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The Madness of George lll

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.

October 3, 4, 5 & 6, 2001.

The Madness of George lll

by Alan Bennett



Directed by
Bob Ryder


Royal Family

David Creedon – George lll

Joan Braddock – Queen Charlotte

John Garland – Prince of Wales



John Robinson – Fitzroy

Simon Birks – Greville

Kevin Isaac – Braun

Judith Berrill – Papandiek

Diane Robinson – Lady Pembroke

Joan Bearman – Maid



Tony Brownings – Pitt

Ray Hopper – Thurlow

Sid Jones – Dundas



John Barham – Fox

Simon Druce – Sheridan



Hugh Hemmings – Baker

David Bickers – Warren

Malcolm Wood – Pepys

David Goodger – Willis


Other characters

Claire Wiggins – Margaret Nicholson

Ralph Dawes – Boothby

Eric Seymour – Ramsden

Stuart Isaac – Footman

David Pierce – Dr Willis’s Assistant

Eric Seymour – Dr Willis’s Assistant

Stuart Isaac – Dr Willis’s Assistant

Claire Wiggins – Dr MacAlpine


Production Crew

Stage Manager – Dave Comber

Stage Manager – Marc Lewis

ASM – Jean Porter

Lighting – Mike Medway

Sound – Simon Snelling

Set Building – David Comber

Set Building – Dave Collis

Set Building – Brian Box

Set Building – Mike Davy

Set Building – Marc Lewis

Set Painting – Sheila Neesham

Set Painting – Susanna Chaplin

Properties – Sue Whittaker

Properties – Margaret Davy

Wardrobe – Sheila Neesham

Wardrobe – Judith Berrill

Press & Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy

Press & Publicity – Rosemary Brown

Poster & Programme Design – Judith Berrill

Front of House Co-ordinator – Valerie Bray


Programme Note #1: The Madness of George lll

BR wrote: “When I first directed a production for Wick Theatre Company, exactly ten years ago, the play was Habeas Corpus, by a certain Alan Bennett. It’s a generous play [much more so than Joe Orton material which it echoes] and is packed with music-hall gags and earthy humour of the seaside postcard. At its heart is a sharp feeling of human frailty. In life there is death, it seems to say, but laughter serves to hold our fears at bay. The fact that two of the play’s main comic characters are doctors, out of their depth in the tide of mortality, ties all this together rather nicely.

So here we are, at the Barn, ten years later, with a Bennett play that on the face of it is totally different, but in essence is very similar – the generosity, the humour, the keen sense of mortality and the ways the resourceful human spirit copes with it. The reappearance of ‘comedy doctors’ is no mere coincidence either!

The challenges of producing George would make most theatre companies turn tail. Its scale is impossible for any unsubsidised professional group, because of the economics. Amateur groups don’t have to pay wages, but they still need to have real strength in depth, in their acting resources and their technical teams. It is a tribute to Wick Theatre Company that they have built up their membership, the skills and the sheer ambition to take on challenges of this type.

A particular question in the staging of George is how to present almost 40 scenes, some them very short, as smoothly as possible. In fact, the jumps time and place, and the number of them, are not unlike the plays of Shakespeare. Our approach has therefore been to use the same free-flowing style that we have developed for Shakespeare productions at the Barn – where action unfolds quickly on a single set, and where no fittings, furniture or props appear unless they are directly used in the action.

I hope you enjoy this production and the efforts of all those involved in making it happen. A special welcome is due to Simon Birks, Malcolm Wood, Sid Jones, Eric Seymour and David Pierce, for whom this is their first production for Wick.”