Production 10 The Blue Goose

The Blue GooseBy Peter Blackmore

Performed on Thu 26th to Sat 28th June 1958 at St. George's Hall

 

 

The Cast

The Cast

Margaret (a maid) Kathleen Riley
Charlie Rogers (a junior clerk) Graham Catt
Mrs. Elizabeth Portal (the Borough Treasurer’s wife) Eveline Hall
Louise Portal (the Borough Treasurer’s younger daughter) Brenda Harvey
Mrs. Kepple-Piggot (an admiral’s widow) Clare Bradshaw
Henry Portal (the Borough Treasurer) Phil Casey
Richard Hardy (a yachtsman) Ron Latham
Hubert Briggs (the Mayor) Dennis Stuart
Mr. Guppy (captain of the lifeboat) Bruce Housten

Cast of The Blue Goose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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View the Gallery

 

Previews/Reviews

Previews/Reviews

Drama Guild’s Bright Production of Blue Goose

Which seaside town, I wonder; did Peter Blackmore have in mind when he committed to paper that entertaining little comedy, The Blue Goose? from St. George’s Church Drama Group Guild’s production. I gathered that he had chosen a borough with a newly-completed pier, a famous lifeboat, the best regatta on the south coast – and a somewhat portly mayor who is engaged in the undertaking business! But there, fortunately, any resemblance ends! The mayor turns out to be a retired jockey; the borough treasurer takes a broad view of the local rates, and both his wife and the local lifeboat captain (whoever thought up this one?) are singing in the local operatic society’s production of The Mikado when the Treasurer’s daughter is shipwrecked in a floundering yacht. Of its genre, The Blue Goose is good, wholesome comedy, made all the more entertaining for local production because of some sharply drawn parallels. The plot does not matter; I doubt whether I could remember half of it anyway! The guts of the play lies in a group of eccentric and highly amusing characters who involve themselves in one hilarious situation after another. With but one or two minor exceptions, all these people were given full rein in Conrad Sherwin’s bright and breezy production at St. George’s Hall last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (Incidentally, it was good to see this company displaying the house full boards for a change.
Cast of The Blue Goose The production was well worthy of the support it received. Reinforced with an amply‑cushioned stomach, and bow-legged gait, Dennis Stewart was quite brilliant as Mayor Briggs; easily the funniest characterisation of his career. Civic pride simply oozed out of this performance, and the drunk scene was held carefully in check, with the result that he had his audience convulsed and cheering at the close. Ron Latham, as the visiting yachtsman who runs off with the borough treasurer’s daughter, looked the part of the dashing young hero, and projected it with refreshing gusto; while Brenda Harvey made an attractive fiancée. Unfortunately, she tended to recite her lines and one could almost hear the punctuation marks. As the borough treasurer’s eccentric wife, Eveline Hall was in her element. When playing a larger-than-life character, it is difficult to gauge one’s performance; but I felt that Mrs. Hall tended to exaggerate some of her gestures and mannerisms. Nonetheless, this was a good, lively characterisation which for much of the time rang disastrously true of a retired prima donna who has taken the local operatic society under her wing. Clare Bradshaw was every inch of the rear‑admiral’s battleship. For the first time in my recollection, Mrs. Bradshaw really let herself go, and she injected the role with an abundance of boisterous energy, Doris Cohen had some good moments as the prospective mayoress, grimly determined to uphold the dignity of the borough. I particularly liked her private rehearsal for the ribbon cutting ceremony. (The play had several caustic little scenes of this nature). Phil Casey was in competent form as the long-suffering borough treasurer; Graham Catt made a promising debut as the junior clerk – no doubt he will begin to unbend next time; and the smaller parts were played by Kathleen Riley (the maid) and Bruce Houston (lifeboat captain). The set, as usual, was of a very good standard; and much work had been put into it by Phil Casey and Robin Varney, with Décor by Bruce Houston. The seascape, as seen through the double set of French windows, with the White Cliffs in the background, looked ominously real.

M.B.M.

Production Team

Production Team

Producer Conrad Sherwin
Set Construction Phil Casey & Robin Varney
Décor Bruce Houston
Lighting Phil Casey
Stage Manager and Effects John Duckworth, assisted by Roger Bradshaw
Props Dorrie Sherwin & Anne Norman
Wardrobe Dorothy Philpott, assisted by Edith Campbell
Prompt Molly Fitzgerald
Refreshments Mrs. Cohen, Senr., & Staff
Business Manager & Front of House Bert Bradshaw, assisted by Violet Casey, Mural Saunders & Freda Hogben
Publicity Malcolm Whiddett
Programmes Youth Fellowship Members

Cast of The Blue GooseCast of The Blue Goose