Soham Grammarians : The Memory Be Green 1964



MAY 1964

The Characters

The Scholar - CH Shaw
The Stage-keeper - BJ Green

In 'King John'

King John - TJ Sandham
Arthur, Nephew to the King - MJ Orbell
Hubert de Burgh - VAJ Moll
Prison Attendants - LP Hancock, TT Pennick
Philip Faulconbridge - PJ Astbury

In 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'

Mistress Page - JR Phillips
Mistress Ford - JE Malkin
Mistress Quickly - SA Gilbert
Servants to Mistress Ford - DM Beale, AJ Brennan
Robin, Page to Falstaff - SJ Martin
Sir John Falstaff - SC Parkinson
Gentlemen Dwelling in Windsor:
Ford - D Bloomfield
Page - GJ Ball
Doctor Caius, a French Physician - S Quicke
Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh Parson - JA Brown
Bardolph, Servant to Falstaff - RJ Brown

In 'Cymbeline'

Imogen, Daughter to Cymbeline, disguised as Fidele - J Goodge
Belarius, a banished Lord, disguised as Morgan - EGR Smith
Guiderius and Arviragus, sons to Cymbeline, disguised as Polydore and Cadival - PM Ellis and GD Audus.
Cloten, Step-son to Cymbeline - IR Smith

In 'Coriolanus'

First Volscian Guard - GC Holbrow
Second Volscian Guard - G Barber
Menenius Agrippa, Friend to Coriolanus - MC Strevens
Caius Marcius Coriolanus - DJ Maycock
Tullus Aufidius, General of the Volscians - GJ Haynes
Volumnia, Mother of Coriolanus - AK Bailey
Virgilia, Wife to Coriolanus - RC Tyler
Young Marcius, Son to Corialanus - LP Partridge
Valeria, Friend to Virgilia - MM Partridge

In 'The Tempest'

Caliban, a savage Slave - SA Haylett
Trinculo, a Jester - LJB Covell
Stephano, a drunken Butler - M Newton
Ariel, an airy Spirit - RC Myson
Prospero - TC Salmon
Spirits, attending on Prospero - TH Cooke, PA Easy, PN Goodfellow, JR Harding

There will be one interval of twelve minutes, after 'The Merry Wives' episode.

The Plays produced by Mr GE Hemmings, JR O'Toole and Mr CA Royal-Dawson.

Scenery and Costumes designed by Mr P Askem

Set Construction - Mr RGS Bozeat
Stage Management - Mr JW Rennison
Lighting - Mr RJH Makin and Mr PD Scott
Make-up - Mr WAG Burroughs
Music - Mr MJ Ades
Business Management - Mr CJ Ford, Mr LR Hart and Mr SR Saunders

The most fitting celebration for the quatercentenary of Shakespeare's birth is to act his plays. We have chosen to present at Soham extracts from five of the plays which, while straying a little from the well-trodden paths of schoolboy Shakespeare, nevertheless give a broad view of his genius. Our desire to bring Shakespeare to life for as many boys as possible has led to a cast of unusually wide age-range: you will see, for example, a First Form Stephano, Third Form Merry Wives, and a Fifth Form Falstaff. To link the five episodes we have created a pedantic 20th. Century Scholar and an Elizabethan stage-keeper; we hope that their dialogue will both instruct and entertain.

We wish to thank most sincerely the parents and friends who have made the costumes; the boys who have worked behind the scenes; and the many other helpers within the school whose names are too numerous to include on this programme but who have made an indispensable contribution to this prodction.

THE MEMORY BE GREEN - review in the Summer 1964 Soham Grammarian

All lovers of Shakespeare must be grateful to the anonymous scholar who provided the Bard with an official birthday and thus, indirectly, all English scholars with an excuse for celebration. The school quatercentenary production needed no excuses at all and succeeded magnificently in illuminating the many facets of Shakespeare's genius. It consisted of scenes from five of the Bard's lesser known works, integrated by a discussion between a modern scholar and a resurrected stage-keeper - the scenes illustrating their discussion.

The first impressively sinister scene, from King John, came to its dramatic climax as Prince Arthur (Orbell) leaped to his death from the walls of his prison, having melted Hubert's resolve to put out his eyes - Hubert was strongly played by Moll. The Merry Wives of Windsor, which followed, provided a touch of ironical farce as a nicely dandified Falstaff (Parkinson), variously disguised, was ineffectually hunted by the jealous husband (Bloomfield). The two mischievous Wives were charrningly played by Phillips and Malkin.

Cymbeline provided the next and perhaps least memorable scene, but the obsequies of Guiderius and Arviragus (Ellis and Audus) over the supposed corpse of Imogen managed to convey infinite tragedy. In a moving episode from Coriolanus, Volumnia (Bailey) pleaded forcefully for the safety of Rome to her exiled son Coriolanus (Maycock) and was rewarded by success unhoped for. The scene from The Tempest provided a very spirited diminuendo from the intensity of Coriolanus; Newton, Covell and Haylett made a lively comic trio, and Myson's Ariel was graceful and poetic. The transformation in this scene was a magically impressive "piece de résistance" from the stage effects department; throughout the evening, lighting, music and costumes played their part in varying an ingeniously simple basic set.

The production revealed a wealth of dramatic ability, especially in the lower forms, and reflected great credit on Mr O'Toole and Mr Royal-Dawson, who were making their debut as school producers under Mr. Hemmings' able direction. To conclude, the venture was a great success, enjoyed by those who saw it and a worthy tribute to its "onlie begetter".

Please identify those in these photos, provided by courtesy of the Producer, Gordon Hemmings:

The Memory Be Green

The Scholar - CH Shaw; The Stage-keeper - BJ Green

King John

L-R: Arthur, Nephew to the King - MJ Orbell; King John - TJ Sandham; Hubert de Burgh - VAJ Moll


Merry Wives of Windsor

Servant to Mistress Ford - D Beale, JR Harding*; Sir John Falstaff - SC Parkinson; Servant to Mistress Ford - AJ Brennan; Robin, Page to Falstaff - SJ Martin (front)
* not listed in cast


Helen Smith writes: My late brother Ted Smith is the old man on the right – Belarius.
The boy crouching on the floor is J Goodge as Imogen and the two others are PM Ellis & GD Audus as Guiderius & Arviragus - which is which?



First Volscian Guard - GC Holbrow
Second Volscian Guard - G Barber
(?) Caius Marcius Coriolanus - DJ Maycock


The Tempest

back: Peter Easy; ?, Prospero - TC Salmon; ?, ?
front: L Covell, ?, ?, ?

Identifications so far: The Editor assisted by Stephen Martin

Cambridgeshire Times May 14th 1964

School's tribute to Shakespeare

To celebrate the quatercentenary of the birth of William Shakespeare Soham Grammar School chose to give three performances of "The Memory be Green", the first of which took place in the school Hall on Saturday.

This Shakespeare entertainment, devised and produced by the English staff of the School, contained episodes from five of the slightly less frequently performed plays.

In the first half the sinister melodrama of the death of Arthur from "King John" contrasted strongly with the lively farce of Falstaff's wooing of Mistress Ford.


After the interval the audience saw a moving episode from "Cymbeline" followed by an intense scene of reconciliation between Coriolanus and his mother; the final episode was the plot against Prospero from "The Tempest" performed against a superbly created magic island.

Continuity was supplied by a twentieth-century scholar and an Elizabethan stage-keeper.

The acting of the large cast was clear and lively; effective costumes, lighting and music contributing enormously to the success of the productions.

The plays were produced by Mr GE Hemmings, Mr JR O'Toole and Mr CA Royal-Dawson. Scenery and costumes were designed by Mr PJ Askem.

If you have more photographs or recollections of this production, please contact the Editor
page updated 25 Nov 07; 30 Jan 14