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Stage Struck

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.

March 9, 10, 11 & 12, 1994.


Stage Struck

by Simon Gray

1569403_stage-struck_playbill
“not as tense as expected”
– Shoreham Herald –

 

Directed by
George Illman

Cast

Jane Porter – Anne

Kevin Isaac – Robert

Andy Chalk – Herman

Barry Heselden – Widdecombe

 

Production Crew

ContinuityJoan Braddock

Stage ManagerDave Collis

Set DesignDave Comber

Lighting & SoundTrevor Langley

Lighting & SoundFrances Thorne

Set PainterFrances Thorne

Set PainterSheila Neesham

Set ConstructionBrian Box

Set ConstructionMichael Davy

Set ConstructionRalph Dawes

Set ConstructionMark Flower

Set ConstructionDave Comber

Set ConstructionDave Collis

Box OfficeMargaret Murrell

PropertiesMargaret Davy

PropertiesSue Whittaker

Technical AdviserBob Ryder

WardrobeJudith Berrill

Front of House ManagerGeorge Illman

PublicityJudith Atkinson

PhotographyGeorge Laye

 

Programme Note #1: Stage Struck

GI wrote: ” Simon Gray is one of the best playwrights writing in England today. His first major play, which appeared in 1967, was the Orton-style comedy, Wise Child, which featured Alec Guinness as a villain on the run from the police – horribly disguised in drag!

Gray’s first big success came in his mid-thirties – in 1971 – with Butley, a tragi-comic day in the life of a college lecturer, whose marriage and homosexual love affair have both fallen apart. This was the first in a long line of successful collaborations with Alan Bates in a leading role and Harold Pinter as director. Like Pinter, incidentally, Simon Gray’s biggest enthusiasm outside the theatre is cricket – so. perhaps not surprisingly, Englishness is at the heart of all his work.

Gray had a string of successes in the 1970’s, with – among others – Spoiled, Otherwise Engaged, Close of Play, The Rear Column and his most poignant and probably best-known play, Quartermaine’s Terms. Tonight’s production, Stage Struck, dates from the end of the 1970’s – one of many which featured Alan Bates in a leading role. \in the usual Simon Gray style, the dialogue is witty and beautifully crafted, and the characterisation and plot cruelly sharp. The big difference about this play is that is also an enjoyable thriller. At its centre are a couple whose life has been in the theatre; and every character in it is at different times, in some way, putting on an act. We’ll say no more!

Gray’s output for the stage slowed slightly in the 1980’s, but The Common Pursuit, Hidden Laughter, and Melon were big successes, the last of these being completely revised recently to produce a marvellous tour-de-force, The Holy Terror. Meanwhile, he has continued to write for film, television and radio – original work, translations and adaptations; he has written novels and some very funny books about life in the theatre; and he has worked as a director for some of his more recent work.

Simon Gray’s plays continue to attract the involvement of the foremost names in the business, who recognise the scope which it gives both for the talent of the performers and the entertainment of the public. Gray is not yet 60, but the body of plays he has already given us is likely to become a long-lasting feature in the repertory of quality English-speaking theatre.

Directors Note. My grateful thanks to the cast and all the other hardworking members of the Company who have assisted me in making this, my first production, possible. Thank you.”

 


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