The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre
February 20 & 21 1953
by Joan Brampton (based on a novel by Charlotte M Yonge)
Diana Hubbard – Mary Queen of Scots
Betty Gedge – Countess of Shrewsbury
Sylvia Sartin – Cicely Talbot
Maureen Pettit – Susan Talbot
Jennifer Hall – Colet
Eileen Turley – Mary Seton
Stage Manager – Elwyn Wass
Costumes – Betty Perry
Costumes – Anita Wilcox
Properties – Paul Webster
Properties – Desmond Tyler
Effects – John Chatfield
Review #1: Bride Unknown
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: February 27 1953 issue – page 16
Text Header: “New play in 16th century dress”
Sixteenth century style costumes from a private collection were worn by Young Wick Players, who gave a first performance of the new play, Bride Uknown, at the Barn Theatre on Friday.
The author, Joan Brampton, who lives at Hove and who has already had a number of plays broadcast by the BBC, based this latest work on the privations of Mary Queen of Scots. It is for an all-female cast. Another performance was given on Saturday.
Maureen Pettyt [sic] was admirable as Susan Talbot, who cares for a foundling from a wrecked ship. The child grows up as Cicely [Sylvia Sartin] ignorant of her royal lineage. Later it becomes known that she is the daughter of Queen Mary of Scotland.
The play’s success depended very largely on the exceptional performance of Betty Gedge as the Countess of Shrewsbury, a dictatorial, unfavoured member of Elizabeth’s court entrusted with the banishment of the Scts queen. By hiring Susan Talbot and her adopted daughter, Cicely, to help her she unwittingly throws mother and daughter together. There follows a successful plan of escape.
Diana Hubbard, as Queen Mary, was resplendent in the role of royal prisoner, and Eileen Turney made the most of her lines as Mary Seton, loyal servant of the Queen, Jennifer Hall was Colet, who discovered the foundling.
John Wilson’s direction was most effective. The stage mamanager was Elwyn Wass, and effects were by John Chatfield. Betty Perry and Anita Wilcox were responsible for costumes, and Paul Webster and Desmond Tyler for properties.
Review #2: Bride Unknown
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: February 21 1953 issue – page 5
Text Header: “New play about Mary, Queen of Scots”
A successful presentation of Bride Unknown a new play by Joan Hampton, was given by the Young Wick Players last night in the Barn Theatre, Southwick. The story is based on a legend that the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots, had a daughter, who was adopted, her birth being kept secret. Twenty years later the girl seeks out her mother on the eve of her execution and comforts her; but to protect her daughter Mary refuses to reveal the secret of her birth. Under John Wilson’s direction the performance reached a moving pitch of tragic emotion. Diana Hubbard and Sylvia Sartin who shared some effective scenes as Mary and her daughter.
Review #3: Bride Unknown
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: February 28 1953 issue – page 14
Text Header: “NEW PLAY ABOUT MARY”
THERE have been many stories written and told of the beautiful Mary, Queen of Scots, and in Joan Brampton’s new play Bride Unknown, which the Young Wick Players presented at the Barn theatre, Southwick, last weekend, we have yet another story woven around this colourful and tragic personality. It tells of a daughter, feared lost at sea in an attempt to smuggle her to France for safety. Her life was saved, and at the age of 16 she was restored to her mother only to revert to her more humble foster parents after the execution.
This was a difficult subject for so young a cast, requiring poise and strong personality. To some extent they succeeded and Diana Hubbard’s performance as Mary Queen of Scots, if not regal hard charm and dignity, although Eileen Turley, as her lady-in-waiting, registered a stronger personality. Betty Gedge was more successful as Mistress Gale, the village busybody, than in her second rôle of the Countess of Shrewsbury. Sylvia Sartin as the daughter, a little colourless in the earlier scenes, rose to the occasion in the last act, and the emotional scene with her royal mother was one of the highlights of the performance.[/showhide]