Photos Reviews

A Young Man's Fancy

May 1991

by Geoffrey Brace, directed by Gordon Halliday


William Dewey, 'grandfather' - Ben Grimsey

Reuben Dewey, his son - Mike Jeans

Ann Dewey, Reuben's wife - Lesley Tricker

Dlck Dewey, their son - Chris Bailey

Susan Dewey, their daughter - Caroline Jones

Fancy Day, Mellstock's new schoolmistress - Gabriella Graham

Geoffrey Day, her father - Richard Thorne

The Mellstock Choir: -

Joseph Bowman - Brian Bowker

Michael Mail - Keith Palmer

Thomas Leaf - Bryan Stephenson

Robert Penny - Geoffrey Brace

Elias Spinks - Peter Gove

Mrs Penny, Robert Penny's wife - Margaret Butt

Mr Shiner, farmer and churchwarden - Philip Jones

Mr Maybold, vicar of Mellstock - Jeremy Roberts

Jane, his maid - Lynn Trout

Nan, Fancy Day's housekeeper - Mary Jones


Bridesmaids, Villagers, Party Guests: - Barbara Gill, Alison Sumner, Louise Goodbody, Karen Thorne, Isla Morgan, Rosemary Whitehurst, Sue Palmer

Schoolchildren: - Jody Demmon, Edward Jones, Russell Dignum, Rosalind Jones, Charlotte Ferrand, Laura Malkin, Andrew Franks, Tina Morrissey, Katy Franks, Samantha Perkins, Olivia Hall, Nicholas Russell, Nick Hill, Ben Whitt, Samuel Jeffery, Lauren Whitt

Production Team:

Musicians: -

Violins - Ben van Weede, Claerwen Evans & Nick Brace

Bass - Peter Furnish

Guitar, Mandolin - Dave Hubbard

Clarinet - John Glanfield

Flute - Jenny Campbell

Percussion - David Miller


Backstage: -

Director - Gordon Halliday

Musical Director - Geoffrey Brace

Stage Manager - Caroline Jones

Set Construction Manager - Mike Trout

Lighting - Keith Palmer & Barry Matthew

Costumes - Isla Morgan

Smocks - Sylvia Brace

Properties - Alison Sumner & Fran Murrell

Front of House - Jean Halliday

Poster Design - David Harris

Programme - Mary Jones, Philip Jones & Alison Sumner

Photography - Terry Matthews


From Express & Echo:

A delightful gathering of local children added greatly to the evening's colour.

Topsham's Hardy annual

So long as there exists that thin strip of greenery running each side of the Topsham Road separating the town of Topsham from the great Wen of Exeter, Topsham people will convince themselves of some subtle difference between the masses of the city and Topsham, 'the Chelsea of Exeter.'

This difference shows itself in a variety of ways, but mostly in the institutions.

What other amateur dramatic society would reject the thousands of accepted scripts for use and celebrate its own creative talent?

Geoffrey Brace had seen the possibilities of translating literary merit into modern musicals, himself having collected and composed the runic tunes that gave brightness and coherence to the story.

Thomas Hardy was not a Topsham man but Estuary Players have enlivened his ancient scripts with the modern musical that means so much in these tuneful days.

The pathetic theme of the great Hardy novel, Under the Greenwood Tree, where an ancient Church orchestra of villagers is displaced by the advancing modernity of an organ, and the simple tragedy of the young vicar's silent infatuation have been softened in the translation, but the tide of rural humour flows on continuously.

It allows many a talented extra to display hints of a special ability awaiting an outlet.

In this respect the burly bandsmen Brian Bowker, Keith Palmer, Bryan Stephenson, Geoffrey Brace, and Peter Gove were a continuous delight.

Chris Bailey and Gabriella Graham were the two lovers, playing in a low key, but convincingly in the village atmosphere.

Philip Jones grumbled and growled in the right places as the competing lover and Jeremy Roberts made the most of his foreshortened role.

Ben Grimsey, Mike Jeans, Lesley Tricker and Caroline Jones were an impressive family and Maggie Butt deserves mention for her special voice, Lynn Trout and Mary Jones completing the principal parts.

A delightful gathering of local children added greatly to the evening's colour.

- Reviewed by: Anon


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