The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
June 16, 17, 18, 19 & 20, 1970.
Say Who You Are
by Keith Waterhouse & Willis Hall
Barrie Bowen – David Lord
Pat Moss – Sarah Lord
Margaret Ockenden – Valerie Pitman
Jack Bingham – Stuart Wheeler
Stage Manager – George Laye
ASM – Aubrey Wooton
Production Secretary – Sheila Deasey
Lighting – Frank Hurrell
Properties – Margaret Davy [nee Perrett]
Sound Effects – Terry Mase
Programme Note: Say Who You Are
“Say Who You Are is listed as a comedy. It is from the pen of those two practised artificers, Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall. Two earlier plays from this successful team are Billy Liar and All Things Bright and Beautiful which have been termed ‘housing estate’ comedies. Say Who You Are represents a complete change of style. In it we see a direct descendant of the ‘comedy of manners’ – a contemporary drawing-room comedy. Whereas in the past, in this type of play, the life of the day has been glossed over, here people are found in real situations and reacting to them and each other in a natural way.
This play has been termed a bright and brittle near-farce, a recipe for undiluted joy and whilst you might be left in the air as to the outcome at the final curtain, the authors never abandon the realms of comedy.
Kensington is chosen as the venue for this play and as it is necessary to have three distinct acting areas, a challenge has been handed out to the technical staff for the creation of a composite set and the lighting of it. The challenge has been met with great enthusiasm resulting in the transformation of the Barn Theatre into ‘somewhere in South Kensington’ which you see before you.
Say Who You Are – so called because an important member of the cast is a telephone box – became, overnight, one of London’s biggest comedy successes and it is the hope of the Company that it will prove to be a fitting conclusion to this very special season, for us – our 21st.”
Publicity #1: Say Who You Are
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: June 12 1970 issue – page 2
Text Header: ” . . . THEN ON TO HENLEY ”
WICK THEATRE COMPANY continues its season with the production Say Who You Are by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, from Tuesday to Saturday. Waterhouse and Hall have written several plays, including Billy Liar and are well known for their TV comedy scripts. For those who like their comedy witty and sophisticated, this play should fit the bill.
The play revolves around four characters played by Pat Moss, Margaret Ockenden, Barrie Bowen and Jack Bingham.
The set, which is highly complicated and includes a public phone box and a lift, has been designed and made by Worthing College of Design. The production is by Audrey Laye, who comes from Henley. Her old company is reconstructing its theatre and Wick is taking this play there for a one night stand. Proceeds will go towards the reconstruction fund.
Pat Moss also runs the box office and anyone requiring tickets should contact her at Southwick 4114.
Publicity #2: Say Who You Are
Publication: The Argus
Publication Data: June 12 1970 issue
Although no mention was made in the programme, Wick had some outside help! A clipping from the Evening Argus dated Friday June 12 1970 shows a telephone box being wheeled on a dolly in Union Street Worthing, from an annex to the main building by students from the West Sussex College of Design. They had been commissioned to make the kiosk and other props and scenery for this play.
The article also said that “Seven students will be showing their work for the college diploma in London next month. It will include designs for stage sets, costumes and props.” A second article the following week [probably in the Herald] explained that the students were showing their work for the college diploma in ‘theatre design and technology’ at Courtaulds Celenese House, Hanover Square, London; July 13th – 17th.
Review #1: Say Who You Are
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: June 19 190 issue – page 4
Text Header: “BRIGHT, BRITTLE FUN IN ‘SAY WHO YOU ARE'”
WICK THEATRE COMPANY have chosen a fitting climax to their special 21st season by presenting the comedy Say Who You Are by Willis Hall and Keith Waterhouse at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, this week. The play opened on Tuesday and the last performance is on Saturday.
In this bright brittle near-farce the authors and those taking part never abandon the realms of comedy. Kensington is the venue for action and it is necessary to have three distinct acting areas. The challenge to the technical staff for the creation of a composite set and its lighting has met with a remarkable degree of success, resulting in the transformation of the Barn Theatre.
Say Who You Are [so called because an important feature of the play is the telephone box] has only four characters. Heading a strong, well balanced quartet is Barrie Bowen, who gives a fine performance as David Lord, a successful businessman, who is married to Sarah, beautifully portrayed by Pat Moss. The underlying situation in most farces is a mix-up of characters, Margaret Ockenden gives and excellent portrayal of Valerie Pitman, who pretends to be married to David, unbeknown to him and with full complicity of Sarah, who lends the flat to Valerie, so that she can entertain her lover, Stuart Wheeler, a married man, who thinks she is married.
The lift in the set is effectively staged and the timing of the characters is perfect. Jack Bingham, as Stuart, gives a forceful performance.
The fast moving production is by Audrey Laye and other credits go to Stage Manager, George Laye, assisted by Aubrey Wooton, production secretary, Sheila Deasey, lighting Frank Hurrell, sound effects by Terry Mase and properties by Margaret David [sic], who has been in charge of this side of the production of nearly every Wick Theatre play for the past 12 years.
In charge of front of house arrangements are Brian and Frances Moulton.
Review #2: Say Who You Are
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Walter Hix
Text Header: “A Challenge is overcome”
Say Who You Are by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, currently presented by the Wick Theatre Company, is a challenge to everybody concerned, the cast of four, the producer and the stage manager. All succeed.
The plot is not unduly complicated, there are no who-dun-it surprises but the skilful way in which the story evolves is all part of the fun and it would be a disservice to tonight and to-morrow’s audiences to give too much away.
David and Sarah Lord are played with great skill by Barrie Bowen and Pat Moss. They have a slickness and style which puts one in mind of the really well-known light comedy teams; their misunderstandings, quarrels and reconciliations have a degree of professionalism about them which lifts the production above good amateur status. Margaret Ockenden is Valerie Pitman, a young woman of what we used to call ‘advanced’ ideas, and Jack Bingham is Stuart Wheeler, an unhappy husband. These two sustain the play admirably although with rather less panache than their friends the Lords.
Technically, the whole production is first-class both in the playing and in the staging. A play requiring three acting areas is a challenge indeed when one has only the small stage of the Barn Theatre, but George Laye, the stage manager, succeeds admirably and the set design by Worthing School of Design students is almost worth seeing on its own. The telephone box which figures so largely in the story is so authentic in appearance that when the Worthing students were moving it a public spirited lady reported to the police that someone was stealing a telephone-box!
A feature of this stage set is that it is completely demountable and later in the month it will be taken in two small vans to Henley, former home of producer Audrey Laye, where a performance is to be given by the Wick Theatre Company in aid of the local society’s rebuilding fund.
Do go to the last production of the Wick Theatre Company’s 21st season and see how completely they have grown up.
Post Production Publicity #3: Say Who You Are
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: June 19 1970 issue – page 7 [three pictures accompanied piece] Text Header: IT’S A PHONEY STORY …
A TELEPHONE BOX proceeding in a westerly direction in Union-place, Worthing, propelled by a trio of young men and women, attracted attention last Thursday. It was taken to the head post office and placed in position between the pair of telephone boxes permanently sited there.
To meet public demand? No. The newcomer was not quite what it seemed. It is, in fact, a stage prop made by the students of the West Sussex College of Design for Wick Players’ current production, Say Who You Are, being staged at the Barn Theatre, Southwick. Students took over the designing and made all the scenery and props for this play.
Seven students from the college are shoeing their work for the college diploma in “theatre design and technology” at Courtlands Celenese House, Hanover-square, London, from July 13 until July 17. Included in the exhibition will be their designs for stage sets, costumes and props.
This rather special course has been running successfully for a number of years, and former students are now active in both the theatre and television worlds. But this will be the first occasion on which the college has arranged a London showing of this area of work carried out in the network vocational course which the college now follows.
The Wick Players draw members from Brighton to Worthing.