Venue : Woodrush High School
Date : May 1971
Genre : Period Play
Tonight you will meet a group of people and become involved with their loneliness, inter-dependence, and reations to two situations that could lie behind any local news story.
Written with deep humanity by a master of the modern theatre, our company are, from both an artistic and technical point of view, faced with their greatest challenge for some years.
We shall hope to do justice to the material and ourselves.
Wythall Players Rise to Challenge
"Their greatest challenge for some time" was producer R. Keith Booth's description of Wythall Dramatic Society's presentation of Terence Rattigan's "Seperate Tables" at Woodrush School last week.
The play reflects the sadness and embittered loneliness of a group of people, thrown together by reduced circumstances, in a small seaside hotel, and their reations to two situations in what is virtually two plays in one.
The first, "Table by the Window," deals with the arrival of ex-model Anne Shankland, former wife of one of the guests, John Malcolm, and their eventual uneasy reconciliation.
Although he looked the part of the earstwhile young politician driven to drink, David Plumb unfortunately lacked the necessary mature world-weariness of the character and cnsequently did not always give the part the depth it demanded. Jackie Langstone looked elegant and played the part of the self-centred, but desperateley unhappy Anne with assurance.
"Table Number Seven," the second play, featured Jack Parramore who gave a sensitive performance as the pseudo Major Pollock, disgraced by the local newspaper's report of his appearance in court for sordid misdemeanours in a cinema.
As Sybil Railton-Bell, dominated by her forceful mother, Estelle Shutkever gave a convincing portrayal of the shock received by the immature Sybil when the truth about her friend the "Major" is maliciously revealed by her mother.
Appearing in both plays were The Staff, ably led by the manageress of the hotel, played by sympathetic understanding by Sybil Parr. The waitresses, Marguerite Smith and Pam Davey, provided the light relief needed in this type of play.
Of the Regulars, Val Evans was a delight as Miss Meacham, intent only on her "racing form" and spiritualism, while Val Archer again proved her versatility in her portrayal of a gentilely impoverished elderly aristocrat. Gerry Solomon gave a good characterisation of a preoccupied retired music teacher.
Ruling the Regulars with a rod of iron was class-conscious Mrs. Railton-Bell, played with keen observation of the character by Brenda Castle.
Mike Beamish and Jenny Willing were good at The Casuals, students Charles Stratton and Jean Tanner.
A new feature of this production was the excellent split stage, to allow the action of the play to pass between the hotel's dining room and lounge. This was certainly the best set yet built by the Society's hard working stage staff, and lighting was excellent.
V.L., Redditch Indicator and Alcester Chronical