The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
December 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12, 1970.
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austin dramatised by Helen Jerome
Nikki Le Roy – Mr. Bennet
Jean Porter – Mrs. Bennet
Audrey Laye – Lady Lucas
Sheila Deasey – Charlotte Lucas
Susan Brown – Elizabeth Bennet
Susan Welton – Jane Bennet
Coral Guildford – Lydia Bennet
Neil Shepherd – Mr. Darcy
Michael Padley – Mr. Bingley
Ralph Dawes – Mr. Collins
Richard Porter – Mr. Wickham
Margaret Ockenden – Miss Bingley
Valerie Bingham – The Lady Catherine de Bourgh
Ronald Bolt – Col. the Hon. Guy Fitzwilliam
Betty Dawes – Mrs. Gardiner
Joy Talmage – Hill, the Bennett Maid
Hilary Wiltshire – A Nurse [Mrs. Lake]
Mary Paine – Maggie
Hilary Goldsmith – play other parts
Julia Mathews – play other parts
Anthony Deasey – play other parts
Rickard Coussins – play other parts
Stage Manager – Barrie Bowen
Assistant Stage Manager – Aubrey Wooton
Wardrobe – Pat Moss
Wardrobe – Carol Brand
Effects – Terry Gibbs
Effects – Frank Hurrell
Lighting – Frank Hurrell
Properties – Frances Thorne
Properties – Margaret Davy
Front of House Manager – George Laye
Publicity Design – Andrew Edwards
Programme Note #1: Pride and Prejudice
BETTY DAWES is one of the founder members still with WICK. Amongst her many acting rôles, one will recall her Emma in Sailor Beware! and Watch It, Sailor, Blithe Spirit, The Hollow, The Happiest Days of Your Life and countless more. Betty is also a producer with The Girl Who Couldn’t Quite, our fiftieth production A Touch of the Poet and a home-grown revue, Wickerwork, all to her credit.
Together with husband Ralph she is devising an experimental piece of drama on the theme of Discovery. This relies on the creative thinking of all involved. Its purpose is to extend the training of younger actors and would-be producers. It is to be part of a combined multi-team presentation at the Chichester Festival Theatre on February 23 next year.
Betty’s longer term ambitions seem to lie in production with hopes of one day presenting Death of a Salesman, The Rainmaker or The Winslow Boy. These varied experiences as actress and producer are a valuable asset to us and we can look forward to seeing the results of her ambitions in the not too distant future.
NEIL SHEPHARD’s first taste of acting was as a 6th form Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew although his Southampton University reading of modern languages prevented any further acting for a time. Petruchio had exposed him to the benefits of acting. To quote – ‘it has helped me escape my routine and discovered another self, whilst at the same time having a pleasant social life thrown in.’
Neil came to WICK in May 1969 to restart his acting interest and appeared at that time in Boeing-Boeing. Since then he has been busy along with most of the males in the company and has played in Wait Until Dark, Hotel Paradiso and Oh! What a Lovely War. Acting for Neil not only satisfies a creative thirst and social need, but he finds the challenge of variety between comedy and drama, and the diversity of skills required throughout the company to produce these plays, stimulating. These many facets of WICK all contribute to his satisfaction of belonging to a ‘polished team’ – to quote again. Well, if he’s right let’s hope we can maintain an attractive lustre for Neil and others like him.
Programme Note #2: Pride and Prejudice
“Fresh from Oh! What a Lovely War – an ambition achieved – we return to traditional theatre. To find a member uninvolved is currently most difficult. Whilst we like to see all members occupied it can have its problems. Often we have to forgo many embellishments that more time or members would otherwise allow us to develop for the good of the play and your enjoyment. Having said that let us point out that we are not making any excuses but rather an advertisement.
We have welcomed several new faces this season and, with a few more similar skills, an extension of ideas would soon be seen in the theatre. Those of you or your friends who are remotely interested are promised a full social life and, most of all, theatrical recreation. We’re not difficult to get to know so why not come along and prove it.
We like the life and we are sure you would too.
We met most Mondays at the Community Centre adjoining this theatre or you can contact us through the Secretary,
Jean Porter, 26 Norman Crescent, Shoreham. Telephone 3641.
Publicity #1: Pride and Prejudice
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: December 4 1970 issue – page 2
Text Header: “‘PRIDE AND PREJUDICE’ ”
WICK Theatre is presenting Pride and Prejudice at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, from Tuesday to Saturday next week.
The play is a sentimental comedy adapted from Jane Austen’s novel by Helen Jerome. The machinations of bringing about suitable marriages for young ladies in the late 18th century provides most of the humour. To quote Mrs Bennett, mother of three daughters in the play; “From what I know of men, if we left it to them and heaven, we should all be old maids.” True love prevails, conquering all obstacles.
Pat Moss has made all the delightful costumes for this play, which is produced by Frances Moulton. A strong cast is headed by Jean Porter, Nikki le Roy, Sue Brown, Sue Welton, Neil Shephard and Michael Padley.
Anyone requiring tickets should telephone Southwick 4114.
Review #1: Pride and Prejudice
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: December 11 1970 issue – page 2
Text Header: “GREAT EYE FOR DETAIL IN COSTUME DRAMA”
FRESH from Oh! What a Lovely War, an ambition achieved, Wick Theatre is achieving another on in the excellent presentation by Helen Jerome of Jane Austen’s famous novel Pride and Prejudice at the Barn Theatre, Southwick. Final performances are tonight [Friday] and tomorrow.
Playing to near capacity houses, this long three-act play alternates between the drawing room at Longbourn in Hertfordshire, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their three beautiful daughters: Aunt Gardiner’s home in Cheapside, London, and the drawing-room at Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s home in Hunsford, in Kent.
The scenic effects and eye for detail in this costume period comedy type of drama are finely executed.
Frances Moulton handles the production of this difficult play to produce with skill drawn from a long experience of the theatre and love of Jane Austen’s work. The play opens in the house of the Bennet family, Nikki Le Roy in the rôle of Mr. Bennet is truly professional only to be found in a master craftsman of his ability to act and sustain the right meter of acting. Brilliant in the part of Mrs. Bennet is Jean Porter, who has long delighted audiences with a series of rôles, each one seemingly to be better than the previous one.
The Bennet daughters, Elizabeth, Jane and Lydia, are well sustained by Susan Brown, Susan Welton and Coral Guildford respectively, with Susan Brown, as Elizabeth, having by far the best chance to show what a great young actress she is. Neil Shephard portrays Mr. D’Arcy most effectively, with good support from Michael Padley as Mr. Bingley and Ralph Dawes as Mr. Collins. Casting in these parts was excellent.
Effective portrayals are given by Sheila Deasey as Charlotte Lucas; Audrew [sic] Laye as Lady Lucas; and Richard Porter as Mr. Wickham. Portraying Miss Bingley, Margaret Ockenden acts superbly. Equally good is Valerie Bingham as Lady Catherine de Bourgh and it is a pleasure to see Betty Dawes in the part of Mrs. Gardiner. Ronald Bolt, a member of the Crescent Operatic and Dramatic Society, making a guest appearance, creates the right impression in the part of Colonel the Hon. Guy Fitzwilliam.
Effective support is also given by Joy Talmage, Hilary Wiltshire, Mary Paine, Hilary Goldsmith, Julia Matthews, Anthony Deasey, and Rickard Coussins.
Other credits are due to Barrie Bowen, Audrey Wooton, Pat Moss, Carol Brand, Terry Gibb, Frank Hurrell, Margaret Davy, Frances Horne, Brian Moulton and Steven Moulton for helping to stage this production, George Laye is front of house manager.
Review #2: Pride and Prejudice
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: December 11 1970 issue
Text Header: “It’s a joy to watch, this Wick triumph”
FOR a really elegant and joyous production, you should see the Wick Theatre Company production of Pride and Prejudice [the Helen Jerome dramatisation], of which final performances are tonight and tomorrow at 7.45 at the Barn Theatre, Southwick.
The production, by Frances Moulton, is specially notable for a superb performance by Jean Porter as the loquacious, marriage-orientated Mrs. Bennet. Her garrulity, her limitless capacity for “putting her foot in it”, her obsessive desire to see her daughters married at all costs is all so admirably rounded out in this really delightful characterisation. Her husband is played by Nikki Le Roy. Their three girls Elizabeth, Jane and Lydia are Susan Brown, Susan Weldon and Coral Guilford. These three maintained the family relationship whist being very distinctive characters in their own right. I think I have a slight preference for Susan Brown’s Elizabeth but all three are quite enchanting.
Of the gentlemen, Neil Shephard makes a creditable character of the improbable Mr. Darcy whose arrogance and snobbishness fade before his love for Elizabeth, Michael Padley is an attractive Mr. Bingley and Ralph Dawes is the very soul of the obsequiousness as Rev. Mr. Collins. Richard Porter is the weak and scheming Mr. Wickham.
Margaret Ockenden is politely acid as Miss Bingley, Valerie Bingham as aristocratic as they come as Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Charlotte Lucas [who has the misfortune to win Mr. Collins] is nicely played by Sheila Deasey with Audrey Laye as her give-as-good-as-she-gets mother, Lady Lucas. Betty Dawes is the Bennet girls’ aunt, Mrs. Gardiner, and Ronald Bolt, the Hon. Guy Fitzwilliam. The servants are Joy Talmage as the Bennett’s maid, Hill, Hilary Wiltshire as the nurse, and Mary Paine as the Gardiners’ maid Maggie. Other taking part are Hilary Goldsmith, Julia Matthews, Anthony Deasey and Richard Coussins.
Stage settings by the company are excellent and the same is true of Pat Moss’s costumes
Review #3: Pride and Prejudice
Text Header: “Magnificent, first class Wick”
SELDOM does one forget that amateur productions are amateur. But Pride and Prejudice, by the Wick Theatre Company on Tuesday night was truly professional in acting, direction and, above all, poise. Nikki Le Roy and Jean Porter as Mr. and Mrs. Bennet were magnificent: he gently humorous and ironical, she whimsical and fluffy. I don’t think I’ve seen better on any stage.
The production was enhance by some delightful costumes, definitely in period, by Pat Moss. The whole play, superb comedy that it is, is not so simple to perform. The mother and pretty daughters could have been far too sugary, but they were perfection. Sue Brown, Sue Welton and Coral Guildford played the girls. The two main men – Neil Shephard as Darcy and Michael Padley as Mr. Bingley – were suitably stiff upper-lippish.
An all-round first-class production running until Saturday. Produced by Frances Moulton.
Review #4: Pride & Prejudice
Publication: Words & Music
Publication Data: No. 91 – March / April 2001 issue – page 7
Reviewer: Gordon Bull
This adaptation of Jane Austen’s famous novel was in every sense most convincing.
A strong cast directed by Joan Bearman took place in authentic looking sets and costumed nicely by Harvey’s of Hove and Loo Prop Hire.
I have total difficulty in singling out any from the 14 strong cast for comment for each one conveyed their part clearly and with conviction. Without in any way detracting from his colleagues Anthony Muzzall was given the obsequious Mr. Collins to realise and he did not waste his obvious talents in creating this character. Philip Balding as the proudly arrogant Mr. Darcy was sufficiently snooty and Olive Smith as Lady Catherine more than equally snobby.
Peter Winstone was the nice Mr. Bingley and Diane Robinson as the easy-to-please Mrs. Bennett. The three Bennett daughters were played by Claire Wiggins, Jane Richards and Michelle Wragg as the wayward Lydia. Other parts were taken by Maria Robinson, Joan Braddock, Rosemary Bouchy, Hazel Starns, Hugh Hemmings and John Garland.
This was an all-round good show. Look out for Jo Orton’s ‘Loot’ in March.