Southwick & Fishersgate Community Association – Fifthteenth Festival of Arts & Crafts
This year’s Drama Festival is being run as a first stage of the British Drama League Festival
The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
April 19 & 20, 1968.
Adjudicator: Mr. J Wilton Anstey, of Eastbourne
The adjudicator scored productions for:
- ‘Dramatic Achievement’ [max15]
- ‘Set’ [max 10]
- ‘Production’ [max 35]
- ‘Acting’ [max 40]
Winning Group: The Phoenix Players
Best Actor: not awarded
Best Actress: Jean Voss -The Phoenix Players
One-Act Drama Festival
Competitors – in order of appearance:
1. Wick Theatre Company
Shelley or The Idealist [Act 1]
by Ann Jellicoe
Produced by George Porter & Bob del Quiaro
Gavin Harding – Shelley
Tony Deasey – Hogg
Heather Burke – Miss Eeney
Rosemary Leavey – Miss Meeks
Coral Guildford – Harriet Westbrook
Janice Hopper – Miss Pybus
Jane Chinchen – Helen Shelley
Janice Hopper – Eliza Westbrook
Terry Phillipe – West Brook
Rosemary Leavey – Servant
Settings – Vincent Joyce
Wardrobe Mistress – Morfydd Bowen
2. Horsham Dramatic Society
A Resounding Tinkle
by N. F. Simpson
Produced by Mary Salaman
3. Phoenix Players
Come into the Garden, Maude
by Noël Coward
Produced by Carol Hiller
4. The Aquarius Theatre Group
The Old Lady Shows Her Medals
by J. M. Barrie
Produced by Stewart Clapperton
5. The Woodingdean Players
The Monkey’s Paw
From a story by W. W. Jacobs [dramatized by Louis N. Parker]
Produced by George Pickett
6. Southwater Amateur Dramatic Society
by Margaret Kressman
Produced by Janice Ross
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: April 26 1968 issue – page 14
Text Header: FESTIVAL OF DRAMA AT SOUTHWICK
AT the Barn Theatre, Southwick, on Friday and Saturday, six amateur groups competed in the first stage of the British Drama League Festival. Adjudged to have given the best performance were the Phoenix Players of Worthing, who presented Noël Coward’s Come into the Garden, Maude. For her performance as Anna-Mary Conklin, Jean Voss won the cup for the best actress.
The adjudicator, Mr J Wilton Anstey, of Eastbourne, announced on Saturday that a cup for the best male performance in the festival would not be awarded, as in his opinion there had been “nothing really outstanding “.
On Friday the Wick Theatre Company, of Southwick, presented Act 1 of Shelley by Ann Jellicoe, directed by George Porter and Robert del Quiaro. The players were Gavin Harding, Tony Deasey, Heather Burke, Rosemary Leavey, Coral Guildford, Janice Hopper, Jane Chinchen and Terry Philippe.
The company entered its under 21s section’s production which had earlier reached the final of the West Sussex Youth Drama Festival. Gavin Harding had taken over the rôle of the poet Shelley towards the end of last month when the original actor had to withdraw.
The adjudicator felt that the author had over-simplified her rendering of Shelley’s early life. The balance of the production had been upset by the cutting of one scene, but he appreciated that groups had to conform to rules about length of playing. There was an occasional tendency to throw lines back and forth without communicating their significance properly.
There was much to praise in the acting, but all the actors suffered from not giving enough depth to their performances, the casting of a younger actor as an old man being a handicap in one case. Shelley was an interesting choice and generally well done, but with certain defects.
All three groups appearing on Sunday were from away, two from the Brighton area and one from Southwater. Mr Anstey gave detailed criticism of each production.
The adjudicator was introduced by Mr R. T. Davidson, warden of Southwick and Fishersgate Community Association, and the cups were distributed by Mrs B. E. Newman.
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: April 26 1968 issue
Text Header: Phoenix win at Southwick
THE Southwick and Fishersgate Community Association Drama Festival on Friday and Saturday resulted in the award going to the Phoenix Players of Worthing with Noël Coward’s Come into the Garden Maud with a commendation to Southwater Amateur Dramatic Society for their production of Apple Pie by Margaret Kressman.
Of the two individual awards, given this year for the first time, the adjudicator [Mr. J Wilton Anstey] decided upon Jean Voss who played Anna-Mary in the award-winning play, and that no male performance had been of sufficient merit to warrant making an award.
The programme opened on Friday with the Wick Theatre Company in Act I of Shelley by Ann Jellicoe.
This performance by the company’s Under-21 group was little different from when I saw it in the Sussex Youth Drama festival except that this time the part of Shelley was played by Gavin Harding.
This was followed by N.F.Simpson’s A Resounding Tinkle by Horsham Dramatic Society, with production of Mary Salaman. This piece of zany nonsense would lose much of its humour if it were over-played or indeed treated as anything but reasonable by the characters. It must be admitted however, that D. J. Radbourne as Bro. Paradock tended to underplay at times, Middie Paradock was excellently played by J.D. Wilde and the sex-changed Uncle Ted by M. N. Hounsome.
Friday’s programme ended with Come into the Garden, Maud by the Phoenix Players, with production by Carol Hiller. I was sorry that the Continental atmosphere was not sustained by John Skinner as the waiter, Felix. He was so demonstrably English and had this small rôle been more meticulously played it would have contributed considerably. Anna-Mary Conklin as portrayed by Jean Voss was a suitable bossy American matron with Derek Townend resigned to his fate as her extremely wealthy but down-trodden husband, Verner. The femme fatale of the piece, Maud Caragnani, was charmingly played by Brenda Bearmont.
* * *
On Saturday, the evening opened with the production by the Aquarius Theatre Group of Barrie’s The Old Lady Shows Her Medals which won the Brighton One-act Play Festival recently. Producer Stewart Clapperton had toned-down the old ladies to the advantage of the play, but somehow there was not the impact at Southwick that the play had in Brighton. This was partly due to a very unresponsive audience [surely the hardest problem an actor has to face].
Woodingdean Players then presented the old W. W. Jacob’s melodrama The Monkey’s Paw with production by George Pickett. Here there were twin difficulties which the company had to surmount. First the youth of the artists who were playing mature rôles, and the macabre nature of the completely incredible plot.
All except Alan Cook as Herbert suffered from the inability to convince of their age, although good attempts were made by Gwen Bowman and Norman Munnery as Mrs. and Mr. White, Alan Watson as Sergeant-Major Morris and Martin Roe as Mr. Sampson. George Pickett had not sufficiently built up the horror of the excepted appearance of a lacerated body 10 days dead.
Finally came the Southwater Amateur Dramatic Society production of Apple Pie by Margaret Kressman and directed by Janice Ross. In this the characters known as A, B, C, D are all facets of the same woman. An interesting idea, reasonably successfully written but making little demand on the actresses. A very simple play to succeed in. The parts were played by Sheila Lerwill, Shirley Stevens, Avro Twelvetrees and Christine Benkel.
All in all the festival provided interesting and diversified entertainment.
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: May 17 1968 issue – page 9
Text Header: FESTIVAL MARKS
THE adjudicator’s markings of entrants in last month’s Southwick Drama Festival, just released, show that the Wick Theatre Company’s production of Shelley by Ann Jellicoe was fourth out of the six entries.
The production scored 57 points out of 100, compared with 78 by the winning production – Noël Coward’s Come into the Garden, Maude by the Phoenix Players of Worthing.
Shelley was fourth in each category which scores marks – dramatic achievement [maximum 15], set [maximum 10], production [maximum 35], and acting [maximum 40].