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The Happiest Days of Your Life

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.

June 6, 7, 8 & 9, 2007.

The Happiest Days of Your Life

by John Dighton

“Enjoyable romp”
– Shoreham Herald –


Directed by
Ray Hopper


Adrian Kenward – Dick Tassell [Assistant Master at Hilary Hall]

Ralph Dawes – Rainbow [School Porter and Groundsman]

Peter Winstone – Rupert Billings [Senior Assistant Master at Hilary Hall]

David Goodger – Godfrey Pond [Headmaster of Hilary Hall]

Judith Berrill – Miss Evelyn Whitchurch [Principal of St. Swithins]

Diane Robinson – Miss Gossage [Senior Assistant Mistress at St. Swithins]

Hugo Harwood – Hopcroft Mi [Pupil at Hilary Hall]

Addie Marten – Barbara Cahoun [Pupil at St. Swithins]

Hazel Starns – Joyce Harper [Assistant Mistress at St. Swithins]

Tony Brownings – The Reverend Edward Peck

Susanna Chaplin – Mrs. Peck [his wife]

John Garland – Edgar Sowter

Barbara Thomas – Mrs. Sowter [his wife]


Production Crew

Stage Manager – Richard Bulling

Stage Manager – David Comber

Assistant Stage Manager – Olive Smith

Technical Stage Manager – Helen Brewster

Lighting Design & Technicians – Mike Medway

Sound Design & Technician – Jonathon Weldon

Properties – Margaret Davy

Properties – Sue Whittaker

Wardrobe – Cherry Briggs

Wardrobe – Maggi Pierce

Set & Technical Team – David Comber

Set & Technical Team – Richard Bulling

Set & Technical Team – Dave Collis

Set & Technical Team – Sue Chaplin

Set & Technical Team – Mark Flower

Set & Technical Team – Philip Oliver

Set & Technical Team – Sheila Neesham

Press & Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy

Press & Publicity – Lucien Bouchy

Press & Publicity – Rosemary Brown

Poster & Programme Design – Judith Berrill

Front of House Co-ordinator – Betty Dawes

Box Office – Margaret Murrell


Programme Note #1: The Happiest Days Of Your Life

RH wrote: “So there I was in the autumn of 2003 reading a review of a revival of Happiest Days at the Manchester Royal Exchange. How odd, I thought, can’t still be funny after 55 years. But the reviewer seemed to think otherwise, and so I organised a company play reading in the Spring of 2004, at which I disgraced myself by giggling helplessly when supposed to be reading.

So was born the idea that I would like to say thank you to the Wick for 50 years of wonderful fun and friendship by directing our revival of this play, which marked my debut on the Barn stage in 1957. I’m also delighted that a member of the 1957 cast, Ralph Dawes, is also appearing in our current production and another, Betty Dawes, is our Front of House manager. I am also looking forward to meeting many other ‘old Wickers’, some of whom were also involved in our original production. At the other end of the age spectrum, we are delighted to welcome 2 members of the Young Wick, Addie Marten, playing Barbara Cahoun [not spelt Colqhoun] and Hugo Harwood as Hopcroft Mi [in training for 2057?]

Personally I’ve been on this wonderful nostalgia trip for the past few months. This is what we used to laugh at in the 1940s and 50s. To my delight the current cast see to have found the play both enjoyable and funny, and we all hope so much that you do too!”


Programme Note #2: The Happiest Days Of Your Life

To aid the enjoyment of the evening the programme offered a “Glossary for the under 40’s”

Evacuation – during wartime individual children and whole schools were moved to parts of the country considered to be safer.
Wire and Telegram – fast means of sending a message through the post office.
Don Bradman – legendary Australian batsman.
Five Bob- five shillings equivalent to 25 pence.
Half-a-Crown – a substantial coin equivalent to 12.5 pence.
Telephone exchange – telephone calls were not dialled directly but through a switchboard operator.
LMS – London, Midland and Scottish Railway.
Tapioca – a stodgy milk pudding.
Whale Steak – meat was in short supply but whale steak was available although rather unpalatable – also known as Moby Dick.
Ration Book – coupons for foods and clothes in short supply – children had their own ration book including the sweet ration.