Post Horn Gallop
Venue : Woodrush High School
Date : May 1981
Genre : Farce
Assistant Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
"Post Horn Gallop", the play chosen by " Wythall Dramatic Society for its spring production, proved to be a rip-roaring farce in which weapons were brandished about with no one getting hurt. It was set in the baronial hall of a castle whose owners, had opened It to the public – apparently with no time limits!
The show was brilliantly directed by Gerry Solomon, who had the support of a competent and hard working cast. Angela Smith as the love-lorn maid-servant, Estelle Shutkever as the guide and Willa Hislop as a moronic visitor, all had comedy parts which they exploited to the full and were responsible for most of the laughs in a hilariously entertaining evening.
E.E.H., Local Newspaper 1981
A Super Swift 'Gallop'
Wythall Dramatic Society's spring presentation, Derek Benfield’s "Post Horn Gallop" was one long crazy caper and the audience relished it to the full.
Performed for three evenings, at Woodrush High School, it was the utter incredibility of the plot which made it quite hilarious.
Jack Parramore is a superb comedian, and his role as the mad Lord Elrood gave wide scope for his talent.
Ably supporting him as his stage wife was Val Archer, who takes any type of role in her stride, and Beryl Linforth, who made a winsome, long-suffering daughter.
Mike Beamish excelled as Chester Dreadnought, and Angela Smith made a delightfully skittish maid.
Estelle Shutkever made the part of the eccentric guide larger than life - with rib-tickling results.
Special mention must also be made of Ann Cope and Willa Hislop as two members of the paying public, and other parts were competently played by Ken Gibbons and Frank Allen as the thugs, and Ian Bruce showed a fine pair of hairy knees as leader of a scout troop.
The set designed and painted by Ken Gibbons it the WDS workshop did full justice to the occasion and under the direction of Gerry Solomon every artiste was well cast and continuity was faultless.
P.K.S., Local Newspaper 1981
Wythall's Recipe for Comedy at the Gallop
Wythall Dramatic Society was determined no-one was going to fall asleep during its latest production.
Loud sporadic gunfire from the batty Lord Elrood (Jack Parramore) kept the audience on tenterhooks throughout this fast moving farce.
Unfortunately the energy of the actors was not matched by the author's ability. "Post Horn Gallop" is a second-rate farce with a fairly predictable plot.
The play centres on Elrood Castle, the family seat of the Elroods who are forced to open their home to the public because of financial difficulties.
The trigger-happy Lord Elrood believes his is commanding an army and spends most of the time taking pot shots at an imaginary enemy, which usually turns out to be the postman.
The plot is complicated by the arrival of Lord Elrood's daughter and her husband who is being persuaded by two gangsters who were convicted of robbery because of his evidence. And to muddle the situation even more, 50 scouts arrive to camp on the castle lawn for the weekend.
Although the comedy does not really go anywhere, Wythall Dramatic Society came up with some superb characterisations.
Willa Hislop and Ann Cope were very funny as the two Mrs Mopps who wander unwittingly round the castle as the first paying visitors. These Hilda Ogden look-alikes would have no difficulties being signed up for Coronation Street.
Angela Smith, as the simple but over-sexed maid Ada, and Val Archer, as the long suffering Lady Elrood, gave very professional performances, as did Estelle Shutkever as the intense Miss Partridge. Beryl Linforth who played Lord Elrood's daughter, Patricia is clearly a natural.
Ken Gibbons (Mr Capone) and Frank Allen (Mr Wedgewood) were very convincing at the two gangsters and could have walked straight off a "Godfather" set, though Mr Capone's Scottish accent travelled south in the course of the evening.
The set was effective and the timing perfect and although the play was uninspiring the performances were anything but.
C.M., Local Newspaper 1981
No Gallop - Just Plod
This is a play with a plot that, unfortunately, never gets anywhere near a gallop. Not even a canter. Just a relentless plod.
And don't blame the cast. This farce by Derek Benfield should have been put out to pasture years ago.
The cast go flat out to make the best of some pretty poor material which involves plenty of chasing from room to room, appearing and disappearing through a secret panel and generally running riot.
There are a couple of delightful performances from Willa Hislop, as Bertha a Hilda Ogden type character and Anne Cope as her working class friend, Maggie.
Jack Parramore is Lord Elrrod, who spends his time shooting at the tradesmen, Val Archer is his harassed wife, and Estelle Shutkever and eccentric lady historian.
Others in the production, which ends tomorrow night, are Angela Smith, Beryl Linforth, Mike Beamish, Ken Gibbons, Frank Allen and Ian Bruce.
The setting and lighting are excellent.
Roy Roberts, Local Newspaper 1981