The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
December 16, 17 & 18, 1965.
Such a Place in Time
by Elizabeth Penney
Reginald Guy – Archangel Gabriel
Maureen Payne – Mary
David Goodger – Joseph
Clodagh O’Farrell – Hulda
Fay Sturt – 1st neighbour
Rosemary Pigott – 2nd neighbour
Dale Wood – 3rd neighbour
Janice Hopper – 4th neighbour
Isabel Pilcher – 5th neighbour
Wendy Rogers – Mary’s Angel
Angela Bolton – Madam
Susanna Porter – The Little Maid
Judith Greenfield – The Kitchen Maid
Norman Hutchins – Hula’s husband
Ralph Dawes – 1st shepherd
Colin Lydon – 2nd shepherd
David Creedon – 3rd shepherd
Anne Strong – 1st servant
Jane Chinchen – 2nd servant
Rosalind Boyten – 3rd servant
Coral Guildford – 4th servant
Brian Moulton – Caspar
Barrie Bowen – Melchior
Peter Elson – Balshaazar
Nicolas Bolton – Servant to the Wise Men
Rev. Holdsworth – Angel
Rev. Leavey – Angel
Rev. Woodget – Angel
Father José – Angel
R Twine [Southwick Players] – Angel
Stage Manager – Ian Elliott
Lighting – Frank Hurrell
Sound Effects – Terry Mase
Costume Designer – Belinda Jupp
Costumes – Bess Blagden
Costumes – Morfydd Bowen
Property – Pauline Dorman
Costume Hire – Nikki Le Roy
Front of House Manager – Peter Power
Publicity #1: Such a Place in Time
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: November 5 issue 1965 – page 12
Text Header: “Christmas play for Wick group”
THE Wick Theatre has completed casting of its Christmas production, Such a Place in Time. The story of the first Christmas, it was written by a local playwright who is also the company’s President, Mrs Elizabeth Penney of Church-lane, Southwick.
The part of Joseph will be played by David Goodger who was Richard Rich in the recent production of A Man for all Seasons and who in the past also acted with Sompting Congregational Church group. Mary will be Maureen Payne whom Southwick audiences may remember as Maria Marten in the play of that name which took the company to the finals of the Sussex Full-length Drama Festival last year.
Ralph Dawes, Fay Sturt, Barrie Bowen and many other stalwarts of the Wick will also be appearing. In addition the company has recruited members of a number of local churches to swell its ranks. The Rev. Michael Staines will be Archangel Gabriel and the Rev. S. G. Woodget and the Rev. G. L. Houldsworth have also agreed to take part.
Such a Place in Time will be staged at the Barn Theatre from December 15 to 18.
Publicity #2: Such a Place in Time
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: December 10 issue 1965 – page 3 – picture
A SCENE from Such a Place in Time, the Wick Theatre Company’s production at the Barn Theatre next week.
Left to right are Wendy Rogers as the angel, Dale Wood as a neighbour [kneeling], Maureen Payne as Mary and David Goodyear [sic] as Joseph.
Review #1: Such a Place in Time
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: December 24 issue – page 9
Text Header: “CLERGYMEN WERE ANGELS IN PLAY”
THE true meaning of Christmas was depicted with rare artistry, both in acting and visual beauty, in the Wick Theatre Company’s production of Such A Place in Time at the Barn Hall, Southwick, last week. The fourth and final performance was on Saturday. Written and produced by the Company’s President, Elizabeth Penney, this nativity play has been staged in Southwick three times in the past decade. It gains in stature with the years, and on this occasion was dressed and set in Byzantine style. The cast was augmented by members of local churches, and in the interval each evening, community carol singing was led either by Kingston and District Women’s Institute choir, the choir of Manor Hall Junior School, Southwick, or by Pat Johnson. Singing heard during the play was recorded by the Manor Hall children.
The story of the first Christmas was told graphically, in modern English, from the Annunciation up to the departure of the Three Wise Men. There were moments of real occasion in the play, enhanced by fine, studied performances in which the players acted with a sense of dedication and team work, all trends to self-assertion set aside.
Elizabeth Penney devised the settings and the costumes were designed by Belinda Jupp and executed by Bess Blagden and Morfydd Bowen.
Among the performances which impressed particularly favourably were those of Maureen Payne [Mary], David Goodger [Joseph], Clodagh O’Farrell [Hulda], Angela Bolton [Madam] and Susanna Porter [Little Maid]. The contrasting natures of the women neighbours were brought out with realism by Fay Sturt, Rosemary Piggott, Dale Wood, Janice Hopper and Isabel Pilcher, and the shepherds were capably played by Ralph Dawes, Colin Lydon and David Creedon. The Wiser Men, impressive figures with a dignity befitting their rôles, were portrayed by Brian Mouton, Barrie Bowen and Peter Elson, and Reginald Guy’s Archangel Gabriel and Wendy Roger’s Mary’s Angel were beautifully depicted.
Judith Greenfield’s kitchen maid was well acted, and appearing as Angels on different nights were the Rector of Southwick [the Rev. R. J. Leavey], the Rev. S. G. Woodget [Congregational], the Rev. G. L. Holdsworth [Methodist], Father José [Roman Catholic] and R. Twine [Southwick Players]. Ably completing the cast were Norman Hutchins [Hulda’s husband], Nicholas Bolton [Wise Men’s servant] and Anne Strong, Jane Chinchen, Rosalind Boyten and Coral Guildford [servants].
Also assisting were Ian Elliott [stage manager], Frank Hurrell [lighting], Terry Mase [sound effects] and Pauline Dorman [properties].
Review #2: Such a Place in Time
Publication Data: Unknown
Text Header: “Group present president’s play”
MRS ELIZABETH PENNEY author of the Nativity play, Such a Place in Time, says most of her plays never see the light of day unless ‘someone grabs and produces them.
It appears other people think more of Mrs Penney’s writing talents than she does herself. The Screenwriter’s Guild have enrolled her as a member and an agent is trying to find her work as a freelance television script writer.
For the third time since she wrote Such a Place in Time, The Wick Theatre Company – of which she is president – presented it last week at the Southwick Theatre. The group plans to do the play every fifth Christmas – “we call it our own Oberammergau”, says Mrs Penney.
The club, founded 12 years ago, will shortly be producing its 50th play and people from as far off as Horsham and Henfield come to see what they have to offer.
“We are very particular what we put on,” Mrs Penney says, “We don’t think it is worth putting on rubbish. If we don’t get the audience we raise money in other ways.” In October the company produced Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons and in February they will present David Turner’s Semi-Detached. A stage as small as that at the Barn Theatre can bring all sorts of complications for a cast as large as 23, but the company made light of this handicap when Mrs Penney’s Christmas play was presented.
Judith Greenfield as the kitchen maid was quite excellent reluctantly giving Joseph and Mary room in the cow-shed she leaves Joseph with these caustic words: “Don’t draw too much water. A camel’s not been born.” [web ed; should this be ‘not being born’?]
Review #3: Such a Place in Time
Publication Data: Unknown
Text Header: “A high standard of acting”
NATIVITY plays are difficult things to perform effectively – because everyone knows the story by heart already and there can be no mystery, suspense or surprise. But much of the strengths of the production by the Wick Theatre Company, Southwick, was that it linked the so-familiar story with present day life.
Such a Place in Time was written for the company by their President, Elizabeth Penney. Members of the company also made the costumes. A highlight of the script, perhaps, was the presentation of the village women of Nazareth – entirely believable in their gossiping and cattiness. David Goodger’s Joseph, too, had a down-to-earth realism. Here was a friendly working man, happy at the birth of his son and not yet able to understand all this talk about a Messiah. The landlady at the Bethlehem Inn, played by Angela Bolton, was another neat piece of characterisation but Maureen Payne’s Mary became a little to cloying and over-pious.
But, altogether the company had produced a well-presented piece with a high standard of acting by a large cast.