The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
June 24, 25, 26 & 27 2015
Daisy Pulls It Off
by Denise Deegan
2015 NODA South East Region – District 1 – Accolade of Dramatic Excellence
Sophie Lane – Daisy Meredith
Helen Armes – Clare Beaumont
Anna Quick – Sybil Burlington
Sarah Frost – Alice Fitzpatrick
Naomi Horsfall – Trixie Martin
Elizabeth Ryder-Weldon – Belinda Mathieson
Juliette van Noorden – Winnie Irving
Rebecca Hodge – Dora Johnson
Phoebe Williams-Hine – Monica
Judith Berrill – Miss Gibson
Annabelle Heath – Daisy’s Mother
Maggi Pierce – Miss Granville
Heather Jefferies – Mademoiselle
Annabelle Heath – Miss Waller
Dan Dryer – Mr Scoblowski
Bob Ryder – Mr Thompson
Stage Manager – David Comber
Deputy Stage Manager – Julian Batstone
Lighting – Kieran Pollard
Lighting – George Dan
Sound Design – Bob Ryder
Sound Operation – George Bundock
Wardrobe – Maggi Pierce
Wardrobe – Cherry Fraser
Properties – Anita Shipton
Properties – Di Tidzer
Set Construction & Painting – Nigel Goldfinch
Set Construction & Painting – Carl Gray
Set Construction & Painting – David Comber
Set Construction & Painting – Dave Collis
Set Construction & Painting – Sue Chaplin
Set Construction & Painting – Sheila Neesham
Set Construction & Painting – Margaret Davy
Set Construction & Painting – Gary Walker
Music Co-ordinator – Elizabeth Ryder-Weldon
Dance Co-ordinator – Sarah Frost
Rehearsal Prompt – Caroline Woodley
Poster Design – Richard Joyce
Publicity – Peter Joyce
Publicity – Maggi Pierce
Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Publicity – Judith Berrill
Front of House – Betty Dawes
Programme Note #1: Daisy Pulls It Off
DR wrote: ” Jemima! If you’re reading this, it must mean production week has begun! Jubilate, What fun!
Well, I would love to be able to say that it has been long held ambition of mine to direct this play but that would not be true! In fact when I was originally asked whether I would like to direct Daisy, I was flattered to be asked, but not overly keen. As an ex-Drama teacher and examiner, I had seen some pretty dreadful renditions of this play and, sadly, had never seen a professional or high quality production.
I was completely wrong to be so skeptical, it is a wonderfully joyous, well-written and entertaining play and in the extremely capable hands of my wonderful cast, it is proving to be an excellent choice of play for the Wick Theatre Company.
The play Daisy Pulls It Off has a cast of 15 and 13 of those are females: a brilliant opportunity to cast a number of Wick Theatre company’s very talented actresses. It was also not only current members who were tempted by a play that everyone else saw the potential in but me, for it attracted the wonderful talents of 5 new acting members and the return of two ex-members!
Daisy Pulls It Off is wonderfully entertaining, fast-paced play and hopefully, with the brilliant and talented Wick Theatre Company cast you see before you tonight, you are in for an absolutely spiffing night out!
It only remains for me to say therefore a very big thank you to you for coming to this production and to my lovely, intelligent and committed cast for making the rehearsal process such a joy! ”
Publicity #1: Daisy Pulls It Off
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: June 18 2015 issue – page 8
Text Header: “Parody of classic girls’ adventure story”
WICK Theatre Company’s next production is a riotous and affectionate parody of a classic girls’ adventure story. Set in 1927, Daisy Pulls It Off centres on super achiever Daisy Meredith, the first scholarship pupil from an elementary school to be allowed access to the hallowed halls of Grangewood School for Young Ladies.
Press officer Judith Berrill said: “Daisy finds herself struggling fearlessly to be accepted against unutterable snobs Sybil and Monica and their frightful schemes to get her expelled. With her new best friend, madcap Trixie Martin, Daisy finds herself caught up in a series of harum scarum adventures including the search for missing treasure. ”
Talented drama teacher Diane Robinson directs the cast of 15. Sophie Lane takes the rôle of Daisy, having given some outstanding performances since joining Young Wick as a teenager in 2005. This will be her last show before she and Wick partner Tom move to live and work in Mauritius.
Performances run from Wednesday to next Saturday at the Barn Theatre, Southwick Street, Southwick, at 7.45pm. Tickets from the box office on 01273 597094.
Publicity #2: Daisy Pulls It Off
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: June 18 2015 issue – page 46
Correspondent: Phil Hewitt
Text Header: “Daisy pulls it off!”
A spiffing summer comedy is promised with Wick’s next show, Daisy Pulls It Off.
Spokeswoman Judith Berrill said: “This is a riotous and affectionate parody of the classic girls’ adventure story. Set in 1927, the plot centres on super achiever Daisy Meredith, the first scholarship pupil from an elementary school to be allowed access to the hallowed halls of Grangewood School for Young Ladies. Daisy finds herself struggling fearlessly to be accepted against unutterable snobs Sybil and Monica and their frightful schemes to get her expelled. With her new best friend, madcap Trixie Martin, Daisy finds herself caught up in a series of harum scarum adventures including the search for missing treasure. Can they work out the elusive clues and save the school from closure? Or will they be beaten by the mysterious Mr Scoblowski?”
Diane Robinson, and experienced drama teacher and examiner, directs a cast of 15 which includes a mix of new, returning and familiar favourites to the Barn stage.
“The rôle of Daisy is played by Sophie Lane who has given some outstanding performances since joining the Young Wick group as a teenager in 2005. This will be Sophie’s 22nd show and Wick will be extremely sorrow to say good bye to her and her Wick partner, Tom, as they will shortly be moving to live and work in Mauritius.”
Daisy Pulls It Off was a huge West End hit and won the Oliver and Drama Theatre Awards for Best Comedy. The play celebrates, with a sly wit and a big heart, and arguably-sweeter, more innocent era.
Performances run from Wednesday, June 24 to Saturday, June 27, at the Barn Theatre, Southwick Street, Southwick. Curtain-up is at 7.45pm.
Tickets £11 on 01273 597094 or www.wicktheatre.co.uk
Review #1: Daisy Pulls It Off
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: July 2 2015 issue – page 10
Reviewer: Elaine Hammond
Text Header: “Daisy, and Diane, pull it off at Wick Theatre”
DIRECTOR Diane Robinson was none too keen when asked to lead Wick Theatre Company’s production of Daisy Pulls it Off. Having seen some ‘pretty dreadful’ renditions, she needed to be convinced it was a good choice for the Barn Theatre stage. Luckily, the company’s enthusiasm rubbed off on her and packed audiences were treated to some ripping fun and games at the Grangewood School for Girls.
“I was completely wrong to be so sceptical,” admitted Diane. “It is a wonderfully joyous, well written and entertaining play and in the extremely capable hands of my wonderful cast, it is proving to be an excellent choice of play.”
The set was impressive, requiring two levels, and the scene changes were subtle.
We saw some great characters, both among ‘the girls’ and ‘the grown-ups’. Sophie Lane was outstanding once again in the role of Daisy – a fine farewell performance as she leaves Wick to live and live and work in Mauritius. Naomi Horsfall was just wonderful as her sidekick Trixie, really playing up to the 1927 posh girls’ school setting. The girls’ train ride was particularly well done. Steam train sounds played as they bounced up and down on their suitcases, perfectly timed to be extremely convincing.
Stand out performances among the adults included Judith Berrill as Miss Gibson, the headmistress, and Dan Dryer as Russian teacher Mr Scoblowski. He was one of a few who had accents to contend with. Others included Sarah Frost, who carried off a brilliant Irish accent as Alice, and Heather Jefferies as the French teacher. Annabelle Heath played Daisy’s mum, although it must have brought back great memories of her time as a child, when she appeared in a speaking part in the original 1954 film, The Belles of St Trinian’s. The theme tune from the film was even used in the play for the water bottle fight scene, which was a nice touch for those who know Annabelle’s history.
There was an awful lot going on throughout, with the second half incredibly fast paced, including a dramatic cliff rescue. The ending played out a bit like an Agatha Christie story, with dramatic revelations coming thick and fast in the concluding scene.
The whole thing was a triumph and showed some great young talent alongside regular cast members.
Review #2: Daisy Pulls It Off
Publication: Brighton Argus
Publication Data: June 26 2015
Reviewer: Barrie Jerram
The girl’s boarding school world, as depicted in the novels of Angela Brazil and Enid Blyton, is evoked but also well and truly spoofed in this play.
Set in 1927 it chronicles the adventures of Daisy, newly arrived at Grangewood School, a scholarship girl from an elementary school, and her battle with prejudice and dirty tricks played upon her by an over-privileged, snobbish classmate. All the classic elements from such novels – hidden treasure, midnight feasts and mysterious strangers – are there. The evening is a bit of a hoot with its exaggerated characterisations and the “gels” vernacular dialogue.
The excellent Sophie Lane imbues Daisy with an honesty and decency that is countered by the spitefulness of the snobbish Sybil and the toadying Monica – an odious pair made flesh by Anna Quick and Phoebe Williams-Hine. Their classmates provide much of the evening’s fun with cartoon-like depiction of hero worship, girlish crushes and gung-ho enthusiasm. Particularly impressive is Naomi Horsfall as Madcap Trixie Martin whose movements and comic timing has echoes of a youthful Joyce Grenfell.
However the otherwise well staged production has problems at times with audibility, especially in the first act. Greater projection is needed when actors talk across or upstage.
Review #3: Daisy Pulls It Off
Publication: N.O.D.A – National Operatic and Dramatic Association
Publication Data: June 25 2015
Reviewer: Lance Milton – Regional representative for South East Region District 1 – Mid Sussex
Jubilate, what fun! – is an utterly fitting synopsis of Diane Robinsons production of the hilarious and deliciously swish script penned by Denise Deegan which takes a delightfully stylised poke at 1920’s English girls boarding school life.
Frequently the play is treated St. Trinians style with the schoolgirls played by older actresses and the headmistress by a man, however Wick Theatre Company was much more discerning in their casting and had clearly been fortunate in having such an incredible pool of talent, old and new, to chose from.
The entire company were fully on their game during the evening that we enjoyed watching, with every performance honed to perfection with just the right measure of stylised over sincerity stereotypical of the comedy period piece, without becoming overly caricature or crass.
There were obvious stand-out performances and, as is so often the case, these came for the most part from the leading principals, not only by virtue of the size and nature of their parts, but clearly the talent reflecting and justifying their casting. Sybil Burlington (Anna Quick) and Clare Beaumont (Helen Armes) were both superb characterisations and Anna and Helena delivered outstanding, amusing but simultaneously believable character performances. All of the remaining cast were excellent during their cameo moments, however Naomi Horsfall as Trixie Martin was totally brilliant in the rôle and delivered many of the show stopping touches and great belly laughs.
However for sheer rôle immersion and continuity of luminosity in delivery the lead, Sophie Lane as Daisy Meredith, was the highlight of the production, with a perfectly timed delivery and utter conviction for this feisty but wholly naive character that any professional would be overjoyed to convey.
However behind every cast delivering this standard there is always a great director and detailed touches and nuances of lustre from Diane Robinson were not overlooked. I absolutely loved her treatment and style in delivering something both true to the writing and at the same time fresh and original – a truly noteworthy success.
Further, behind every successful director and cast there is always a team of dedicated production staff ensuring that the vision is not only delivered, but delivered with passion. The set, wardrobe, costumes, sound, lighting, properties and front of house all delivered first class contributions every bit as vital and professional as the action on stage which raised incredibly high production values, not to mention some very tuneful whistling.
I attend and have attended very many top draw productions in discharging my duty as NODA rep and all can say in summary is that it will take some time to top the sheer fun and delight provided by this Wick Theatre Company show.
Hugh congratulations to Diane and the entire cast, crew and company in this first rate production – it wasn’t only Daisy who pulled it off, WTC certainly did![/showhide]