Soham Grammarians : Amahl and the Night Visitors
Christmas 1961



Amahl 1 - GJ Irons
Amahl 2 - AK Bailey
His Mother 1 - AM Christie
His Mother 2 - FW Haslam

King Kaspar - SJ Poole
King Melchior - RP Ogden
King Balthazar - PJ Aves
Their Page - DE Manning

CHORUS OF SHEPHERDS AND VILLAGERS: KG Ames, GJ Ball, CG Blackwell, JA Brown, AJ Burton, DW Bush, RC Butcher, AD Butler, RB Butler, RJ Butler, PJ Chapman, GM Clarke, DR Cowling, RL Dean, BW Dines, RJ Dove, RNR Dunham, NBJ Faben, CW Fisher, M Fitch, B Gamble, TF Gray, GR Hancock, LP Hancock, AJ Harper, G Hicks, REG Hood, DJ Lee, M Lloyd, NV Long, BM Lowe, BR Lowe, A Marples, RCJ Osland, RA Peters, M Page, E Pearson, GC Pollard, GEG Pryke, TM Reynolds, MJ Shalders, JM Shelley, DAA Speed, MC Strevens, GA Suckling, RW Taylor, AP Walter, MA Yeomans, and RK Youngs

Scene: inside a Shepherd's cottage during a night soon after the first Christmas.

Musical Direction by Mr MJ Ades assisted by Mrs J Yeomans and Mr PD Scott

The Dance arranged by Mrs U Conroy and Mrs R Milne

The Opera produced by Mr GE Hemmings

Scenery and.Costumes designed by Mr PJ Askem

Sets constructed and painted by Mr RGS Bozeat

Stage Management - Mr JW Rennison
Lighting - Mr G Parrott
Make-up - Mr WAG Burroughs, Mr RJH Makin
Wardrobe Supervision - Mr N Sherrington
Business Management - Mr CJ Ford, Mr LR Hart, Mr SR Saunders

We wish to thank most sincerely the parents and friends who have made the costumes the boys have worked behind the scenes; and the many other helpers within the School whose names find no place on this programme but who have made an indispensable contribution to the production.

source - Frank Haslam


Set design for 'Amahl and the Night Visitors', copyright PJ Askem 1961, provided by
Gordon Hemmings, who comments "so closely realised"

Amahl 2 (AK Bailey), Mother 2 (Frank Haslam): source Haslam

Mother 2 (Frank Haslam), Page (DE Manning) and the
three Kings with Amahl 2 (AK Bailey): source Haslam

looks like the Villagers - can you put names to faces?
standing back: 1 - 2 - Martin Strevens - Norman Long - Eric Pearson? - 6
standing front: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - Lindsay Hancock
seated: 1 - 2 - 3
source: Norman Long

Soham Grammarian Spring 1961


Since it is usually difficult enough to find sufficient talent for one successful school production at a time, the school can indeed take pride in having been able to offer both "The Second Shepherds' Play" from the Wakefield cycle and Menotti's opera, "Amahl and the Night Visitors", for its Christmas productions. These two works neatly balanced one another, treating as they both did, in their very different and original ways, the theme of the Nativity. Our congratulations must go to both Mr. Hemmings and Mr. Hammond on their excellent choice.

In Amahl Menotti too combines the serious and the comic, and the forgiving of a theft with the theme of the Nativity. The touching part of Amahl was played alternately by A. K. Bailey and G. J. Irons, that of his mother by A.L. Christie and F. W. Haslam, who tackled their difficult music courageously. Between them they must share the honours for singing and acting, but it was generally agreed that Bailey sang most attractively and that Irons gave a particularly moving performance on the last night.

S. Poole, R. P. Ogden and P. J. Aves, as the Three Kings, handled their parts competently and looked particularly resplendent in the costumes designed by Mr. Askem. The large chorus sang, acted and danced with great enthusiasm. We are grateful to Mr. Hemmings and Mr. Ades for undertaking such an interesting and enjoyable production, and although the music may not be full of "catchy" tunes it has that quality which makes it stay in the memory and grow with recollection and repetition. And although a more "popular" piece might have been more of a box office attraction, it would not have earned the School a reputation for original and audacious undertaking that has reached far beyond those immediately connected with the School, and which will earn us support and interest in future productions.

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page last updated 28 Oct 2010