Enchanted April, by Matthew Barber, from the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim (performed 24th-26th November 2022)
Sweet-natured Lotty Wilton is suffering depression from the bleak London winter, and from an oppressive relationship with her pompous solicitor husband. When she sees an advertisement in the paper to rent a castle in Italy for the month of April, an idyllic spot “for those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine,” she jumps at the chance to escape her downtrodden existence. Sensing an instant kinship with fellow housewife Rose Arnott, a severely angelic woman with sorrows of her own, Lotty persuades her along on the adventure. Seeking to reduce the costs, the two ladies find Caroline Bramble, a beautiful and exhausted socialite, and Mrs. Graves, an overbearing widow, to round out the party. As the month passes, verdant sun-drenched San Salvatore works its magic on each sad and hardened heart, healing grief and bringing hope. And with the arrival of two chastened husbands and one attractive young artist, romance blooms again. Matthew Barber’s Enchanted April, based on Elizabeth Von Arnim’s beloved novel of the 1920s, is a gentle and romantic comedy of manners. Against the backdrop of a country still reeling from World War I Enchanted April offers to its characters, and viewers, a necessary balm of sunshine and renewal.
St George’s Community Players director Sharon comes through a baptism of fire
It was different, it was refreshing and it was another superb performance by the St George’s Community Players in Morpeth when they presented their autumn production ‘Enchanted April’ in the Church Hall last week.
And Sharon Saint-Lamont, who was making her bow as director believing that the role would be a dream, came through the test with flying colours – even after a baptism of fire.
The players tackled Matthew Barber’s adaptation of a novel by Elizabeth von Arnim with great tenacity and aplomb, and that included Ms Lamont.
Two and a half weeks before curtain up, Joann Evans – who was cast in the part of Rose Arnott – took ill and this eventually forced her to withdraw from the role with Ms Lamont stepping into the breach.
Brian Bennett (Morpeth Herald)
Cast and Crew:
Elizabeth Blanchard – Lotty Wilton
Sharon Saint-Lamont – Rose Arnott
Hugo Davison – Mellersh Wilton
Alan Bullock – Frederick Arnott
Sue Rutherford – Mrs Graves
Bridget Rowbottom – Lady Caroline Bramble
Lena Walsh – Constanza
Charlie Tomson – Antony Wilding
Sharon Saint-Lamont – Director
Anne Marie Cairns – Assistant Director/Prompt
Robin Heron – Stage Manager
Stephen Burn and Robin Heron – Lighting and Sound
Robin Heron and Stephen Burn – Set Design and Build
Ladies’ Day, by Amanda Whittington (performed 17th-19th March 2022)
Work, love and life are just one long, hard slog for the fish-filleting foursome Pearl, Jan, Shelley and Linda. But their fortunes are set to change when Linda finds tickets to Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot the year it relocated to York.
Out go the hairnets, overalls and wellies as the four ditch work, do themselves up to the nines and head off to the races for a drink, a flirt and a flutter. If their luck holds, they could hit the jackpot – and more besides…
Back on the rails in more ways than one! That’s the Morpeth St. George’s Community players who tread the boards last week when they tackled Amanda Whittington’s comedy ‘Lady’s Day.’
The play was originally scheduled to have taken place in 2020 but was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. However after being out of action for over two years, the players jumped over many hurdles and not only delighted the audience on opening night but also captivated them with a stunning performance.
The bulk of the action takes place at York racecourse when Royal Ascot was held in the city in 2005 – and the players ensured that it was a success from the start to the finishing line!
The play was also a triumph for Grace Winpenny who was making her bow as director/producer with David Kiely as her assistant.
The contrasting personalities of the four female characters shone through with distinction whilst the three gentlemen made sure that the high standards remained throughout.
Janet Robinson led the way with a vibrant performance as Shelley and was ably supported by Sharon Saint Lamont as Pearl, Bridget Rowbottom as Jan and newcomer Elizabeth Blanchard as Tony Christie fan Linda.
Graeme Trotter was eloquent in the role of TV commentator Jim, Chris Davies should be delighted with his debut coupling up the parts of Fred, Kevin and Patrick whilst Alan Bullock who took on a duel role as Joe and Barry, was involved in a poignant scene as the latter character with Pearl in the second half.
Robin Herron was stage manager, Austin Davey was responsible for lighting and sound, Margaret Johnson as scenic artist and Joann Evans as prompt.
Brian Bennett (Morpeth Herald)
Pearl – Sharon Lamont
Jan – Bridget Rowbottom
Shelley – Janet Robinson
Linda – Elizabeth Blanchard
Joe/Barry – Alan Bullock
Fred/Patrick/Kevin – Chris Davies
Jim – Graeme Trotter
Director – Grace Winpenny
Assistant Director – David Kiely
Lighting – Austin Davey
Sound – Pete Ozers
Prompt – Joann Evans
Stage Manager – Robin Herron
Set Artwork – Margaret Johnson
More photos from the production are here:
Party Piece, by Richard Harris (performed 21st-23rd November 2019)
The Amateur Killer, by Robert Scott (performed 21st-23rd March 2019)
Entertaining Angels, by Richard Everett (performed 22nd-24th November 2018)
It’s On, It’s Off by Ray Lawrence (performed 22nd-24th March 2018)
In the Frame, by Eileen Clark (performed 23rd-25th November 2017)
Hello… is there Any Body There? (performed 23rd-25th March 2017)
Crusader by Rose Reeve (performed 24th to 26th November 2016)
Missed it or want to watch it again?
The production was recorded so that you can enjoy it again or listen to the music. Simply click on the following links:
Crusader – the Film! – you will see six ‘frames’ and simply click on the first one to start at the beginning and work your way through.
Crusader – video recording by Allen Oakes – there are nine ‘frames’ in this version which give another view of the performance.
Soundtrack – music only! – you will see two ‘tracks’ which are the two acts of the performance.
Photos of the cast during rehearsals!
Happy Campers by Richard James (performed 17th to 19th March 2016)
The cast during rehearsals!