According to Rex Waller this was a production put on by the Old Boys to raise funds. In the talk he gave at the 2006 Reunion there is account of how fact almost became stranger than fiction ...
L-R: Owen Barber - Lionel Fleet - Jill Burroughs - Roger Lane - Harold Papworth - Mr Rex Waller
Brenda Graves - Walter Parr - Mr Stuart Saunders - Jean Fleet - Eric Fretwell
image source: Rex Waller
other names on the back of the photo are: M Parr, Eric Fretwell, Owen Barber, ? Fleet, Jill Burroughs, Brenda Graves
SOHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Ten Little Niggers
BY AGATHA CHRISTIE
FRIDAY & SATURDAY, MAY 13&14
At 7-45 pm
At THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, SOHAM
Admission by Programme 2/6
ADMIT FRIDAY / SATURDAY
Characters in order of appearance:
ROGERS E. FRETWELL NARRACOT D. CROWE MRS. ROGERS J. FLEET VERA CLAYTHORNE J. BURROUGHS PHILIP LOMBARD R. LANE ANTHONY MARSTON O. BARBER WILLIAM BLORE L. FLEET GENERAL MACKENZIE S. SAUNDERS EMILY BRENT B. GRAVES SIR LAWRENCE WARGRAVE H. PAPWORTH DR. ARMSTRONG W. PARR PROMPT S. POOLE
The living room of a house on Nigger Island
off the Devon coast
ACT I. An evening in August
ACT II. (i) The following morning
(ii) The same day, afternoon
ACT III. (i) The same day, evening
(ii) The following morning
The play produced by Rex Waller
The Old Boys' Club wishes to thank sincerely all those who have helped in any way in the production of this play and all who have supported by attending performances.
Programme source: Mrs Lorna Delanoy (née Freeman)
SOHAM OLD BOYS' PERFORMANCE
In our picture (left to right) are: Lionel Fleet, Walter Parr, Jill Burroughs, Roger Lane, Eric Fretwell.
Harold Papworth, David Crowe, Jean Fleet, Stewart Saunders, Owen Barber and Brenda Graves.
(Photo: W. A. G. Burroughs, Soham).
A scene from Soham Grammar School Old Boys' production of Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Niggers" performed in the School on Friday and Saturday. The picture shows the trapped guests on Nigger Island as they listen to "The Voice" accuse them of past crimes.
When the line "My God, he's dead," provokes laughter, it may be the fault of the player, lacking conviction but in this production it was the fault of the playwright. This thriller did not thrill. even in the skilled hands of Soham Old Boys and their ingenious producer, Mr. Rex Waller, because the plot was contrived, the dialogue flat and the characters unsubtle to an extent that strained credulity.
Nevertheless the audience were delighted to see their friends and acquaintance so obviously enjoying themselves on the stage and since this is the whole point of amateur dramatics it made the production well worth while.
It takes as much effort to perform a weak play well as it does a good play, and this performance showed every sign of hard work. Mr. Waller pushed the play along at a crisp pace, and the players, working well together as a, team, seemed at their ease. They moved confidently and were particularly effective when tempers flared or when the action raced.
Harold Papworth played the High Court judge, Sir Lawrence Wargrave, with deliberate authority; Jill Burroughs made a becoming secretary, Vera Claythorne, and Roger Lane was an assured Captain Lombard.
Brenda Graves, speaking with marked clarity, gave a precise portrayal of the bigoted, eccentric spinster, Emily Brent, while Walter Parr looked every inch the part of the eminent mental specialist, Dr. Armstrong. Stewart Saunders was quietly convincing as the retired general and Lionel Fleet added many humorous touches as ex-detective William Blore. Good support came from Eric Fretwell as Rogers whose deep regional voice was especially pleasing. Owen Barber as Anthony Marston, Jean Fleet as Mrs. Rogers and David Crowe as the boatman, Narracott.
Press review, source not stated: provided by Anne Lane
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page last updated 26 Sep 2009