Report by Jo Fisher:
Despite bad luck which plagued the Youth section of the Headley Theatre Club
throughout the rehearsals, last week's production, "The Fire Raisers,"
a drama by Max Frisch, was fascinating and interesting.
Translation of the script was by Michael Bullock and the play was set in the present day, "somewhere in Europe." It was very topical, dealing with the problem of fire raisers in cities and the damage caused by them to buildings and property.
"The Fire Raisers" was chosen by the young players themselves and, although not an easy choice, was executed in a very competent way.
Dawn Lewcock was the original producer but had to withdraw because of an accident to her back and her place was taken by Phil Longhurst. Although able to take part in the play he, also, had to drop the production side. The final production was by Mitch Allen and Caroline Lewcock.
The story told of how a prosperous business man, Gottleib Biedermann, and his wife, Babette, give houseroom for the night to a young man they did not know. Babette is nervous because of the recent local fire-raising and the young man is housed in the attic.
The play is described as a morality play without a moral, with an after-piece. The "after-piece" takes place in Hell and gives the play a surprise ending.
The cast was as follows: Gottleib Biedermann (Nick Webb), Anna (Vicki Cook), Schmitz (Richard Boxall), Babette Biedermann (Liz Dhillon), Eisenring (Phil Longhurst), Policeman (Bob Hodgson), Widow Knechtling (Lesley Wightman), Doctor of Psychology (Stephen Cooper), Chief Fireman (Terese Birtles), Firemen (Terese Haydon, Celia Haydon, Hilary Binns, Sarah Cook and Joe Lucas).
Caroline Lewcock also acted as prompter and Carol Denn was in charge of sound effects. Stage hands were Fiona Ross, Mick Bryan and Peter Lewcock. Props were loaned by Mesdames Birtles, Lewcock, and Cooper.
Fire Raisers (1958) tells the tale of a respectable bourgeois whose house is one day visited by three strangers. It "is successful on every level; the story is as gripping as an adventure story; each line is fraught with several meanings: as an allegory it is unique" (Edna O'Brien).
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