The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
November 21 & 22 1952
And This Was Odd
by Kenneth Horne
Michael Dawes – Morton [a man servant]
Diana Hubbard – Nurse Jones [a trained nurse]
Betty Perry – Julia Kemp [Mrs. Simmons’ younger daughter]
Betty Gedge – Jane Simmons [Mrs. Simmons’ elder daughter]
John Wilson – Frank Kemp [Julia’s husband]
Elaine Smithers – Margot Kemp [daughter of Frank and Julia]
Elwyn Wass – Sam Potts [Margot’s fiancé]
Eileen Turley – Mrs. Simmons [an elderly widow]
Betty Carpenter – Lady Wilson [a friend of Julia]
Stage Manager – Maureen Futcher
ASM – Sheila Cottier
ASM – Sylvia Sartin
Scenery design – Young Wick Players
Properties – Pat Hollingworth
Properties – Wendy Wright
Electrician – Frank Hurrell
Effects – John Chatfield
House Manager – Donald Halfrey
Publicity #1: And This Was Odd
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: November 14 1952 issue – page 6 Talk of Many Things by Sothern Pepys
Text Header: “Play time”
AMATEUR actors are getting well into their winter stride, so I was not surprised to hear from that band of clever and enthusiastic young people, the Young Wick Players, that they are rehearsing their opening play of the season. This time they have chosen a comedy which they describe as ‘in the fourth dimension’. It is, And This Was Odd, by Kenneth Horne.
Miss Betty Carpenter, hon secretary of the Players, tells me the play was deliberately picked because the action takes place in the Christmas season, with all the festive trimmings and seemed particularly appropriate. Actually, it will be a month before Christmas when the play is produced at the Barn Theatre, on November 21 and 22.
The producer is Miss Anthea Penney, who recently joined the company. I have an idea this is her first big essay in the production line, but she has an excellent example to guide her.
Review #1: And This Was Odd
Publication: Brighton and Hove Herald
Publication Data: November 22 1952 issue – page 6
Text Header: “AND THIS WAS ODD”
A DREADFUL warning to families with elderly grand-mothers is given in the play by Kenneth Horne, And This Was Odd, presented by the Young Wick Players in the Barn Theatre, Southwick, last-night, and to be repeated to-night.
For the dear old lady in this play has an astral spirit which wanders abroad in the middle of Christmas festivities and eaves-drops on the family intrigues.
The cast as a whole act well but Betty Gedge gives a brilliant portrayal of middle-aged inanity. John Wilson is also outstanding as the father who thinks Christmas is much over-rated as a happy time. Other in the cast are Michael Dawes, Diana Hubbard, Betty Perry, Elaine Smithers, Elwyn Wass, Eileen Turley and Betty Carpenter. The play is produced by Anthea Penney.
Review #2: And This Was Odd
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: November 28 1952 issue – page 5 article accompanied by picture of cast in rehearsal
Text Header: “Young Wick Comedy at Barn Theatre”
The Young Wick Players proved themselves adept at comedy in their presentation of And This Was Odd by Kenneth Horne, at The Barn Theatre, Southwick, on Friday. The play, produced by Anthea Penney, was staged again on Saturday.
John Wilson, as Frank Kemp, a middle-aged husband with a weakness for pretty women, was admirably cast, and led much of the comedy. He found life uncomfortable when his mother-in-law, Mrs. Simmons [Eileen Turley], announced to her family, gathered or Christmas celebrations, that her spirit left her body when she took a sleeping draught. Her spiritual presence loomed into the private lives of her family, discovering each with a guilty secret. Frank’s wife, Julie, played by Betty Perry, found her secret bridge debts no longer a secret, and her elder spinster sister, Jane Simmons [Betty Gedge], lived in terror, knowing her petty insurance swindle to be exposed.
Much of the play was devoted to the love affair of Margot Kemp [Elaine Smithers] and Elwyn Wass as Sam Potts and their quarrelling cast gloom on Frank’s and Julia’s lives. Diana Hubbard, as Nurse Jones, was unwittingly the cause of the old lady’s spiritual wanderings. Mrs. Simmons straightened out all their problems with her ethereal ,presence, and found the opportunity to tell a friend, Lady Wilson [Betty Carpenter] how much she disliked her. She also patched up Margot’s love affair and traced the disappearance of liquor to Morton [Michael Dawes] the family manservant.
The stage manager was Maureen Futcher, assisted by Sheila Cottier. Pat Hollingworth and Wendy Wright were responsible for properties; and John Chatfield, effects. The electrician was Frank Hurrell, and the prompter Sylvia Sartin. The scenery was designed by the players, and the house manager was Donald Halfrey.
Review #3: And This Was Odd
Publication Data: Unknown
Text Header: “YOUNG WICK PLAYERS’ BEST”
The Young Wick Players gave the best performance they have ever staged with their presentation of Kenneth Horn’s amusing Christmas play, And This was Odd, at the Barn Hall theatre, Southwick, on Friday and Saturday. Congratulations all round, especially Anthea Penney for her skilful handling of a well-chosen cast in this, her first production.
The outstanding performance was given by Betty Gedge, as the maiden aunt, Jane Simmons, one of the family party whose attempts to keep up the Christmas spirit lamentably, but comically, fail. The family troubles are listened to by old Mrs Simmons [Eileen Turley] who acquires the disconcerting ability to leave her body and become invisible. Betty Gedge is a comedy actress of most unusual ability, and John Wilson and Betty Carpenter were also excellently in character as Frank Kemp [“something in the city”] and Lady Wilson, loud-voiced and “country” in tweeds.
The rest of the cast included Michael Dawes, Diana Hubbard, Betty Perry, Eileen Smithers and Elwyn Wass
Review #4: And This Was Odd
Publication: West Sussex Gazette
Publication Data: November 27 1952 issue – page 8
Text Header: “YOUNG WICK PLAYERS”
The Young Wick Players proved their suitability for comedy on Friday at the Barn Theatre when they presented Kenneth Horne’s farce, “And This Was Odd.”
The play was produced by Anthea Penney. John Wilson and Eileen Turney gave admirable performances the middle-age son-In-law and mother-in-law respectively.
The plot centred on Eileen Turney who, as the widow Mrs. Simmons, found she had the power to leave her body spiritually and “sit-in” on the private affairs of her family, gathered together for Christmas celebrations.
This included, pretty nurse (Diana Hubbard), her daughter (Julia Kemp), her granddaughter (Elaine Smithers), her granddaughter’s fiance (Elwyn Wass), Michael Dawes, the family manservant, her elder daughter (Betty Gedge), and Lady Wilson (Betty Carpenter).