The Merry Wives of Windsor - Dramatic Society Production March 10th 1949
This photograph of the cast, taken on 12th March 1949, was sent in by David Warman.
Back Row (L_R): X, X, X, X, X, Hylton Oberst (Falstaff), Tony Davis (Mistress Ford), X, Michael Casemore, X, X, X
Front Row: David Warman, X, X, X, X, X, X, Michael Cohen
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Review by G. K. C.
... The producer has a major problem to face. The nature of the play and the language require a brisk, lively production of their impact is to be felt as humorous. On the other hand, the audience will not understand the words unless they are delivered slowly, with clear articulation, studied emphasis and nicely calculated pauses. My main criticism of the performance given at the School on March 10th is that these desiderata were lacking and one simply could not follow much of the dialogue. (Of course, the standard of speech throughout the School is not all it should be.) Apart from the defect, and the stiffness of one or two of the minor characters, the performance was excellent.
My first tribute must be to the cast who were intelligent, confident and lively in their parts. Falstaff and Mistress Ford were, I think, the outstanding characterizations. Falstaff, in particular, could hold the stage alone in a most convincing manner. I particularly liked the way in which he acted all the time and used expression and movement to reinforce the meaning of his lines. So, too, with Mistress Ford - Davis was never awkward in this feminine roll. Evans as the Welsh parson and Carroll as Justice Shallow turned two thankless roles into neatly particularised, well-sustained studies.
The production was first-rate, for Mr. Purton had helped, and his skill is always tantamount to success. The three producers from Form VI (Davis, Oberst and Port) had obviously worked hard, with a real discernment of the requirements of the text, and under the guiding hand of Mr. Purton they overcame completely the hardships imposed by our poor stage.
A tribute also to Mrs. Purton and Mr. G. Brown for the flawless make-up and to the other unseen helpers who contributed to the excellence of this production.
It is particularly pleasing that the inspiration and main effort for this venture came from within the School Dramatic Society. this is as it should be, and it is to be hoped that this will be the habitual procedure in future presentations.
"The Merry Wives of Windsor"
|Sir John Falstaff
|Fenton, a young gentleman
|Shallow, a country justice
|Slender, cousin to Shallow
Ford, two gentlemen of Windsor
|Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson
|Doctor Caius, a French physician
|Host of the Garter Inn
Bardolf, followers of Falstaff
|Robin, a page to Falstaff
|Simple, servant to Slender
|Rugby, servant to Dr. Caius
|Ann Page, her daughter
|Mistress Quickly, servant to Dr. Caius
|M. Cohen, D. Warman
|Children and Fairies
|G. Ridley, D. Lockyear
|A. T. Davis, H. C. Oberst and M. H. Port
|R. L. Wayte, J. D. Dewar and B. W. Gregory
|R. Butter, Old Gaytonians Dramatic Club
|Loudspeaker equipment kindly loaned by S. Keith Wilson, Esq., and operated by D. E. Lobb.
from The Gaytonian, March 1949