Drama Festival

Grand National Night by Campbell Christie
What Shall we Tell Caroline? by John Mortimer

25th – 26th April 1960

Grand National Night and What Shall We Tell Caroline were performed as part of a week of special efforts in Compton for the World Refugee Year Fund. The excerpt below is from a general article about the weeks’ activities.

grand national 60
caroline prog

 The Cast

Lily Loudon (Bin): Jane Cruickshank
Arthur Loudon: Sandy Walton
Tony Peters: Andrew Latham
Caroline: Susan Meakins

Produced by Sandy Walton

Four nights of drama

On Monday and Tuesday evenings, Compton Players presented Grand National Night a thriller by Dorothy and Campbell Christie. In the cast were Peter Monger, Frank Meakins, Marion Wellstead, Ernest Golby, Beryl Braidley, Michael Beck, Iza Dolan, Richard Twigg and William Beal.

With only four members in the cast – Jane Cruickshank, Sandy Walton, Andrew Latham and Susan Meakins – What shall we tell Caroline? was definitely a harder play to put across but in spite of such difficulties, Wednesday and Thursday night’s contribution by the Players was still enjoyable, and deserved better support.

The second play was then entered in the Newbury Drama Festival on 3rd May the following week. The following is an extract of a review of one evening.

Four nights of drama

Newbury Drama Festival – one of three in the Berkshire area – provides some of the best entertainment of the year

The audience usually sees three one-act plays each evening with a complete change of cast in each. Moreover, there is such a diversity of choice among the plays that there is never a dull moment, and the audience can make their own judgement of the performances and at the end of each evening compare their views with those of the official adjudicator, who this year is Brigadier Cyril Drummond.

Six societies entered plays for this year’s competition and on Tuesday the bill was filled by Compton Players in John Mortimer’s Shall we tell Caroline? (producer, Sandy Walton)…

The standard of acting in all three plays was much higher than in last year’s Festival and there was some excellent “theatre.” Brigadier Drummond gave a detailed and helpful criticism of each play from which the actors may learn much.

He thought the Compton Players would have benefitted from a more careful “projection” of their voices – some were too subdued and one, in comparison, too loud. Their positioning should have had more regard to the existing stage lighting of the theatre. But they made a very good effort without getting the full effect of the play.