Production 37 Waiting in the Wings

Waiting in the WingsBy Noël Coward

Performed on Thu 17th to Sat 19th February 1966 at The Little Theatre
In aid of The Deal and District Old People's Welfare Council

 

 

The Cast

The Cast

Bonita Belgrave Brenda Smith
Cora Clarke Helga Latham
Maud Melrose Dorrie Sherwin
May Davenport Freda Hogben
Almina Clare Kathleen Riley
Estelle Craven Zena Almond
Deidre O’Malley Eleanor Bowthorpe
Perry Lascoe (the Secretary) Martin Thompson
Sylvia Archibald Doris Cohen
Mr. Osgood Meeker Conrad Sherwin
Lotta Bainbridge Clare Bradshaw
Dora (her dresser) Mollie Boyce
Doreen (the maid) Dawn Ladd
Sarita Myrtle Dorothy Whitelock
Zelda Fenwick (a journalist) Barbara Latham
Dr. Jevons Norman Smith
Alan Bennet (Lotta’s son) Alex Thomson
Topsy Baskerville Helen Exelby

Cast of Waiting in the WingsCast of Waiting in the Wings

 

View the Gallery

View the Gallery

 

Previews/Reviews

Previews/Reviews

Cast of Waiting in the Wings

Waiting in the Wings, by Noël Coward, a play revolving around the frustrations and memories of elderly people abandoned at the conclusion of brilliant careers, was the subject of The Guild Players latest productions. Appreciative audiences saw the play at The Little Theatre (St. George’s Hall) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week. The production, directed by Tony Kilshawe, was presented for the Deal and District Old People’s Welfare Council. Addressing the audience at the end of the play, Mr. Kilshawe said The Guild Players considered that Waiting in the Wings was the most appropriate play to illustrate the work of the Welfare Council for the elderly residents of Deal. The Wings, a charity home for retired actresses, was the scene of the play, which had an unusually large cast of 18 for a local dramatic society. The retired actresses all portrayed their characters with individuality – Bonita Belgrave (Brenda Smith), a cynic, growing old gracefully; Cora Clarke (Helga Latham), growing old without grace; Maud Melrose (Dorrie Sherwin), gentle and tearful; May Davenport (Freda Hogben), cold and proud and hating the humiliation of the home; Almina Clare (Kathleen Riley), fat and happy; and Estelle Craven (Zena Almond), rather afraid of her contemporise. Good as they were, the play might have been rather slow but for the parts of half comedy, half appealing, of Eleanor Bowthorpe and Dorothy Whitelock, who were undoubtedly the stars of the production. Eleanor Bowthorpe was unrecognisable, so good was her guise as Deidre O’Malley, an Irishwoman, full of exaggeration and dry humour. Dorothy Whitelock played Sarita, a poor wandering creature still reliving the highlights of her past career. Her wild appearances and vacant expression, together with the cunning of the mad, made a first class performance. Martin Thompson as the Secretary of the Home’s committee, gave a most confident performance of the modern young man, and in contrast Conrad Sherwin, complete with grey hair and doddering walk, played the kindly old admirer of the bed-ridden Martha. Doris Cohen gave another good performance, this time as the bluff and cheerful Sylvia Archibald who ran The Wings. The home is put in uproar when a newcomer, Lotta Bainbridge, played by Clare Bradshaw, arrives. Her age old feud with May Davenport, is at last played out in a very moving scene. Zelda Fenwick (Barbara Latham) a journalist who insinuates herself into the Home, and lives of its occupants, in order to gain publicity for their longed for sun lounge, in return for a story, was a very self assured portrayal. Dawn Ladd drew the appreciation of the audience as a dim-witted maid, as did Mollie Boyce as Dora, the dresser. Norman Smith played the doctor and Alex Thomson played the long lost son of Lotta Bainbridge, The play ended with the arrival of yet another character, come to end her days, played by Mollie Boyce.

Production Team

Production Team

Director Tony Kilshawe
Production Assistant Julian Grenville
Front of House Manager Bert Bradshaw
Stage Director Philip Bowthorpe
Stage Managers Dylvai Ling, Dawn Ladd & Ronald Latham
Lighting Arthur Laffar
Make-Up & Wardrobe Joyce Jewson
Buffet Vera Eckersley & Olive Rose
Box Office Elsie Lawson
Scenery Reuben Atkinson, Will Inskip & Tony Kilshawe

Cast of Waiting in the WingsCast of Waiting in the Wings