Report of the Headley Theatre Club's production of an Edwardian Music Hall, March 1967

IN EDWARDIAN DAYS

The Headley Theatre Club's evening of Edwardian Music Hall packed the village hall on Saturday. One of the attractions was a mini-drama in which those taking part were: Left to right—Back: Sue Allden, Kathleen Cooper, Jackie Davies. Front: Ray Lee, John Woods.

The doors were closed for the Theatre Club's evening of Edwardian Music Hall at Headley on Saturday, and all but a handful of the audience who packed the village hall wore clothes appropriate to the entertainment they were to see on stage.

Many of these were family possessions brought out of lofts and store-rooms for the occasion; frock coats and bustles that actually were worn in the village by their original owners 60 years ago. Where such treasures were not available, ingenuity came to the rescue, and there were young men in blazers and boaters, modishly whiskered and hair slicked back, and young women with parasols and skirts unhygienically tight.

PERIOD ATMOSPHERE

The hall itself, with its drapes, waxed fruits and pot plants (the work of Evelyn Meek) had the right period atmosphere, and the only inharmonious element was the noise of the petrol engines that brought people to the door.

In a high-backed chair on the stage was the master of ceremonies, Larry Armstrong, equipped with gavel, candle and a commanding presence. He began by asking everyone to join him in a glass of beer and wine, adding that the theatre bars were open to anyone who wished to improve upon this initial offering, and a band of lady attendants soon had everybody served.

PANTOMINE AND MINI-DRAMA

Specially prepared song-sheets were then passed round and the show began with community singing. Jimmy Ellis followed with a pantomime burlesque, and then there were songs by John Searle (tenor) and Marion Mackenzie (soprano). The final item was a mini-drama, produced by Dawn Lewcock, which brought the traditional cheers, hissings and ribald comments from the audience.

Then there was supper, sausages cooked by John Lewcock followed by apple pie, baked by Barbara Chasty, with lots of cream, and finally cheese. The tables were then cleared and the final hour of an original and very successful evening was spent in dancing to the piano and some old records.

In overall charge was Pauline Buck. Community singing was accompanied by Adrain Kneller. The cast of "Temptation Sordid or Virtue Rewarded" was Kathleen Cooper, Jackie Davies, Ray Lee, John Woods and Sue Allden.

The hot supper was served by Abigail Buck, Sue Abbott, Jan Mortley, Dorothy Mortley and Paul Buck.


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