Jean and Arthur sit on the platform at Brompton Road Underground Station, waiting while the trains sail by. In fact, the trains haven't stopped there since 1934; perhaps they never will. As they wait, they contemplate life, death, their relationship, and a word which mayn't be spoken. But who is the shadowy figure who stalks them?
This was an original play by Anthony Chew, performed for the first time at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in Woking, as ByfleetPlayers' entry for the 50th Woking Drama Festival. The performance was on Thursday October 2nd 2008.
The play was also performed at the Spelthorne Drama Festival at The Riverside Arts Centre, 59 Thames Street, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middx, on Tuesday 14th October 2008.
Cast and Crew
~ At Spelthorne Drama Festival, the part of DEATH was played by Steve Packwood
~ Peter Chidzey was assisted with sound design and operation by Michael Stainer
by Larry Shue
"ByfleetPlayers serve up winner with The Nerd" ~ A review from the Byfleet News & Mail
PLAYS written for the American stage by an American. playwright, with possibly. the exception of Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee, are very difficult to perform for an English audience. When the lead is so very American then it is even more difficult to be readily acceptable by an English audience again. The Nerd by Larry Shue is such a play performed by the ByfleetPlayers last month.
What a great pleasure to report that on both points the players' production came up trumps. The cast's accents were just enough to be accepted as American and not so full as to be unintelligible.
It would be totally wrong to single out individuals for their performances, they all were perfect and how lovely not to hear a single prompt in an amateur performance. I must, however, mention Bob Wells as the title character The Nerd. He created a perfect character. in every way, making us, the audience, embarrassed but never being embarrassed himself.
His performance was a total joy. Another difficulty easily overcome was the appearance of a youngster on stage. As Noel Coward once said, never appear on stage with children or animals; I think The Master would have been impressed.
The ByfleetPlayers should feel very proud of this production. The director Nick Daborn did a first class job. What a great pity that Byfleet village did not support this group more as they missed a truly excellent production. - Alan Mercer
"The Nerd" was performed from the 21st to the 23rd August at Byfleet Village Hall with the following cast and crew:
Tansy McGinnis ~ Karen Bray Axel Hammond ~ Martin Gardner Willum Cubbert ~ Michael Stainer Thor Waldgrave ~ Jason Maddox Clelia Waldgrave ~ Becky Lozeron Warnock "Ticky" Waldgrave ~ Wilf Hashimi Rick Steadman ~ Bob Wells
Stage Manager ~ Maria Holden Stage Crew ~ Julian Ratcliffe Stage Crew ~ Tony Richardson Director ~ Nick Daborn Lighting/Sound ~ Peter Chidzey Set construction and design ~ The Company Front of House Manager ~ Brian Davis
With special thanks to Christ Church Dramatic Society, Staines for the loan of several set items
Little Red Riding Hood
a pantomime by Paul Reakes
Paul Reakes' version was a delightfully silly rendition of this tale, with an off-the-wall twist in that, having been bitten by a werewolf, Prince Rupert had an unfortunate tendency to metamorphose into a wolf whenever a full moon was due. The version contained all of the usual stock characters, but with an additional comic dimension in the form of a sprightly old (rather drunken) grandmother. The programme contained the following notes on the origin of the tale:
The story of Little Red Riding Hood is one of many tales written by the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, who lived in Germany at the beginning of the 19th century.
Their famous collection of Tales for Pupils and the Home (Kinder- und Hausmärchen,1812) brought together for the first time in print, more than 200 stories handed down through generations by word of mouth. The earliest known printed version, however, was written in 1697 by Charles Perrault. This was a brutal cautionary tale, more sinister and overtly moralised than the subsequent version recorded by the Brothers Grimm, and Red Riding Hood came to a sticky end after foolishly misplacing her trust in the predatory wolf. Her safe redemption and triumph over the wolf was a feature added in later versions.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm began collecting stories from contacts in their own immediate circle – including Dortchen Wild, whom Wilhelm married, as well as from other sources variously placed in German society: among them a veteran soldier, a pedlar, an innkeeper’s daughter, and a destitute old woman in the alms house in Marburg where the Brothers Grimm were attending university. Little Red Riding Hood was among the very earliest stories they wrote down and collected in the first edition, which appeared in l812. The book’s success took the brothers by surprise, but thereafter Wilhelm in particular dedicated his energies to it, continued to add material and to revise, edit and polish existing tales from the earlier versions, until by l857, in the seventh and definitive edition, the tale of Little Red Riding Hood and many others were considerably altered, many of their harshest features softened or removed, and the concise, even abrupt, oral character of the founding transcripts much embellished and rendered smoother.
Numerous subsequent versions have appeared over the years, including one based on Freudian analysis! The tale was one of Charles Dickens’ favourites: in The Christmas Tree, he wrote “Little Red Riding Hood was my first Love. I felt that if I could have married Little Red Riding Hood, I should have known perfect bliss.”
Cast and crew
Rosie Rumple – Red Riding Hood ~ Becky Lozeron Roxie Rumple – Rosie’s mother ~ Alan Arlington Reggie Rumple – Rosie’s Brother ~ Nick Daborn Grannie Grabbit – Rosie’s grandmother ~ Helen Imison Gertrude ~ Karen Bray Count de Cash ~ Tony Richardson Cringe – the Count’s footman ~ Nikki Tait Cower – the Count’s footman ~ Maria Holden Prince Rupert – disguised as Tom Timsbury ~ Clare Groome and Julia Stevens Sternum – Rupert’s valet ~ Bob Wells
Directors ~ Tina Knight, Pauline Francis, Wilf Hashimi...and members of the cast Pianist ~ Bill Eldridge Choreographers:
For the ByfleetPlayers ~ Helen Imison, Kate Ferris
For the Susan Robinson School of Ballet ~ Susan Robinson Dancers ~ The Susan Robinson School of Ballet Stage Manager ~ Wilf Hashimi Prompt ~ Trysh Harris/Lianne Dempsey Set Design & Construction ~ Georgina Baglow Costumes ~ Marlene Davis & Pauline Francis Properties ~ Jill Hawker Lighting Operator ~ Peter Chidzey Lighting Assistant ~ Robert Ive Sound Effects ~ Kate Ferris Front of House Manager ~ Brian Davis Refreshments ~ Joan Gardiner Publicity ~ Nikki Tait Box Office ~ Phase TV, Byfleet
With special thanks to
- Georgina Baglow - The Susan Robinson School of Ballet