The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
May 23, 24, 25 & 26, 2001
by Arthur Wing Pinero
Hugh Hemmings – The Very Reverend Augustin Jedd, DD
Judith Berrill – Salome [his daughter]
Katalin Szeless – Sheba [his daughter]
Margaret Ockenden – Georgiana Tidman [his sister]
Peter Thompson – Blore [Butler at the Deanery]
David Goodger – Sir Tristram Mardon, Bart.
Ralph Dawes – Hatcham [his groom]
Phil Balding – Major Tarver [Officer quartered at Durnstone, near St Marvells]
John Garland – Mr. Darby [Officer quartered at Durnstone, near St Marvells]
Ray Hopper – Noah Topping [Constable at St Marvells]
Diane Robinson – Hannah Topping [previously Cook at the Deanery]
Stage Manager – Marc Lewis
Assistant to the Director – Betty Dawes
Lighting – Mike Medway
Sound – Simon Snelling
Set Building – David Comber
Set Building – David Collis
Set Building – Brian Box
Set Building – Mike Davy
Set Building – Marc Lewis
Set Building – Mark Flower
Set Painting – Sheila Neesham
Set Painting – Frances Thorne
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Properties – Margaret Davy
Wardrobe Team – Sheila Neesham
Wardrobe Team – Margaret Pierce
Wardrobe Team – Cherry Briggs
Wardrobe Team – Adrian Kenward
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Press & Publicity – Frances Thorne
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Brown
Press & Publicity – Judith Berrill
Front of House Co-ordinator – Valerie Bray
Front of House Managers – Lucien Bouchy
Front of House Managers – Frank Child
Front of House Managers – Peter Harrison
Front of House Managers – Antony Muzzall
Box Office – Margaret Murrell
Programme Note #1: Dandy Dick
Pinero and His Plays – from an introduction by Denys Blakelock: “Arthur Wing Pinero was a past master at creating comedy situations and entertaining lines. His specially written plays for the Old court theatre The Magistrate in 1885 and The Schoolmistress in 1886 began his long successful career as a comic dramatist and were followed in 1887 by Dandy Dick which ran for 171 performances at the Royal Court and another 75 when it was transferred to Toole’s Theatre.
Pinero wrote with great carefulness and scrupulous attention to detail. He was reputed to take the best part of a year over a play before it satisfied him. He brought to his writing a special gift for delineation of character and the suggestion of a fundamental reality underlying the extravagances of the convention. This talent of giving his characters an essential core of truth has the effect of keeping the wild improbability of the situations he creates JUST within the bounds of our acceptance!”
The Director understands that character of Noah Topping was inspired by the rural constable of a village adjacent to Brighton – but hasn’t yet discovered which one!
Publicity #1: Dandy Dick
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: May 10 2001 issue – page 16
Reporter: Michelle Nevell
Text Header: “Under starter’s orders for Wick horseplay”
AN array of larger-than-life characters will be strutting their stuff on the Barn Theatre stage when Wick Theatre Company presents Dandy Dick, writes Michelle Nevell.
Horse-racing is at the heart of this amusing period comedy by Arthur Wing Pinero, with Dandy Dick as its off-stage hero. The Dean of St Marvells longs for a quiet life but money worries and his lively daughters, who are in hot pursuit of their military admirers, make this impossible. Enter the Dean’s feisty sister, George – who jointly owns Dandy Dick with his old college friend Sir Tristram – and life becomes even more chaotic. Everything depends on Dandy winning his next race, but he gets nobbled by Blore, the rascally butler, and this lands the hapless Dean in jail. More complications are caused by the jealousy of Constable Noah, now married to the Dean’s former cook, Hannah. All kinds of funny goings-on eventually lead to a happy ending.
Director Olive Smith has chosen a cast of familiar Barn Theatre faces for this production. Hugh Hemmings plays the Dean of St Marvells with Judith Berrill and Kati Szeless as his daughters, Salome and Sheba. Philip Balding and John Garland are their suitors Tarver and Darbey and Margaret Ockenden is George. David Goodger plays Sir Tristram and Peter Thompson is Blore. Ray Hopper has the rôle of Constable Noah.
Performances run from Wednesday, May 23, to May 26 at 7.35pm [sic] at the Barn Theatre Southwick.
Tickets are priced £5 and £6 and are available by calling the Barn box office on 01273 597094.
Review #1: Dandy Dick
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: May 31 2001 issue – page 19
Reviewer: Frank Horsley
Text Header: “Odds-on for laughs from a racy tale”
IT might not have been an out-and-out thoroughbred, but Wick Theatre Company’s latest offering was still a decent sort which gave the audience a good run for their money at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, last week. Racehorse Dandy Dick was the offstage hero of Arthur Wing Pinero’s period comedy of the same name.
Hugh Hemmings played a late-19th-century cleric, the Dean of St Marvells, who longed for a quiet life, but money worries and his lively daughters’ [Judith Berrill and Katalin Szeless] pursuit of their military admirers [Phil Balding and John Garland] furrowed his brow. Enter the feisty sister Georgina [Margaret Ockenden] – joint owner of Dandy Dick with his old college friend Sir Tristram [David Goodger] – and life became even more chaotic. Everything depended on Dandy winning his next race at the spring meeting, but rescued from a fire at a nearby inn, he was then nobbled by the Dean’s rascally butler Blore [Peter Thompson] and this landed the hapless Very Reverend in jail. More complications followed because of the jealousy of Constable Topping [Ray Hopper], married to the Dean’s former cook Hannah [Diane Robinson], but Dandy Dick duly obliged in the big race and all was well that ended well.
Some coughing in the stables on the opening night, in the form of an over-loud prompt, handicapped proceedings. And despite some spirited individual contributions from an experienced cast and Oliver Smith’s directorial efforts, the piece didn’t quite hang together as a totally satisfactory whole. Nevertheless, another idiosyncratic performance by David Goodger [following up his Inspector Truscott in Loot] meant the next laugh was never more than a short head away. And complementing him in the chuckle stakes was Margaret Ockenden, who reined herself in nicely after a breakneck start to be feisty with a capital F. Katalin Szeless, Peter Thompson and Diane Robinson also particularly impressed and Ray Hopper and Ralph Dawes [the Dean’s groom] revelled in their cameo rôles.
Review #2: Dandy Dick
Publication: Words & Music
Publication Data: No. 93 July/August 2001
Reviewer: Gordon Bull
A jolly comedy by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero was acted by strong cast. Pious clergyman needs racing certainty to satisfy emergent daughters.
First I must say that it is essential that well-known lines are spoken with clarity, particularly in fast delivery or dialect. This became apparent at times in the otherwise excellent opening scene as also in the goalhouse.
Judith Berrill as Salome and and Katalin Szeless as Sheba gave beautifully stylistic and symmetrically choreographed performances from the word go. Teasing their diaconate Very Rev. Father [Hugh Hemmings in a real Chasibule] they tried hard to winkle from him by wiles that only young women can know, financial solutions to their profligacy. Believing himself of sterner stuff, he also had to solve his own financial problem. Enter Dandy Dick the racehorse jointly owned by his sister Georgina and old friend Sir Tristram who arrive on the scene unaware of each other’s presence but very old racing habitués, realised so well by Margaret Ockenden and David Goodger giving us plenty of laughs, she more woman of the world than her brother. Peter Thompson the scoundrelly butler scored well with his misplaced [h]aspirates, and at last had the honesty to save his master’s reputation whose honest attempts to use a renowned notebook on horses to supply a tonic had been nearly scuppered by a cyanide pep-up. Ray Hopper as the gaoling country constable and Diane Robinson whose blandishments so nearly caught the Dean on the wrong foot, added further hilarity. Ralph was suitable one-liner groom.
All ended well talented camp officers Phil Balding and John Garland being the lucky pair to capture the charming daughters, settle outstanding problems and leave an untainted but bemused clergyman, his penitent butler and relieved ex-cook housewife, her mollified husband, a happy aunt and a winning baronet. What more could you want?
Director Olive Smith can be proud of her cast which did full justice to Pinero’s comedy.
Review #3: Dandy Dick
Publication: Wick Newsletter
Publication Data: July 2001
Reviewer: Jane Richards
Arthur Wing Pinero’s comedy was written to entertain his late Victorian audience. He achieved this by writing a well-crafted play where the humour is provided by the ludicrous situations in which the characters find themselves. I have to confess to a personal preference for plays that provide rather more in the way of mental stimulation & character development, however, Olive Smith and her team gave us, overall, a very enjoyable evening.
Olive’s meticulous direction was, most appropriately, very stylised in character and it was clear that a great deal of hard work had been put in. In fact, I think that this element could, perhaps, have been even more exaggerated which would have allowed the ridiculous situations to come across more clearly. The stylised touch was echoed by Richard Porter’s splendid set – particularly the conservatory. An excellent job by the workshop team, as always! Mike Medway’s lighting, too, was most effective, especially the lovely ‘night sky’. The costumes had been well selected by the costume team and looked wonderful. I thought that Sullivan’s Overture di Ballo was a very good choice for the music, conveying just the right mood.
I understand that the stage was miked [this gave us a chance to hear with increasing clarity the actors’ footsteps and the sound of the tea trolley!] but despite this, I did struggle at times to hear all the words spoken by some of the actors, particularly when they were speaking quickly – words were jumbled together and final consonants were lost. I guess this is something that we all need to be reminded about from time to time.
Hugh Hemmings coped well with the central character of the Dean, and lent a nice bemused, ecclesiastical toe to his portrayal. Judith Berrill and Kati Szeless struck just the right note as his ‘innocent’, frivolous and scheming daughters – there was a nice rapport between them. Their ineffectual suitors were well played by Phil Balding [with a touch of Prince Charles in his characterisation] and John Garland [pity he didn’t get to play the violin!]. Margaret Ockenden and David Goodger were well cast respectively as the jolly, horsy Georgine Tidman and the hearty and equally horsy Sir Tristram Marden. Again, they created a good rapport together on the stage. David’s splendid performance demonstrated, for me, just the right exaggerated style appropriate for this play.
Moving on the the ‘lower orders’, it was nice to see Ray Hopper on the Barn stage again with an effective character portrayal of the jealous policeman, Noah Topping, ably partnered by Diane Robinson as his wife Hannah [she made it clear that he had ample cause for jealousy!] Last but not least, there were good performances from Peter Thompson as the ‘aitch’-dropping butler, Blore and Ralph Dawes as Hatcham the groom.
Congratulations again to everyone involved on an enjoyable and successful production.[/showhide]