Production 56 Ring Round the Moon

Ring Round the MoonBy Jean Anouilh, Adapted by Christopher Fry

Performed on Thu 10th to Sat 12th and Thu 17th to Sat 19th July 1969 at The Astor Theatre

 

 

The Cast

The Cast

Joshua (a crumbling butler) Julian Grenville
Hugo (a young man-about-town) Don Graham
Frederic (his twin brother, in love with) Don Graham
Diana Messerschmann (engaged to Frederic, secretly in love with Hugo) Brenda Smith
Lady India (Messerschmann’s mistress, secretly in love with) Thelma Faulkner
Patrice Bombelles (Messerschmann’s secretive secretary) Alex Thomson
Madame Desmortes (Aunt to Hugo, Frederic and Lady India) Dorothy Whitelock
Capulet (her faded companion) Dorrie Sherwin
Messerschmann (Diana’s father, a melancholy millionaire) Tony Kilshawe
Romainville (a lepidopterist, Patron of) Norman Smith
Isabelle (a ballet dancer) Anne Varney
Her Mother (a teacher of the pianoforte) Glenys Cresswell
A General Reuben Atkinson

Cast of Ring Round the MoonCast of Ring Round the Moon

 

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Previews/Reviews

Previews/Reviews

Ring Round the Moon

Cast of Ring Round the Moon

Guild Players Bang on Target

The Guild Players landed bang on target after a near-perfect blast off with their play Ring Round the Moon at The Astor Theatre, Deal of Thursday. Despite the space-age title - they could hardly have chosen a better time for topicality – the play is set in the early 1900’s in high French society, and is an attempt by author Jean Anouilh to peel away the veneer of respectability and show up just what lies beneath. Don Graham – the most hardworking member of the cast – plays twin-brothers Hugo and Frederic. Hugo engineers a scheme to lure Frederic away from his fiancé Diana Messerschmann. The brother, although identical in every other way, are completely different characters; Hugo, a gay get-up-and-go man about town, and Frederic, shy and withdrawn. Some actors find it hard enough to get into one character convincingly, but Don has the almost insuperable task of appearing as one twin only seconds after walking off as the other. The fact that he comes across as both, clearly differentiated leaving the audience in no doubt over which he is, reflects no little credit on his ability. One performance that stands out is Julian Grenville as Joshua, the butler, a superbly entertaining character part. Julian makes the most of the part of the butler who is drawn into the intrigue and finds himself out of his depth. He shows that just a gesture, or a shrug of the shoulders, can say far more than a whole speech. Frederic’s fiancée, Diana Messerschmann is played by Brenda Smith, who I felt did not quite get into the character of the super-snobbish daughter of a millionaire. Certainly a difficult part that called for a certain amount of bitchiness which unfortunately was lacking. Isabelle, the ballet dancer, who is hired by Hugo to attract his twin away from Diana is played by Anne Varney who gave a gracefulness to the performance. Isabelle is a part that develops from a demure young girl to a young woman in the space of the play, to show how a lower class dancer can be a more genuine person than a high class woman of substance. Glenys Cresswell played her mother who threatens to wreck Hugo’s scheme by escaping from her room and appearing on the scene at all the wrong times. Glenys showed herself as one of the best actresses. Perhaps she looked a little too young to be Isabelle’s mother. Another wonderfully rewarding part was played by Alex Thomson, who kept the audience in fits of laughter with his duckie gestures as Patrice Bombelles, the millionaire’s secretary. Thelma Faulkner, is Lady India, Messerschmann’s strikingly attractive mistress, although secretly in love with Patrice. Dorothy Whitelock has a little difficulty with her lines as Madame Desmortes, the twin’s aunt, but otherwise gave a worthy performance as a tiresome old woman confined to a wheelchair giving her maid Capulet, played by Dorrie Sherwin, absolute hell. Norman Smith, who was chiefly responsible for the excellent scenery, played Romainville, a lepidopterist, but never really rose to the part. Producer Tony Kilshawe made a brief appearance as the millionaire Messerschmann, and gave a convincing study of of a melancholic whose idea of celebration is to allow a little salt to be added to his otherwise routine diet of noodles (without butter). A pity we didn’t see more of him, but of course he has the hard task of the producer, who should have much of the credit for the success of the play, especially remembering they only had two nights rehearsal time in the theatre, which has been in full use during the past weeks. A very good opening to the town’s season of amateur productions and well worth seeing. It is on again tonight (Thursday), and for the next two days. I fear they may get some competition from the American astronauts on television, but I highly recommend a short break from the moon spectacular to see Ring Round the Moon for a few hours lighter entertainment. (Editor’s note: Apollo 11 landed on the Moon on 20th July 1969 at 20:17:40 GMT).

N.C.

Production Team

Production Team

Director Tony Kilshawe
Stage Director Reuben Atkinson
Stage Managers Clare Bradshaw, Joyce Jewson, Linda Jewson & Martin Catt
Lighting & Effects Arthur Laffar
Wardrobe Molly Fitzgerald & Joyce Jewson
Scenery Norman Smith and Guild Players Members
Décor Charles Jennings

Cast of Ring Round the MoonCast of Ring Round the Moon