Two One-Act Plays (1966)

The Monkey’s Paw by WW Jacobs
When The Bow Breaks by Gwyn Clark

10th – 12th November 1966

The Monkey’s Paw
In The Monkey’s Paw three wishes are granted. The paw of a dead monkey is a talisman that grants its possessor three wishes, but the wishes come with an enormous price for interfering with fate…

When The Bow Breaks
In When the Bow Breaks; Decanius a young and innocent Roman soldier stands guard at the sacred Druid grove. A young woman married three years has come to seek the help of the chief Druid Daftan. She has realised that all women who ask for his help in this matter later give birth to red headed babies – just like Daftan…..

when bough breaks prog

The Cast (The Monkey’s Paw)

Mr White: Dick Greenfield
Mrs White: Margaret Pilkington
Herbert: Roger Gray
Sergeant Major Morris: Peter Monger
Mr Sampson: Tom Stephens

The Cast (When the Bow Breaks)

Marius – a senior Roman Legionary: Mike Yates
Decianus – a young Roman recruit: John Thomas
Nan – a Silurian woman: Margaret Pilkington
Daifta – her daughter: Katherine Jones
Duftan – A Druid: Peter Monger

Plays produced by Frank Meakins

Newbury Weekly News review

Two plays staged by Compton Players

The Compton Players presented an evening of contrast on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with the three-act play* The Monkey’s Paw by W W Jacobs, in serious mood and the one-act play, The Bow Breaks** by Gwyn Clark, a comedy.
*one-act **incorrect title

The first was clouded with impending doom as the play developed and the wishes granted by the monkey’s paw would have been better never wished at all. The elderly couple played by Dick Greenfield and Margaret Pilkington had the difficult task of portraying old age which came off quite well and the clever inter-play between mother and son, M. Pilkington and Roger Gray was convincing. Peter Monger as Sergeant-Major Morris added a colourful member to the otherwise sombre scene.

The appearance of Tom Stephens, as bringer of sad news, was a study in restraint and sympathy and finely spoken as is always the case with this talented actor.

The cast maintained the drama of the play well in spite of an unsympathetic audience who were obviously unfamiliar with this play.

Sound effects and scenery all helped to build up tension and eventual tragedy.

Before the second play, the audience was entertained by a very personable, slick and polished performer, Brian Bowness, who showed much talent in his ability in miming and putting over a joke well.

Romans, Druids and “olive-skinned” maidens in a secret Druid Grove was the setting of the second play and fertility rites, the theme. A chuckle from beginning to end admirably played by Mike Yates and John Thomas as the two stalwart centurions, Katherine Jones as the “Silurian Seductress,” Margaret Pilkington, her “Still-living-in-hopes” mother and Peter Monger as the red-haired progenitor of so many red-haired children –Druid!