Production 106 The White Sheep of the Family

The White Sheep of the FamilyBy L. du Garde Peach and Ian Hay

 

Performed on Thu 8th to Sat 10th July 1982 at The Kilshawe Theatre

 

The Cast

The Cast

Alice Winter Stephanie Walmsley
Janet (the maid) Gill Watson
James Winter, J.P. Christopher Sewell
Pat Winter (his daughter) Sue Watson
Assistant Commissioner John Preston Peter Wood
The Vicar Donald Wynn
Sam Jackson Roger Brown
Peter Winter (James’s son) Andy Russell
Angela Preston (Peter's fiancée) Christine Dart

Cast of The White Sheep of the Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Previews/Reviews

Previews/Reviews

The White Sheep of the Family

Cast of The White Sheep of the Family

When two famous writers have a happy idea to make people laugh and decided to collaborate the result must be a winner. And that is just what The White Sheep of the Family has turned out to be for three decades. Always a favourite with amateur societies The Guild Players shook the dust off the script and presented it with success at The Kilshawe Theatre, Deal, last week.
L. du Gards Peach and Ian Hay wrote The White Sheep of the Family. Peach was a highly successful radio dramatist in the days when the medium had no rival, while Hay was a novelist and dramatist of repute. His play The Housemaster is still well regarded. The story of the play is inconsequential. It concerns an outwardly well‑regarded family – the husband is a magistrate – who, in reality, are villains. The husband is a burglar, the son a forger, the daughter a pickpocket and the mother a mere shopkeeper. But, for all that, they are jolly nice people and good neighbours. Crime, in this play, is treated so lightly it almost floats away. Christopher Sewell played the part of the father – created by Jack Hulbert – with confidence and once the audience had realised his real pursuit they found it highly amusing. Stephanie Walmsley was his wife and she gave the part both warmth and charm. The children were Sue Watson, a very confident young lady when it came to bracelets and other pieces of jewellery – and Andy Russell, the son who wanted to reform. Peter Wood made a fleeting appearance of an assistant commissioner from Scotland Yard who had no idea he was among villains. A convincing performance. Catherine Dart, a very attractive young lady, played the Scotland Yard Man’s daughter – a girl who can break the combination of a safe with ease with her sensitive hands … and ready to be one of the family. She should be a decided asset to the Players and will mature with a little more experience. Roger Brown, for so long a stalwart of local amateur drama played the fence, the man who disposed of the family’s loot. He offered a spiv-like character typical of the 50s …. when nylons were almost as precious as diamonds. Gill Watson is another player who for years has been turning in delightful characters. I can’t ever remember Gill being less than excellent – just as she was here. It isn’t often amateur theatre throws up a scene stealer but in The White Sheep of The Family this happened every time Donald Wynn appeared. He was cast as the absent-minded vicar. Not a difficult part to portray and a stock figure of fun. But Donald Wynn lifted a farcical figure into the realms of reality. He deserved all the applause he gained on his exits. To say he stole the show is to use a well-turned phrase – but it is perfectly true he did just that. The Guild Players should look hard for a comedy in which Donald Wynn can shine even more brightly. Alex Thomson directed the play and I found his style lacked the sophistication usually associated with this play. The family hadn’t quite got the scintillation they should have had. They were just a little too provincial. Nonetheless the play went at a pretty pace until the last act, which had a particularly tedious five minutes due to the writing.

Production Team

Production Team

Director Alex Thomson
Stage Managers Doris Cohen, Kath Fox & Glenys Cohen
Scenery Steve Lock & Andy Russell
Lighting Nick Tigwell
Front of House Alan Cresswell
Bar Peter Wood & Peter Allen
Buffet Vera Eckersley & Pam Jones
Box Office Kerry Summers & Doris Cohen

Cast of The White Sheep of the Family