The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
January 6, 7, 8 & 9, 2010
by Mary Chase
Olivia Robinson – Myrtle Mae Simmons
Judith Berrill – Veta Louise Simmons
Bob Ryder – Elwood P Dowd
Izzy Hudson – Miss Johnson / Dunphy
Joan Bearman – Ethel Chauvenet
Natalie Colgate – Ruth Kelly
John Garland – Duane Wilson
Will Hackett – Dr. Lyman Sanderson
Tony Brownings – Dr. William Chumley
Gill Etter – Betty Chumley
Anna Quick – Henry
Paul Checkley – Judge Omar Gaffney
David Creedon – E. J. Lofgren
Harvey – Himself
Assistant Director – Anna Quick
Stage Manager – Fiona Cameron
Deputy Stage Manager – Zoey Attree
ASM – Martin Oakley
Lighting – Mike Medway
Sound – Jack Hudson
Backstage Crew – Anna Quick
Props – Anna Quick
Props – Di Tidzer
Props – Natalie Colgate
Wardrobe – Cherry Briggs
Wardrobe – Margaret Pierce
Wardrobe – Zoey Attree
Set Design & Construction – Sue Chaplin
Set Design & Construction – Paul Checkley
Set Design & Construction – David Collis
Set Design & Construction – David Comber
Set Design & Construction – Margaret Davy
Set Design & Construction – Carl Gray
Set Design & Construction – Sheila Neesham
Portraits – Sue Chaplin
Portraits – Judith Berrill
Original Score – Steve Gallant
‘Harvey’ Design – Andy Etter
Poster Design – Christopher Scally
Poster Design – Anna Quick
Poster Design – Guy Steddon
Poster Photograph – Steve Gallant
Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Publicity – Lucien Bouchy
Publicity – Rosemary Brown
Production Photos – Lucien Bouchy
Front of House – Betty Dawes
Programme Note #1: Harvey
GS wrote: “When I realised that I would be directing the first Wick Theatre Company production of the new decade, I decided almost right away that it was to be Harvey. A new year, a new decade no less, brings with it a hopeful air, a desire to see the world in a better light.
Harvey echoes this sentiment perfectly. This wonderful show is shamelessly upbeat and life-affirming. Only a cynical, miserable person could not fail to be enchanted by Elwood P Dowd and his unusual companion. Elwood has long ago got reality just where he wants it, but his family and friends want him to occupy the reality they reside in. More fool them! We should all want to be like Ellwood and be friendly and endearing to all we meet. The brilliance of Mary Chase’s script is that this is both her moral and the source of her rich comedy.
Harvey was originally produced under the title The White Rabbit in 1944, right in the midst of World War ll and – with its positive, life affirming message – was all the welcome because of it. The play went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and was subsequently filmed several times, most famously with James Stewart playing Elwood in an Oscar Winning movie . It is a rôle that he would often return to, and that he will forever be associated with.
It has been a wonderful joy to bring this production together – an incredible cast and superb production team have really gotten behind this. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!
Lastly, from all of us at The Wick Theatre Company, a very Happy New Year to you.
We look forward to seeing you at the next show!”
Publicity #1: Harvey
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: December 24 2009 issue – page 14
Text Header: “Warren’ piece is a nice, gentle start to new year”
Elwood P. Dowd is the nicest man in town, but he has a problem. His family thinks he is crazy, his lawyer thinks he is crazy, and the doctors are certain he is crazy.
It is all because of Elwood’s best friend Harvey, an invisible six-foot tall white rabbit he first encountered leaning against a lamp-post. Harvey by Mary Chase is Wick Theatre Company’s choice for the new year, a gentle family comedy full of fun characters. Although Harvey was originally a deliciously witty Pulitzer Prize-winning play, it is probably best known as the 1950s film of the same name starring James Stewart Wick’s production is directed by Guy Steddon.
Performances run from Wednesday, January 6, to Saturday, January 9, at the Barn Theatre, in Southwick Street, Southwick. Curtain-up is at 7.45pm. Tickets, priced £8.50 for Wednesday and Thursday and £9 for Friday and Saturday, are available from the box office on 01273 597094 or from the website www.wicktheatre.co.uk
Review #1: Harvey
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Wendy Green
Text Header: Harvey’s at its best thanks to a superb Wick cast
WICK Theatre Company and their audiences showed commendable determination, defying the weather to ensure the success of their latest production.
Written in 1944 by Mary Chase, Harvey is the story of a tall, invisible white rabbit which inhabits the mind of one man, but seems to others like a child’s invisible friend.
With so many productions using minimal sets, in the round, or on curtainless stages, with men in black moving furniture in full view of the audience, it was refreshing to return to a traditional format. Credit is due to Anna Quick’s backstage team, who quickly and quietly moved walls and transformed rooms between scenes, and to the designers.
Maintaining an American accent is a challenge, but the cast achieved it most convincingly. Comedy of this type demands impeccable timing and, under Guy Steddon’s excellent direction, every available laugh was grabbed.
Bob Ryder as Elwood P Dowd, made good use of space and subtle gesture to imply the presence – and absence – of Harvey.
Judith Berrill and Olivia Robinson, as mother and daughter Veta and Myrtle Mae, quickly set the mood, trying to keep the dreadful family secret from their society friends.
Some of the best moments took place in the rest sanatorium of Dr William Chumley [Tony Brownings]. Nurse Ruth Kelly [Natalie Colgate] obviously adored dishy Dr Lyman Sanderson [Will Hackett], but he had his eye on only his career. Their scenes with bullying ‘care’ assistant Duane Wilson [John Garland], Elwood, Veta and Mrs Chumley [Gill Etter] were choreographed to perfection.
This non-professional [definitely not amateur] company turned in a truly professional performance.
Review #2: Harvey
Publication: Brighton Argus
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Barrie Jerram
Text Header: Humour and hysteria played to perfection
THE hardy few who braved the biting cold and the treacherous conditions underfoot to support Wick Theatre Company’s latest production were more than rewarded for their efforts.
First performed in 1944 the play provided the basis for the classic James Stewart film, telling of dipsomaniac Elwood P Dowd and his imaginary friend Harvey, a tall white rabbit. Insisting on introducing Harvey to all and sundry, Dowd is an embarrassment to his social climbing sister and spoilt niece who seek to have him committed to a sanatorium. What follows, after a creaky first scene, is a glorious comedy of errors that is a mixture of gentle humour and hilarious farce. The action begs the question – “Who is really sane and who is not”.
Director Guy Steddon judged the pace well and produced many excellent performances from a strong cast. Tony Brownings and Judith Berrill gave differing versions of hysteria – one controlled mania and the other totally unfettered. Proving that minor parts also impress were the two delightful cameos from Gill Etter and David Creedon.
But the evening belonged to Bob Ryder as the carefree and kind Dowd. His portrayal was underplayed to perfection – capturing beautifully the gentleness, almost childlike nature of the man wanting everyone to be his friend whilst taking every comment at face value.
The clever design of the set enabled changes between two locations to be carried out with the minimum of delay whilst the lighting variations and special effects added to the bizarreness of the plot.[Barrie was sorry he could not mention more of the cast as they all did well. He sent his congratulations to all.] [/showhide]