The Late Christopher Bean

by Emlyn Williams

11th – 12th December 1958

The late Christopher Bean — a penniless, tubercular, alcoholic painter — died 10 years back, leaving behind some unwanted and unappreciated canvases. Which, now that he has been suddenly hailed as one of the great masters of all time, are of inestimable value.

christopher bean prog

The Cast

Dr Haggett: Sandy Walton
Susan Haggett: Susan Meakins
Gwenny: Isa Dolan
Mrs Haggett: Edith Hill
Ada Haggett: Beryl Braidley
Bruce McRae: Colin Bracewell
Tallant: Frank Meakins
Rosen: Peter Monger
Davenport: Ernest Golby

Produced by Sandy Walton

Newbury Weekly News review

Compton Players had full houses on Thursday and Friday when they presented Rene Fachois’ play The Late Christopher Bean, adapted by Emlyn Wiliams.

Sandy Wilson gave an excellent performance as Dr Haggett, the country practitioner whose busy but comparatively dull life is suddenly disrupted by the posthumous recognition of the artistic abilities of one of his late patients, Christopher Bean. Edith Hill, who played his money-loving wife, portrayed well the anguish felt by a good mother who has great marital ambitions for her daughters which, partly through her failure to recognise people’s true worth, can never be realised.

Susan Meakins and Beryl Braidley, as the daughters, showed a good understanding of their parts, while Colin Bracewell as Bruce McRae, an artistic follower of Chris Bean, showed all the loveable swagger of those north of the border.

Isa Dolan, as Gwenny the Welsh maid, carried the play through its most sensitive scenes with a skilful naiveté and earnestness. Tallent and Rosen (Frank Meakins and Peter Monger respectively) showed the opposites in underhand art dealers, one suave the other bluff, while as Davenport, Ernest Golby produced a gentleness and true appreciation of work by the now lamented artist who died unloved by all but Gwenny.

Production was by Sandy Walton.

Act II of this production was entered in the second Berkshire Drama Festival and performed on the 19th Feb 1959 at the Plaza Theatre, Newbury:

christopher bean festival