Soham Grammarians : A Midsummer Night's Dream 1959



A Midsummer
Night's Dream




via Gwyn Murfet

The Courtiers
Theseus, Duke of Athens CA BENT
Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus RP OGDEN
Egeus, father to Hermia J KIDMAN
} young gentlemen, in love with
} Hermia
Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Theseus GS DAVIS
Hermia, in love with Lysander MJ COE
Helena, in love with Demetrius S POOLE
Attendants at the Court of Theseus RN BARBER, CM BULL,
The Workmen
Peter Quince, a carpenter GD ROUSE
Nick Bottom, a weaver BW HALLS
Francis Flute, a bellows-mender MJ TESTER
Tom Snout, a tinker TJ WASHTELL
Robin Starveling, a tailor JP STARLING
Snug, a joiner BM LOWE
The Fairies
Oberon, King of the Fairies DC BANYARD
Titania, Queen of the Fairies RL WHEELER
Robin Goodfellow, the Puck D BLOOMFIELD
Peaseblossom MJ SMITH
Mustardseed GH JENKINSON
Fairies attending Titania RW DAY, AG PAULEY
Fairies attending Oberon AM CHRISTIE, RJ DAVIES,

The action takes place in Athens, and in a wood nearby.
There will be one interval of ten minutes.

The play produced by Mr GE Hemmings
Scenery and costumes designed by Mr PJ Askem
Music composed by Mr WH Stalker
and recorded by the Macnaghten String Quartet
and boys of the School.

Set Construction Mr RGS Bozeat
Lighting Mr G Parrott
Costumes Mr RJW Housden
Properties Mr BJ Frampton
Make-up Mr WAG Burroughs, Mr CR Waller
Stage Management Mr GEA Hammond
Business Management Mr CJ Ford, Mr JL Grassi
Mr LR Hart, Mr SR Saunders

We wish to thank many other helpers - Staff, boys, and in
particular many parents and friends - whose names find no place
on this programme, but who have made an indispensable contribution to the production.

"Ill met by moonlight" : source Spring 1960 Soham Grammarian

A Midsummer Night's Dream - review in the Spring 1960 Soham Grammarian

The production of A Midsummer Night's Dream last December was essentially a team effort. The cast itself contained 33 players, including attendants at court and fairies, but one must not forget the long line of organisation, beginning with Mr Hemmings whose first major production at this school this was.

On first looking at the list of characters, one wondered if the performers were rather inexperienced to tackle the parts allotted to them, for only 3 boys had taken leading parts in past large productions. One's fears were dispelled, however. The performance was a most worthy effort. Of the courtiers, Bent, as Theseus, Duke of Athens, proved to be an actor of promise, and Kidman put great feeling into his portrayal of Egeus, a troubled old man. The quartet of Walker as Lysander, Crowe (Demetrius), Poole (Helena) and Coe (Hermia) demonstrated well with their vigour that "the course of true love ne'er did run smooth". The workmen were amusing to the audience, and the scenes in which Halls (Bottom), Washtell and his fellow artisans appeared were amongst the highlights of the evening, but weakened their performance slightly by giving the impression that they were acting the fool deliberately; Shakespeare intended them to be serious in their attempt to entertain the court, and it is in the absolute failure of this serious attempt that they are amusing. Banyard was extremely good as Oberon, and Bloomfield gained the audience's admiration with his vivacious performance.

As in any review of a corporate activity it is invidious and incomplete to concentrate solely on the performances of the main actors, and this production was the result of much hard thought and work by the staff and boys. One must mention in particular Mr Askem, who was often to be seen in a motionless trance, gazing at an empty stage and forming an image of Athens in his creative mind. Mr Bozeat and the Technical Sixth constructed a most effective set, and the lighting arranged by Mr Parrott and his helpers was excellent. We were especially privileged to hear some most delightful and apposite music, composed by Mr Stalker for the occasion. Many departments remain unmentioned, but they were certainly not unappreciated. To them and to all the actors and production staff, I should like to offer my congratulations for a first rate, Midsummer Night's Dream.

NFH, VI Arts

Spring 1960 Soham Grammarian provided by Martin Duffield

L-R: Geoff Rouse (Peter Quince) - Harry Halls (Bottom) - JP Starling (Robin Starveling)
Tim Washtell (Tom Snout) - Barry Lowe (Snug) - Michael Tester (Francis Flute)
source: Geoff Rouse
: original photo WAG Burroughs

from the Ely High School May 1960 magazine

"A Midsummer Night's Dream."

At the end of the Christmas Term several girls attended a performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by the boys of Soham Grammar School. Mr Hemmings and his cast are to be congratulated on their lively presentation of this well known Shakespearean comedy.

One of the most outstanding of the characters was Puck, played by Bloomfield, who incorporated in his performance all the essential characteristics of this mischievous fairy. The comic characters were admirably cast and their scenes caused the audience a great deal of amusement. The rest of the cast gave creditable performances although the female characters were inclined to be rather weak.

Although the scenery was simple, it was quite effective and the fairylike atmosphere of the play was conveyed by the music which had been composed by Mr Stalker.

All those who saw the play thoroughly enjoyed it and hope that it will be followed by another production in a short time.

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last update 7 Dec 10