Soham Grammarians : Merchant of Venice - Easter 1967

From an article in the Summer 1967 Soham Grammarian

It was the problem of enjoying a set text that prompted Mr. D. H. Riley and Mr. C. A. Royal-Dawson to produce "The Merchant of Venice" during the Easter Term. The cast they gathered around them included for the first time for twelve years, girls from Ely High School. The ten weeks' rehearsal period was filled with all the anxieties about the aptness of text interpretation, of arranging rehearsal places and times, getting the cast home after rehearsal, designing and constructing a set, preparing the costumes, advertising the performances, and line learning.

A shaky opening matinee performance, before local primary school children, on Monday, March 13th staggered through with seventeen prompts. By the fifth and last performance on Friday the cast had settled firmly into their parts, the musicians were coolly serene in their pit and the performance was, it is thought, enjoyable.

Particular credit must be given to Mary Richards as a robust Portia, Helen Hillman as a mischievous Jessica and Monica Vince as a serene Nerissa; to J. A. Brown as a sinister yet pathetic Shylock; to K. Bent as a charming, naive Bassanio; and to R. J. Brown as a world weary Antonio. Congratulations too to the rest of the cast.

We should also like to extend hearty and sincere thanks to all those who helped to make the production a success, especially Mr. P. J. Askem for producing the appropriate costumes and advising on the set design; to Mr. R. G. S. Bozeat for constructing and supervising the set; to Mr. J. W. Rennison for stage managing the play; Mr. R. J. Makin for directing the lighting; Mr. P. D. Scott for leading the musicians; Mr. L. R. Hart and Mr. R. H. Hanworth for organising the sale and distribution of tickets; Mrs. Jarrett for providing welcome interval refreshment; and finally all those who helped with make-up, programme selling and odd-jobbery.