Simon & Laura
Venue : Woodrush High School
Date : November 1962
Genre : Comedy
Director information coming soon!
Laura Foster, His Wife
John E. Clarke
Wilson, The Manservant
Jessie, The Cook-Housekeeper
Wolfstein, A Theatrical Agent
David Prentice, A BBC Producer
Janet Honeyman, A Script-Writer
Timothy, A Young Boy Actor
Barney, A BBC Engineer
Joe & Bert, BBC Cameramen
Joe & Bert, BBC Cameramen
Miss Mills, The Make-Up Assistant
Mabel, The Continuity Girl
Archie, The Effects Man
Refreshing Zest and Abandon
Wythall Dramatic Society gave some jolly evenings last week with their production of ‘Simon and Laura’.
Under the guiding hand of Roger Mitchell the entire cast entered into the spirit of the thing with a zest and abandon that was refreshing.
Maurice Simpston and Peggy Foster gave spirited performances in the title parts – a couple of stage folk who on the eve of the break-up of their marriage are chosen by the BBC to do a series on Britain’s most happily married couples.
They received considerable support from John Clarke and Anne Johnston, as their domestics, and young Simon Foster gave an extremely self-assured rendering of the part of a boy actor.
M.A.P, Local Paper
'Simon and Laura' at Wythall
If an amateur dramatic group can 'put over' a light comedy relying purely on well-timed delivery and appropriate projection then all to the good.
But the fact is that the divergence of ability within any amateur group is almost bound to be great, and the result is an off- balance presentation. The more experienced actor knows what is expected of him and settles on the ideal plane; the lesser either tones his performance down attempting to sympathise with his experienced fellow. or fails to 'feel' the natural humour and overplays to stress the comedy of it all.
The safest ways out-without destroying the point of the play-is to give the amateur performance a touch of the farce-treatment. The hardy actor with many light comedies to his credit may not like it, but the result will be better balanced.
Wythall Dramatic Society members, who presented Alan Mellville's modern comedy, 'Simon and Laura' last week, hit on just these problems and , although they the audiences were fairly weighty over the three nights, their indifference to what was being offered did not encourage the performers.
But the young and ambitious society, with its varied talents, need not be glum. There were flashes of brilliance at times and, as an evening's entertainment, it was very worth while.
Curiously enough, the best of all scenes was probably the most difficult - the one during the television 'performance' in the Foster's living room. The 'business' prior to the performance with mechanics milling around the room twiddling nobs, watching lights and testing lights was brilliantly rehearsed and superbly carried off.
The programme itself was just as good, and the 'scene' changes were just about as authentic as one could hope for.
Maurice Simpson and Peggy Foster as the relentless argumentative Simon and Laura got off to a splendidly bad-tempered start, but as the play went on their zest for anger waned somewhat. A demanding duo given sound attention by the two performers.
The actress who appeared to appreciate fully the humorous intentions of the playwright was Estelle Shutkever with her business like presentation of Janet Honeyman, a BBC scriptwriter.
Other noteworthy performances were given by John Clarke, Ted Pedvin and Simon Foster.
The set was thoroughly adequate and made good use of a wide stage. Producer was Roger Mitchell.
P.D, Local Paper