Production 43 Gentlemen Don't

Gentlemen Don'tBy John Faint

Performed on Thu 6th to Sat 8th April 1967 at The Astor Theatre
In aid of Friends of Deal Hospital

 

 

The Cast

The Cast

Sir Rodney Belfast Conrad Sherwin
Lady Belfast (his wife) Dorrie Sherwin
Sidney Belfast (his youngest son) John Evans
Swarms (the butler) Tony Kilshawe
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Deerdon (The Bishop of the Diocese) Julian Grenville
Joblings (a maid) Zena Almond
Sergeant Bones (of the Local Constabulary) Norman Smith
Rupert Belfast (the eldest son) Alex Thomson
Miss. Henrietta Stansdown (sister to Lady Belfast) Dorothy Whitelock
Janet Beerdon (the Bishops daughter) Anne Varney
Lucy Loveden (Rupert’s Fiancé) Thelma Faulkner
Tassie Chiquita

Cast of Gentlemen Don't

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Previews/Reviews

Previews/Reviews

Gentlemen Don't....!

Cast of Gentlemen Don't

Local Man’s Farce Packs Theatre

A Deal Playwright John Faint is unlikely to receive wild acclamation for his new farce Gentleman Don’t , but it provided a happy diversion for a capacity packed Astor Theatre on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – incidentally, the most sizeable audiences seen here for many a production. Whether or not the provocative title was the magnet, it certainly was the shape of things to come. The essence of it all was suggestion, a pillar supporting rocky foundations. Rupert Belfast (Alex Thomson), the son of an ultra‑respectable titled twosome (Conrad and Dorrie Sherwin), has kicked over the traces and turned naturist. While holidaying on the Continent, he falls on his head releasing all his inhibitions and develops a fetish for undressing in public – blushes spared only by a mini-grass skirt a la Honolulu. Like someone possessed, he engages upon painting new canvas after nude canvas of an imaginary woman, one of which he sells to an advertising mogul before discovering that he has been capturing the unadorned beauty of the bishop’s daughter. With the aid of the butler, trusted and true (Tony Kilshawe), Rupert manages to extricate himself from the shambles and all’s well by the finbal curtain. Ambiguous jokes there are a-plenty which brought forth muffled chuckles from the body of the hall. But is this method of sustaining interest and amusement enough? Assuredly, every farce there has ever been relies to a certain extent on suggestion and anticipation to draw laughs. Indeed, it is the very predictability of a situation which enables the audience to see what is going to happen before players themselves have an inkling, which makes farce such a popular and successful medium of entertainment. But any play, be it tragic or comic, must have a marrow and that is what Gentleman Don’t lacked. The characters, save Swarms the butler, and – briefly – the Bishop (Julian Grenville), were vapid. These two sparkled more life into their parts than was intended by the author and their appearance on stage dwarfed the rest almost to insignificance. Conrad Sherwin struggled valiantly with a part that swamped him, not because of its lengthiness, but because he is too gentle a person to get into the skin of such a fierce person as Sir Rodney Belfast. Dorothy Whitlock, as Miss. Henrietta Stansdown, provided a formidable prudish foil for liberality and should immediately be recruited to the ranks of Mrs. Mary Whitehouse. Alex Thomson, successful in the Players’ last farce, was unable to find his niche this time and Rupert Belfast emerged more stupid than vague. The rest of the cast made little impact as clear cut personalities. Lady Belfast, Dorrie Sherwin; Sidney Belfast, John Evans; Jobbings, Zena Almond; Seargent Bones, Norman Smith; Janet Beerdon, Anne Varney; Lucy Loveden, Thelma Faulkner.

G.W.

Among the audience on Saturday wre the Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr. and Mrs. J. A. Lawton. Mr. Frank Cocoran, on behalf of the friends of the Hospital, thanked the Players for their assisitance and performance, in raising funds for the Physiotherapy Department, and thanked Mr. Faint for having written the script. Mr. Faint acknowledged and paid tribute to Mr. Kilshawe, who announced that between £95 and £100 could be realised. In a letter, Mr. Kilshawe writes:- May I through the courtesy of your paper thank the many people who patronised The Guild Players’ presentation of John Faint’s new farce Gentleman Don’t..! last week. As a result of their support, I have been able to hand over to the Friends of the Hospital a cheque for £97:3:6.

Production Team

Production Team

Director Tony Kilshawe
Front of House Bert Bradshaw
Publicity Reuben Atkinson
Stage Director Norman Smith
Stage Managers Peter Eckersley, Carol Smith & Anne Willis
Lighting & Effects Arthur Laffar
Wardrobe & Make-Up Supervisor Joyce Jewson
Scenery & Décor Reuben Atkinson & Tony Kilshawe
Costumes Mrs. Ovenden

Cast of Gentlemen Don't