TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare

Programme + signatures of many (courtesy of Chris Meakin) + Magazine review

 

King Edward VII School Dramatic Society

presents

TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare

Friday, 8th April, Saturday, 9th April
Monday, 11th April, Tuesday, 12th April
1960

THE CAST

The Household of the Duke

Orsino, Duke of Illyria

Michael Lodge

Curio, a gentleman of the Duke's Court

David Mingay

Valentine, a gentleman of the Duke's Court

Bernard Argent

First Officer of the Duke

Michael Hill

Second Officer of the Duke

Peter Gurney

Other gentlemen of the Court

P N. Bell, D. A. Booth, P. J. W. Grimsditch, P. M. Hetherington

The Duke's Musicians

J. D. Harris, S. A. Morant. P. J. Quarrell, R. H. Smith

Soldiers '

R. Ainsworth, D. W. Bingham, A. S. Gunn, D. W. Williams

The Household Of Olivia

Olivia, a rich countess

Donald Watson

Sir Toby Belch, uncle to Olivia

Robert Mingay

Sir Andrew Aguecheek, friend to Sir Toby.

Christopher Barnes

Malvolio, steward to Olivia

Paul Johnson

Feste, Olivia's fool

Philip Kenning

Fabian, a servant to Olivia

Richard Crookes

Maria, lady to Olivia

David Jones

Lady

Ian Sarginson

Priest

Michael Robinson

Other Ladies

R. W. Allen, C. M. Colley

The Strangers

Viola, twin sister of Sebastian

Nicolas Jowett

Sebastian, twin brother of Viola

John Cunningham

Antonio, a Sea Captain, friend to Sebastian

David Rodgers

A Sea Captain, friend to Viola

Martin Hall

Sailors

C. S. Berresford, S. S. Housley, A. D. Lucas, N. M. Struthers, P. J. N. Thomas, C. I. Walton

The Stage Boys

M. J. Bryars                 D. M. Peter

Produced by Mr. R. B. CHALMERS


The Scenes of the Play

The action takes place in Illyria, variously in the Duke's Court, Olivia's House and the town

THE INTERVAL

There will be one interval of 115 minutes when coffee will be served in the School Dining Hall. The audience is requested to return to the Assembly Hall as soon as possible when the bell is rung. Tickets for coffee may be purchased from the Stewards before the beginning of the play

THE COSTUMES

All the costumes have been designed for this production by Mrs. Harold Miller and are based on Italian paintings of the period 1490 to 1510

THE MUSIC

The music, which has so great a part to play in " Twelfth Night," has been composed this year by members of the School. The Overture to the play is by R. J. Thompson of 6 M.S.I, and the Overture to the second half and the setting of " Come away, Death " are by M. Hill of 5 M.S. The settings of " 0 Mistress Mine " and "When that I was " are traditional

THE PLAY

"Twelfth Night" was first performed in the Middle Temple on 2nd February, 1602, and has ever since held its place as the most liked comedy of Shakespeare. For this production, the keynote has been sought in the setting—Illyria, a land of fantasy in that Mediterranean world which exists mainly in the Northerner's imagination. Even if real characters move in this world, this setting warns us not to take their romantic story as probable or their elaborate intrigues as serious. The plot, like most of Shakespeare's stories, is derivative; the inventiveness is his own. 

Acknowledgments

To mount their annual production the Producer and the Cast have always to rely on the help kindly given by many who are never seen by the public. The acknowledgments here given to them can only begin to represent the thanks that are their due

I can no other answer make but thanks
And thanks, and ever thanks; and oft good turns
Are shuffled off with such uncurrent pay.

COSTUMES

Mrs. Harold Miller and the mothers of the Cast who made them

SET CONSTRUCTION

Mr. A. W. Surguy, Mr. A D. Jinks, Mr. J. G. Francis, and B. A Wilkes, J. A. Baldwin, C. J. S. Brearley, A. M. Dowling, R. F. Fletcher, R. M. Furness, M. B. Jones, A D. Lucas, C. R. J. Singleton, J. A. Smith, P. G. Wells

LIGHTING SET

Mr. W. K. Mace and C. R. J. Singleton, C. J. S. Brearley, N. Coope, P. J. Ellis, J. R. Gunson, J. R. Machin, J. C. Simpson

STAGE MANAGEMENT

Mr. D. Rhodes, Mr. A. G. Jones and F. A. Dixon, M. J. Grundmann, J. G. Lucas, F. A. Smith, J. W. Thorp

PAINTING

Mr. C. Helliwell and R. F. Fletcher and R. A. Ashford

FIGHTS

Mr. G. W. Mingay, Captain of the Sheffield Sword Club

PROPERTIES

R. F. Laughton

MAKE-UP

Mr. E. F. Watling, Mr. J. C. Hemming, Mr. K. Bridgwater and R A Ashford, I. T. Colquhoun, R F. Fletcher, J. C. H. Meakin, M. C. Purdy, B. Sellars, J. L. Tym

TICKETS

Mr. P. Baldwin

FRONT OF HOUSE MANAGER

Mr. P. D. C. Points

STEWARDING

The Prefects and the Sixth Form

PROMPTER

J. M. Booth

CALL BOYS

E. Trickett and J. W. Wilson

 

 

Twelfth Night

April 8th-12th, 1960

THERE is no pageantry or battle in Twelfth Night to divert the audience's attention from Shakespeare's intricate word-play, and this demands from the actors a mannered style and clarity of speaking that no amount of beef-cake humour or producer's distractions can displace. That schoolboy actors should fail to achieve subtle changes of pace in the delivery of their lines, while preserving the overall structure of the verse, is not surprising when many professionals fail here too; but they can be expected to bang straight in on their cues, to begin a scene as soon as it is set without awkward ten second pauses, and to declaim their lines distinctly. These virtues were not always achieved in this production; but it does not mean that it was in any sense a failure: this Twelfth Night had many imaginative and memorable moments.

The chief glory was undoubtedly the costumes. If anything helped to cover up the inadequacies of the speaking it was the dress. One remembers particularly Orsino's splendid tunic and cloak, Olivia's enchanting red and white bridal gown, and the pastel blue dresses of her three women attendants. In Mrs. Miller this Dramatic Society possesses a genius, quiet and unassuming, whose talents many a professional producer would be glad to draw upon.

The permanent set successfully tamed the temperamental School Hall; but less successful were the colours decorating it. Candy-floss pink arches supported by cochineal posts reminded at least one Northerner not of Illyria, land of fantasy, so much as Italian ice cream palais. One feared lest the old and antique song requested by the Duke would send Feste careering into Funiculi, Funicula. Much of the music was composed this year, and creditably, by boys. The setting of Come away, Death by M. Hill was most attractive: it is a pity that he was not given leave to set the two other songs as well.

Grouping and movement were throughout effective, and particularly so in the Letter Scene (when the Three Flower Pot Men overplayed for all they were worth), and in the final scene, when carefully arranged splashes of colour helped to relieve the tedium of that extended denouement. The convincing employment of the hands remains a K.E.S. dramatic bugbear, Feste and Malvolio alone excepted.

Of the acting, individual honours must go to Malvolio and Feste. It has been said that the actor's eyes are the windows of his soul. In the Malvolio of P. Johnson there was at last a schoolboy actor using his eyes skilfully to project character; his sense of timing too improved much during the run. P. Kenning's Feste was a well-studied performance: his fluid movement and gesture were a particular joy. He sang his songs well too, though he seemed to miss the ironic undertones of 0 Mistress Mine. The only real flaw in this performance was the naive tendency to express nimbleness of mind by running off half a dozen sentences on one breath, like a Gilbertian patter-song. Much of Feste's delicate word tracery was thereby lost to the audience—such a sad casualty was the exposition of a drunken man in Act 1, Scene 5. M. Lodge as Orsino was brilliantly dressed and made-up. This warm-hearted actor had a proper richness of voice, but his gestures were not eloquent enough. At the opening, instead of commanding the stage easily and gracefully, he seemed ill at ease, arms nervously riveted to his chest. The Duke's gentlemen seemed to have caught this nervousness too, for I have rarely seen a Court with so little to say and creating such a lack of personality and mood. The only person to capture the true languid air was S. A. Morant, one of the Duke's musicians. And I have never seen two such gentle and innocuous officers of the law as M. Hill and P. Gurney, but let that pass.

For the women, the Viola of N. Jowett looked just right, but he was inclined to hurry some of his lines without due care and articulation. Nevertheless, obvious sincerity and sensitivity were there, and he may well come to do great work for this Society in future years. D. Jones's Maria showed great promise too, though he played her nearer to the common serving-wench than to the sophisticated lady-in-waiting than she really is. The problem was Olivia. D. Watson spoke clearly and acted honestly, but had not the maturity and composure for this part. A more satisfactory solution might have been to cast an older boy in the part, even though losing the advantage of the unbroken voice. As it was, it would perhaps have helped if she had been allowed to sit down more often, especially when confronted by Malvolio's advances.

The beautifully designed programme acknowledged the help given by an unseen host of masters, boys and mothers, and presiding over and directing all this talent was the benign figure of the producer, Mr. Chalmers. No better testament to his ability can be made than by pointing to his consistent dramatic success at this school. One can only marvel; and wish him well in this perilous business for next year.

J. R. WILLIAMS.

[KES Mag May 60]