The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
April 12, 13 & 14 1956
Pink String and Sealing Wax
by Roland Pertwee
Patrick Johnson – Edward Strachan
Diana Hubbard – Mrs. Strachan
Jean Porter – Emily Strachan
Wendy Hart – Patti Strachan
Derek Wass – Albert Strachan
Mary Gedge – Jessie Strachan
Betty Carpenter – Pearl Bond
Adrian Hedges – Dr O’Shea
Ralph Dawes – Ernest O’Shea
Wendy Hart – Eva
Stage Manager – Clive Townsend
Lighting – Frank Hurrell
Decor – Elizabeth Penney
Review #1: Pink String and Sealing Wax
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: April 20 1956 issue – page 11
Text Header: “Young Wick Players’ Success”
THE Young Wick Players presented Roland Pertwees’ famous play Pink String and Sealing Wax at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, last Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and provided their audiences with good entertainment.
The play, although a murder piece , has its lighter moments, and the cast made the most of these. A domestic drama set in Brighton during the 1880’s the plot features a stern and dictatorial father, Edward Strachan, who has made a success of his life as a chemist and analyst and is determined that no member of his large family shall outshine him in any way.
His eldest daughter Emily aspires to become a great singer and has been encouraged by Patti. Albert hopes to become an engineer and Jessie longs to take up acting. Father, however, frowns upon his children’s ambitions and unwittingly causes them to band together in sympathy with each other and hide their many secrets from him. Thus Albert becomes involved with Pearl Bond, a married women whose husband is the victim of the plot.
Mary Gedge and Jean Porter were convincing as Jessie and Emily, the thwarted sisters, and their diction at all times was clear and pleasant. Patrick Johnson made the most of his part as the frusty father and Betty Carpenter gave one of the best performances of the evening as Pearl Bond. Adrian Hedges, although he managed to keep up a fine Irish accent, was too youthful in his portrayal of the fiery-tempered Dr. O’Shea. The need to put over an old man’s voice as well as an accent proved a little too difficult for him. Ralph Dawes played his son Ernest, Derek Wass, in the part of Albert, conveyed the boy’s rather weak character, and the youngest member of the family Eva, was played by Wendy Hart. Diana Hubbard was competent as the tranquil Mrs. Strachan.
The play was produced by Betty Gedge and Clive Townsend as Stage Manager. Lighting was by Frank Hurrell and the decor by Elizabeth Penney.
Review #2: Pink String and Sealing Wax
Publication Data: Unknown
Text Header: “Choice of Play Good”
Pink String and Sealing Wax by Roland Pertwee, was a good choice for Young Wick Players’ end-of-season play at the Barn Theatre Southwick, last weekend considering the predominance of youth in casting their productions.
The sets depicted a living-room behind a chemist’s shop in Brighton in 1880. Papa is a bad-tempered dictatorial family-man immersed in his work as a pharmacist and public analyst. Gentle Mama is the buffer between him and his individualistic children, Emily rebels against authority, Albert is frustrated in his choice of a career and has an affair with a married women of ill-repute. She steals poison from his father’s laboratory to rid herself of a vicious husband and implicates Albert.
Jean Porter, as Emily, gave a competent, vivacious yet sympathetic performance, Patrick Johnson nobly sustained the characterisation [if not the deportment] of the irascible father, and Betty Carpenter gave an admirable little cameo as the wanton.
Adrian Hedges, a new comer with little acting experience, considerable promise in is study of the Irish doctor, and Mary Gedge and Wendy Hart did well as the younger daughters. Diane Hubbard, as Mama, had excellent carriage and diction, but was at times inaudible. Derek Wass seemed self-conscious and Ralph Dawes was not successful in playing within the period of the play.
Under the direction of Betty Gedge the production, with its excellent setting and costumes, had the right atmosphere.