Posts Tagged ‘drama’

All the World’s a Stage

August 17, 2014

Today we have a photo from the same source as the one we showed yesterday – and its caption has some of the same problems.

A play within the church fete at Beech House, Market Lavington in about 1972

A play within the church fete at Beech House, Market Lavington in about 1972

OK. It was 30th June – but what year? There’s no doubt this was the garden of Beech House and on the left hand end we have Peggy Gye, the owner – yet to found our museum but as ever, closely involved in village activities.

Sad to say, we don’t recognise others in this photo so once again we are appealing for help. We think the year was 1972 (30th June was a Friday that year) which means even the youngest child in the picture is well over 40 now.

Do get in touch if you can tell us more about the people or even what the play within the fete was about.


Sweet Nell of Old Drury

December 7, 2012

Here’s a mystery that we hope somebody out there will solve for us. It’s three Ws we are after – who, when and where.

Here’s the image we are seeking information about.

A dramatic production in Easterton in the 1950s – we think

This is in a group of photos that owe their origin to Tom Jefferies of Easterton. It’s an assumption and may be wrong, but we believe this is taken in the old Easterton School. It clearly involves some kind of drama on a very makeshift stage. The blackboard is headed ‘Sweet Nell of Drury Lane’.

This was what seems to be called a restoration comedy, featuring sweet Nell (Nell Gwynne), Charles 2nd and others of the era. It was made into a silent film in 1911. Our image certainly has no characters who look to be representing that era.

What we have is a squire, a police sergeant (who may be Gladys Windo) a vicar and a nurse. They appear to be involved in some kind of competition for the squire has earned three points and the sergeant a couple. Also on stage is the lady chalking scores and a couple of onlookers.

We think this dates from the 1950s.

And now it is over to you. Please get in touch if you can tell us anything about this scene.

A Dramatic Presentation in 1910

November 28, 2012

Back in 1910, the Parish Room was a new structure. Market Lavington had a hall dedicated and suited to the needs of a village community – and that included putting on plays. In those days, more than 100 years ago, interior photos of a large group of excited actors were difficult. Film was still comparatively slow and the poor interior light would have meant a long exposure and many a blurred actor as a result

But a solution was close at hand. You could get the cast to do an extra curtain call away from the hall, in the grounds of the Vicarage. The two buildings were closely adjacent. The Vicarage is now a part of the nursing home and the Parish Room was demolished to provide extra facilities in a new part of the same nursing home.

And having taken a cast photo, then why not issue it as a postcard. After all, there’s a fair chance that cast members would like a copy themselves, and they’d like to send it to family and friends away from Market Lavington. So that’s what we have at Market Lavington Museum – a postcard with a picture of the cast of a 1910 play, taken in the grounds of the old Vicarage.

Let’s look at the back of the card first. There’s a message. It isn’t in code like another card we showed recently, but it seems to be almost as hard to read!

Message on a card sent from Market Lavington in 1910

The sender has given an address which we think was Mona Cottage in Market Lavington.

It’s lovely to see a Market Lavington postmark.

The card has a Market Lavington postmark

Now to the picture itself.

The card shows the cast of a 1910 play performed in the Parish Room in Market Lavington

This card was given to the museum, many years ago, by May Elisha. She was able to tell us the names of three girls in the picture – Emmie Boulter, Fanny Merritt and Ann Smith. Sadly, we can’t attach faces to names.

However, we have picked on a few faces to enlarge. Maybe somebody will recognise a face here.

Little Red Riding Hood

May 18, 2012

During the Second World War, paper was in short supply and it was important not to be giving information to potential enemies. This had an effect on simple little items, like an amateur dramatic production.

Dramatic production programme at Market Lavington Museum

This programme gives none of the usual clues about time and place although just how that may have helped a potential invader is not entirely clear. Perhaps that is why the local amateur dramatic group had a name which gave no clue as to location. They were called the Starita Players.

The play was Red Riding Hood – a post Christmas pantomime

And that’s it for the programme which is little more than an A5 sized sheet of paper. And what paper. It is so thin it is hardly there at all.

The production, we know, actually took place on 12th, 13th and 15th January 1943 in the old Parish Room on High Street.

Some of the cast are well known to us on these pages, but we are always keen to know more, so do let us know if you can tell us more about these people – some of whom can be seen in a photo on this page.


The Starita Players.

January 3, 2011

The Starita Players was the name given to a local Amateur Dramatics group. They feature in a number of Market Lavington Museum photos, sometimes in costume and at other times in normal clothes. This photo dates from 1944 – during the Second World War. This might explain why there were many more women than men.

This photo was a gift, to the museum, from Mrs Vear who appears on the photo under her maiden name. Mrs Vear has done a fine job of captioning the photo. Would that we were all so thorough.

The Starita Players in 1944 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

On this photo the people are:

Back row from left to right

  • Mrs Head
  • Bert Sainsbury
  • Mrs Perrett
  • Bill Harding
  • Beryl Cowdry
  • Harry Hobbs
  • Queenie Sainsbury
  • Alan Baker

Middle row from left to right

  • Joyce Manning
  • Mr Mabbett
  • Mary Shore
  • Harry Perrett
  • Mrs Musgrove
  • Harry Rainbird
  • Jean Shore

Front row from left to right

  • Grace Basley
  • Betty Shepherd
  • Gillian Barrett
  • Eileen Perrett
  • Daphne Cooper
  • Joyce Trimble
  • Jean Potter

As ever, we’d like information at the museum. Anything you can share with us about these people is information we can then share with others. So do get in touch if you can tell us anything about these amateur thespians.

Babes in the Wood

April 11, 2010

Perhaps, in times past, children staging plays was more common than it is now. In the 21st century the Lavington area has the Lavington Amateur Dramatic Society (LADS) and they do keep something of the old traditions alive.

At Market lavington Museum, we have a photo of the cast of a 1922 production of ‘Babes in the Wood’ No doubt the photo was taken by the Burgesses of High Street, Market Lavington who produced it with a post card back. Perhaps doting parents enjoyed sending it to relatives who lived elsewhere.

Cast of 'Babes in the Wood', Market Lavington, 1922

This particular photo is well captioned with a label on the back.

So performers were:-

Back row: Edna Mills, Flo Burbidge, Lily Drury, Ernie Razey, May Bullock and Lily Buckland

2nd Row: Joan Milsom, Ellie Gye, Ruth Mundy, Florrie Rose (sitting), Ena Gye (reader), Eric James, Margaret Drury and Edie Perry. Is it Father Christmas that we don’t know?

Babes: Violet Potter and Bessie Gye

If you knew any of the people in the photo, we’d love to hear from you.