Soham Grammarians: The Dumb Wife of Cheapside

two Sixth Form performances given in the Summer Term of 1950
source: Soham Grammarian Autumn 1950, via Donald Monk
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Two good performances of this unusually long one-act play were given at the end of the Summer term to the upper and lower school respectively. These in each case were preluded by the contrasting piano styles, each highly competent and fascinating in its own way, of Mr Catala and the Headmaster. Stone and Bonnett played a piano duet admirably.

The play is a comedy adapted from an old French legend, and it was acted by boys who had just finished the Higher School Certificate and School Certificate examinations.

Alderman John Groat was played by Whetstone who, as the part demanded, put into his words a great deal of expression varying from joy to utter despair. His little wife, Mistress Ann Groat, was very well played by Neville, although one would hardly call him beautiful. Neville's idea of the continually talking wife was very well interpreted. As Master Quill, the attorney, Butler acted the part of the shrewd and studious lawyer with the right tinge of sub-acid humour.

Sargent, in his part of Master Julep, must have seemed an awe-inspiring physician to his patients, and he was ably supported by his two assistants, Master Sunder and Master Ounce, played respectively by Bumpsteed and Fleet. Bumpsteed, with his fake stomach and sonorous voice, was the most comical character in the play, but unfortunately he nearly made the rest of the cast laugh when he proceeded to move a chair by means of his mighty physique. Fleet spoke his part well.

Taylor, playing the part of a waiting woman, looked more like the beautiful wife of the alderman than his actual part. One cannot say much about Notley, as a manservant, who spoke only a few words.


updated 7 Jan 2004