The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
April 28 – May 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5, 1973.
The Boy Friend
by Sandy Wilson
Barrie Bowen & Frances Moulton
Monica Joyce – Hortense
Miranda Bowen – Maisie [Pupil at Mme. Dubonnet’s Finishing School]
Ann Baker – Dulcie [Pupil at Mme. Dubonnet’s Finishing School]
Moyra Martin – Fay [Pupil at Mme. Dubonnet’s Finishing School]
Helena Drzyzga – Nancy [Pupil at Mme. Dubonnet’s Finishing School]
Sally Bacon – Polly Browne
Mike Donkin – Marcel
Neil Shephard – Pierre
Roy Roberts – Alphonse
Anna Welsh – Madame Dubonnet
Roger Job – Bobby van Husen
Roger Stott – Percival Browne
David Creedon – Tony
Douglas Tucker – Lord Brockhurst
Audrey Laye – Lady Brockhurst
Richard Porter – Waiter
Ronald Bolt – Pepe [speciality dancer]
Dinkie Stapleton – Lolita [speciality dancer]
Jane Durance, Jane Smith, Ann Terry – Girls and Guests
Musical Director – Eric Thompson
Design – Richard Porter
Choreography – Miranda Bowen
Tango arranged by – Dinkie Stapleton
Pianos – Eric Thompson, Lillian Chatfield
Bass – Stuart Bartholomew
Percussion – David Green
Stage Manager – Brian Moulton
Assistant Stage Manager – Ethel Barrs
Assistant Stage Manager – Valerie Bingham
Production Secretary – Sheila Wright
Lighting – Frank Hurrell
Costumes – Pat Moss
Wardrobe – Mary Payne
Wardrobe – Carol Brand
Millinery – Nini del Rue
Millinery – Edna Manwaring
Properties – Margaret Davy
Set Construction – Alan Upton
Set Construction – Bill Mack
Set Construction – George Laye
Scenic Painting & Decor – Richard Porter
Scenic Painting & Decor – John Davidson
Programme Note #1:
BB and FM wrote: “Tonight’s musical play was inspired by the success of our production of Salad Days last season. It may have been a sentimental inspiration that as a company we wished to stage yet another musical. As producers, The Boy Friend has always been a play with which we have both wanted to be associated in some way.
Four years ago we nearly missed such an opportunity when our friends the Southwick Operatic Society hoped to present it. Permission was denied them by a professional revival but we hope that they, and you, will enjoy this presentation as much as we have rehearsing it.”
Programme Note #2:
“The general feeling in WICK is that musical plays are great fun, although hard work. The Boy Friend will be our third full length production with music and it is interesting to reflect on our experience in the song and dance field. After all we are an amateur dramatic company. How did we get around to the idea that we could sing?
Well, of course, you can’t divorce music from drama. It is part of the roots of drama as we know it – the chorus of Greek plays – Shakespeare – Feste’s songs in Twelfth Night for instance – the Masques of the Middle Ages and in modern times the development of dance drama with Hair, Godspell and so on ….
We acquired a taste for music by putting on two sophisticated revues some ten years ago – Noc Turne and Infra Dig – all good fun but not integrated stuff – just songs and sketches. Next we tried The Hollow Crown on one lovely summer evening when Sheila O’Farrell and Christopher Martin sang some traditional airs. Several years passed be fore we decided to put on Oh! What A Lovely War. This play was hard work but very rewarding. We did an excerpt for the Southwick Festival and the following year launched into the full length production with our dear friend the late Peggy King a musical director. It was a great success and whetted our appetites for more. After the passing of another year, Barrie Bowen decide to offer Salad Days as a production. This was presented in the spring of 1972 and the public loved it. Now here we are again. It is not that we aspire to operatic singing. The voices you can judge yourself, but it is the verve and the team work which we hope you will find is putting the song and dance over.
Music is part of drama. We use it to set atmosphere. Sometimes the play itself is music. We recently performed Pinter’s The Collection at the Southwick Festival. Don’t you agree that Pinter uses words and silence as a musical score? It is all about communication – sounds and silence.
Those of you who saw our last show Barefoot in the Park will know how polished that production was and how much enjoyed – we hope The Boy Friend keeps you walking on tip toe with a song in your heart.”
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: Local Limelight feature by Walter Hix
No need to be bored during the next couple of weeks or so. All sorts of things are going on – starting tonight when the Wick Theatre company opens a run until next Saturday at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, at 7.45 p. m. of Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend. Barrie Bowen has directed and Eric Thompson is musical director; Miranda Bowen is choreographer as well as appearing as Maisie, with Roger Job as Bobbie. Also in the production are Sally Bacon as Polly Browne, David Creedon as Tony, Ann Baker, Audrey Laye, Anna Walsh, Douglas Tucker, Dinkie Stapleton and Ronald Bolt are in a speciality tango.
Dinkie Stapleton started her career as an acrobatic dancer, graduated to dancing on ice, and was one of the first to introduce acrobatics on ice. Then she appeared at a British Trade Fair in Baghdad on a specially constructed ice rink. Then this wealthy Arab gentleman wanted to buy the rink and Dinkie with it. Fortunately he was persuaded to buy just the rink. Dinkie has travelled the world as an ice-skater and taught the art to King Faisal.
Coincidence upon coincidence there is another much travelled ice-skater in The Boy Friend. This is Ann Terry who has recently returned from South Africa, who is credited with starting one of the first ice skating clubs in Brighton, appeared in a film called Holiday on Ice, and has done some professional acting. Present intention is to teach ballroom dancing. And yet a further coincidence, she and Dinkie Stapleton have appeared together professionally.
Publication Data: May 4 1973 issue
Reviewer: Patrick Formoy
Text Header: “Impressed – Between Nods”
A 6a.m. May Day start and a 9a.m. murder Press conference detracted somewhat from my chance of giving the Wick Players’ production of The Boy Friend the attention it deserved.
The switch-off of theatre lighting substituting for the use of curtains almost succeeded in sending me off to sleep, but the gutsy chorus of the girls of Mme Dubonnet’s finishing school soon put paid to any possibility of drifting off into the land of nod. For a group that does not make any pretensions of being a musical society, the one act trailer that I saw on Tuesday evening, showed why the show has proved so popular since it began its short run.
There was bags of enthusiasm coming over the footlights and I particularly liked the pert performance put on by Monica Joyce as the little maid Hortense.
The show continues until to-morrow [Saturday]
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Reviewer: Walter Hix
Text Header: “Bubbling Boy Friend is a hit”
The programme notes to the Wick Theatre Company presentation of The Boy Friend include “The voices you can judge for yourselves, but it is the verve and the team work which we hope you will find is putting the song and the dance over.” Well, I DID find it. The pace, enthusiasm and sheer bubbling light-heartedness of the whole cast send the whole thing swinging along really happily.
The very 1920’s pupils at Madame Dubonnet’s Finishing School near Nice are a sheer joy as played by Miranda Bowen, Ann Baker, Moyra Martin and Helena Drzyzga. Their prospective boy friends, Marcel, Pierre, Alfonse and Bobby Van Husen are equally capably played by Mike Donkin, Neil Shephard, Roy Roberts and Roger Job. Sally Bacon as the poor little rich girl Polly Browne I found, perhaps, a trace colourless and surely someone could have found the poor girl a better wig. David Creedon is Tony, the scion of the aristocracy serving as a messenger boy who falls in love with her and shows himself to have a pleasant singing voice as well as being a very competent actor.
Anna Welsh is quite excellent as Madame Dubonnet organising her finishing school in an inspired way. Douglas Tucker and Audrey Laye are Lord Brockhurst, with an eye for the girls, and his Lady who keeps an eye on him. A high spot of the evening is the tango danced by Dinkie Stapleton and Ronald Bolt.
Richard Porter designed practical and economical stage settings as well as playing a waiter. Jane Durrance, Jane Smith and Ann Terry complete the cast as guests. Production was by Barrie Bowen and Frances Moulton, with musical direction by Eric Thompson, who, with Lillian Chatfield, provides the music on two pianos, accompanied by Stuart Bartholomew on double bass and David Green as percussionist.
I believe all seats are sold for tonight’s final performance at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, but it might be worth while trying your luck.