosphere of the play, like painting Snoopy onto a John Constable landscape?
The playing of smaller rôles is always important to the success of a production, and John King as the urbane Frith, Douglas Tucker’s competent estate manager and Brian Moulton as the chief constable were uniformly good.