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The Barretts of Wimpole Street

The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre

May 24, 25, 26, 27 & 28 1977

The Barretts of Wimpole Street

by Rudolf Besier
Directed by
Brian Moulton

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“Downfall of a pious tyrant”
– Brighton & Hove Gazette –


John King – Dr. Chambers

Jane Vrettos – Wilson

Brian Moulton – Barretts

Frances Moulton – Miss Elizabeth

Elizabeth Prince – Miss Henrietta

Rosemary Boulton – Miss Arabel

Denis Picott – Mr Octavius

Antony Muzzall – Mr Septimus

Simon Gray – Mr Alfred

Bruce Wilson – Mr Henry

Peter Joyce – Mr George

William Mack – Mr Edward

Jeanette Goode – Bella Hedley

Roger Job – Henry Bevan

Barrie Bowen – Mr Robert Browning

Ralph Dawes – Dr Ford-Waterlow

Tim Cara – Captain W. Surtees Cook

Peter O’Byrne – Flush


Production Crew

Stage ManagerPaul Vrettos

Assistant Stage ManagerEthel Barrs

PropertiesFrances Thorne

Set ConstructionPaul Vrettos

Set ConstructionGeorge Laye

Set ConstructionWilliam Mack

Wardrobe MistressHilary Woodward

LightingFrank Hurrell

LightingAndrew Theaker


Programme Note #1: Barretts of Wimpole Street

BM wrote: “Contrary to popular belief The Barretts is not a story of young lovers. When Elizabeth met Robert Browning for the first time she was 39 years old and he was 33. It is a wonderful story of hope and mature love against the background of a stern Victorian household. To say more would perhaps spoil your enjoyment of the production but we hope you will find that we have done justice to the story.”

And the programme note continued with:

January 10, 1845. Robert to Elizabeth:
“I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett … into me has it gone, and part of me has become, this great living poetry of yours … the fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought … I do as I say love these books with all my heart, and I love you too.”

“The heart which, like a staff, was one,
For mine to lean and rest upon,
The strongest on the longest day
With steadfast love, is caught away,
And yet my days go on, go on.”

Elizabeth on the death of her brother Edward.

Programme Note #2: Barretts of Wimpole Street

New to the Barn Stage

Jeanette Goode. Past experience with the Ballet Rambert as a professional dancer. Has worked abroad for a number of years. Lives in Hove.

Rosemary Boulton. Recently moved into Southwick. Past member of the Renegades Theatre Company, Ilford and the East Essex Players.

Elizabeth Prince. Lives in Worthing and has worked with the Brighton Little Theatre.

Dennis Picott. A Londoner now living in Shoreham. Has had experience with the South London Theatre Centre.

Programme Note #3: Barretts of Wimpole Street

Preparations for Wick Theatre Company’s last play of the season could hardly have gone more smoothly, apart from one small problem which has ‘dogged’ the group. You see, The Barretts of Wimpole Street by Rudolf Besier features a King Charles spaniel belonging to heroine Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Unfortunately, the first dog the company auditioned for the part of ‘Flush’ did not take to his mistress, played by Frances Moulton. ‘He just kept on growling at me so we had to find another dog,’ said Frances. ‘It was a bit of a come-down because dogs normally get on well with me.’

But like the play itself, the dog trouble has reached a happy ending. Frances and her new pet ‘Peter’ – owned by a Hove couple – are now rehearsing happily together and rarin’ to go when the production opens at the Barn theatre, Southwick, on Tuesday.

Directed by Frances’s husband Brian, the play tells how Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning fall in love with each other’s poetry and elope. Wick Treasurer Barry Bowen returns after two years behind the scenes to play Robert Browning and Bill Mack portrays Mr Barrett. Also in the cast are four new members – Rosemary Boulton, Elizabeth Prince, Jeanette Goode and Dennis Picott – and one of Wick’s junior members, Tony Muzzall.