Friday 20th January and Saturday 21st January 1995
Directed by John Scadding
A One-man show featuring John Scadding, one the Bench's most long-serving members as both actor and director, in a production of short bits, long bits, well-known bits and original bits and - if they turn up on the night - some much needed friends.
'Songs and Stories and Poems and Plays' was devised by John Scadding (with a little help from Mr Dickens and others!) was performed by John (and some of his Bench friends) and consisted of the following songs, vignettes, readings and monologues. This production was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977.
This story was adapted by Charles Dickens himself from his book Dombey and Son. Dickens loved reading his works to his family and friends. Very early on he was persuaded to give charity readings of A Christmas Carol and other pieces. In 1858, after his sensational separation from his wife, he decided to go professional and do readings for money!
Legend has it that one Brother Jonathan of Warblington Abbey (long since vanished) decided that the Abbey of Warblinton and the Borough of Havant should have its own Mystery Cycle like the cities of York and Coventry and Wakefield possessed. With great enthusiasm he spoke to the Abbott who told him very firmly (in Latin) not to be daft and to put away such nonsense. Thus encouraged he went away secretly and wrote the cycle and secretly performed it himself in the middle of the night in a spot traditionally thought to be near what is now Pook Lane. This vast chronicle telling of the fall of Adam, the Birth of Jesus and the Resurrection of the same is to be presented this evening in the original Pook Lane version.
A poem originally written for young people, this tells the chilling story of town whose inhabitants are taken one by one. A salutary lesson that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to stay silent.
Rhinoceros is a three-act play originally written in French in 1959. The inhabitants of a small, provincial French town turn into rhinoceroses - each act of the play shows a stage in the onset of "rhinoceritis". Ultimately the only human who does not succumb to this mass metamorphosis is the central character, Berenger, a flustered "everyman" figure who is often criticized throughout the play for his drinking and laziness.
From the Life and Works of Stevie Smith Stevie by Hugh Whitemore was a play performed by Bench Theatre in 1983. Stevie Smith herself was a rather eccentric writer and poet who lived with her maiden aunt for most of her life in Palmer's Green London. Towards the end of her life, in the 1960s and after the death of her aunt, she began to receive belated recognition for her work - even from the highest level. Stevie herself tells us all about it in her own words.
|Gare du Midi||W H Auden|
|Monody on the Death of a Platonist Bank Clerk||John Betjeman|
|The Boy Actor||Noël Coward|
|Sonnet 55||William Shakespeare|
|Upon Westminster Bridge||William Wordsworth|
|My Clumsiest Dear||J F Nims|
A garland of pieces from shows written and produced, shows written and not produced and projects finished or unfinished.