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The Happiest Days of Your Life

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre

June 6, 7, 8 & 9, 2007

The Happiest Days of Your Life

by John Dighton

Directed by
Ray Hopper

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“Enjoyable romp”
– Shoreham Herald –


Adrian Kenward – Dick Tassell [Assistant Master at Hilary Hall]

Ralph Dawes – Rainbow [School Porter and Groundsman]

Peter Winstone – Rupert Billings [Senior Assistant Master at Hilary Hall]

David Goodger – Godfrey Pond [Headmaster of Hilary Hall]

Judith Berrill – Miss Evelyn Whitchurch [Principal of St. Swithins]

Diane Robinson – Miss Gossage [Senior Assistant Mistress at St. Swithins]

Hugo Harwood – Hopcroft Mi [Pupil at Hilary Hall]

Addie Marten – Barbara Cahoun [Pupil at St. Swithins]

Hazel Starns – Joyce Harper [Assistant Mistress at St. Swithins]

Tony Brownings – The Reverend Edward Peck

Sue Chaplin – Mrs. Peck [his wife]

John Garland – Edgar Sowter

Barbara Thomas – Mrs. Sowter [his wife]


Production Crew

Stage ManagerRichard Bulling

Stage ManagerDavid Comber

Assistant Stage ManagerOlive Smith

Technical Stage ManagerHelen Brewster

Lighting Design & TechniciansMike Medway

Sound Design & TechnicianJonathon Weldon

PropertiesMargaret Davy

PropertiesSue Whittaker

WardrobeCherry Briggs

WardrobeMargaret Pierce

Set & Technical TeamDavid Comber

Set & Technical TeamRichard Bulling

Set & Technical TeamDavid Collis

Set & Technical TeamSue Chaplin

Set & Technical TeamMark Flower

Set & Technical TeamPhilip Oliver

Set & Technical TeamSheila Neesham

Press & PublicityRosemary Bouchy

Press & PublicityLucien Bouchy

Press & PublicityRosemary Brown

Poster & Programme DesignJudith Berrill

Front of House Co-ordinatorBetty Dawes

Box OfficeMargaret Murrell


Programme Note #1: The Happiest Days Of Your Life

RH wrote: “So there I was in the autumn of 2003 reading a review of a revival of Happiest Days at the Manchester Royal Exchange. How odd, I thought, can’t still be funny after 55 years. But the reviewer seemed to think otherwise, and so I organised a company play reading in the Spring of 2004, at which I disgraced myself by giggling helplessly when supposed to be reading.

So was born the idea that I would like to say thank you to the Wick for 50 years of wonderful fun and friendship by directing our revival of this play, which marked my debut on the Barn stage in 1957. I’m also delighted that a member of the 1957 cast, Ralph Dawes, is also appearing in our current production and another, Betty Dawes, is our Front of House manager. I am also looking forward to meeting many other ‘old Wickers’, some of whom were also involved in our original production. At the other end of the age spectrum, we are delighted to welcome 2 members of the Young Wick, Addie Marten, playing Barbara Cahoun [not spelt Colqhoun] and Hugo Harwood as Hopcroft Mi [in training for 2057?]

Personally I’ve been on this wonderful nostalgia trip for the past few months. This is what we used to laugh at in the 1940s and 50s. To my delight the current cast see to have found the play both enjoyable and funny, and we all hope so much that you do too!”

Programme Note #2: The Happiest Days Of Your Life

To aid the enjoyment of the evening the programme offered a “Glossary for the under 40’s”

Evacuation – during wartime individual children and whole schools were moved to parts of the country considered to be safer.
Wire and Telegram – fast means of sending a message through the post office.
Don Bradman – legendary Australian batsman.
Five Bob- five shillings equivalent to 25 pence.
Half-a-Crown – a substantial coin equivalent to 12.5 pence.
Telephone exchange – telephone calls were not dialled directly but through a switchboard operator.
LMS – London, Midland and Scottish Railway.
Tapioca – a stodgy milk pudding.
Whale Steak – meat was in short supply but whale steak was available although rather unpalatable – also known as Moby Dick.
Ration Book – coupons for foods and clothes in short supply – children had their own ration book including the sweet ration.