Doctor in the House
Venue : Woodrush High School
Date : March 1965
Genre : Comedy
Tony Grimsdyke, A Medical Student
Simon Sparrow, A Medical Student
John Evans , A Medical Student
Vera, A Lady-In-Waiting
Bromley, A Hospital Porter
Sir Lancelot Spratt, A Surgeon
Miss Winslow (Riggie), A Nurse
The Matron, A Battleship
Janet, A Nurse
Tradition Kept Up With A Comedy
After considerable thought and some apprehension, Wythall Dramatic Society, decided to maintain a tradition of comedy by presenting "Doctor In the House". But their doubts must have been dispelled for the moment the curtain first went up on Ted Willis's amusing portrayal of medical-student life.
Under the superb direction of Peggy Foster, the company gave a shar, and to say the least interesting interpretation of a well-tried comedy that stands up admirable to repetition.
Spiced with breathless action and a little stunning dialogue, the plot took just a little time to warm-up, but then the cast made themselves at home in a wonderfully detailed set.
As the "fresh" medical student, Simon Sparrow (an excellent name for one of such timidity), Cliff Gadsby never once failed in his characherisation. As his compatriots educated him in a newand easier way of life, he adapted himself easily, but at all times remained shrouded in a gown of respectability that tended to "spoil the fun".
Maurice Simpson was equally successful in his portrayal as a lounging, devil-may-care colleague, Tony Grimsdyke, intent upon regular failure of examination.
He enjoyed his part as much as he did Simon's "breaking-in", and showed an exellent grasp of a part that demanded some very capable acting. His plots were always bright, and into them he injected an enthusiasm that must have rubbed off on the the others.
Gerry Smith was, perhaps, the least impressive of the three. But then his part was obviously intended to be of less importance. His existance added little to the story, but he made the best of what was largely a bad job.
Faced with the hopeless task of keeping the "boys" in some form of order, Vera, played by Estelle Shutkever, had little success. There was more credit in her performace than in her powers of persuasion, though a forceful image might have been more acceptable. She "coped" well with an awkward accent, but at times let it wander to both extremes.
An ear-splitting performance by Jack Parramore as Sir Lancelot Spratt, a domineering surgeon who takes it upon himself to help nephew Simon out of difficulty, left the audience gasping. As he swapt and bellowed about the stage, his appearance soon made an immediate and lasting impression. He was ideal for the part.
M.C., Solihull News
Wythall Successfully Meet the Doctor's Challenge
A lady sitting near to me asked, "What is going on?" and her companion relied: "I think it has started," and it had. The Spring production of Wythall Dramatic Society was under way, much to the amazement and disbelief of the audience.
The house lights were still full on and the music was just fading out when a man walked in front of the curtains. He was wearing a grubby white overall and as stage manager announced that on of the actresses had been taken ill; the play would be delayed for a few minutes and he asked: "Is there a doctor in the house?"
Two men from the audience, one each side of the hall, shouted "yes," jumped up onto the stage, recognised each other as old medical school mates and started reminiscing. After a few minutes one went off to attend to the "ill actress" and the other remained in front of the curtains and started telling the audience about their college days. The curtains went back, and so did the clock to those days in college and the play was then well under way.
M.L.D, Redditch Indicator
A Lively Production at Wythall
The witty dialogue of Dr in the House provides a sound basis for a successful production. The rest depends entirely on the skill of the company.
Wythall Dramatic Society showed up very well in its handling of the comedy, seizing the opportunity to present one of its most lively and amusing productions to date.
On of the biggest contributors to the play's success is Maurice Simpson who gives a polished performance. Estelle Shutkever adds sparkle as her usual competent self, although her accent does not match her other capabilities. Cliff Gadsby and Ted Pedvin lend valuable support.
Unknown, Birmingham Evening Mail