memories ....

School plays

Who will ever forget the play with Ian Barnes as the main character, searching for something [I forget what - can someone fill me in please?]. Ian Deane was Old Father Time, and I was Mother Nature, with a big pillow stuffed down my front, my mother's nightie, and someone's grandmother's shawl around my shoulders. My most memorable line came when someone handed me a vacuum flask, I said "I ABHOR a vacuum!" and tossed it across the room. (Get it? Nature abhors a vacuum!) The tinkle of breaking glass usually came a fraction too late to make the sound effects convincing, but we still got a laugh from the audience.

Janice Nelson and Ian Barnes

Inky Barnes sat on Old Father Time's knee and whispered in his ear as the Beatles "Do you Want to Know a Secret?" played in the background. Mr Chorik was very inventive with sound effects, we all had a great time.

Ian Barnes broke his arm at around the time we were rehearsing, so Chorik improvised and made this part of the story. Somewhere I have a photograph of Ian with his arm in plaster, and myself with the enormous pillow down the front, rosy red cheeks painted on by Miss Hughes the art teacher, and leaves in my hair. (I finally found the photo - see above).

Does anyone else remember this? Do you remember your part? Would love to hear your memories of school plays.

Janice Nelson

Ian Barnes' comments

Ian Barnes as Runyon JonesI had completely forgotten about that play!

If my memory serves me well [which, increasingly, at our age it doesn't] the main plot was about me wandering around heaven looking for my dog - possibly called 'poochie' or 'pootsie' or similar? The dog had been run over and was dead.    I think the plot revolved around the conceit that I was unaware that I was also dead!

I do remember it was good fun and that Chorik was an extremely inventive director.

Thanks to Len Whyte scanning the school magazines, from the 1964 one I learned that the name of this play was "The Odyssey of Runyon Jones" - Ian played the character of Runyon Jones, there's a picture in the magazine, and thanks to Steven Maitland, we have the cast of characters. Here's the script of the play.


and Fred Schodt remembers even more!

Fred SchodtI saw the entry in the Memories section about the school play, with Inky's comment, and it helped rescue a very corroded memory of my own from near oblivion. Oddly, I remember almost nothing about the play, except the song, the Beatles "Do you Want to Know a Secret?" I had a tiny walk-on appearance as a ridiculously young-looking policeman, and I recall having great fun getting dressed up with a badge, baton, hat, and maybe even a toy gun (it's hard to see in the photo). Perhaps the song was my cue to walk on stage. For whatever reason, even now, whenever I hear that Beatles tune, I think of the play.

I also do faintly recall that Inky had a starring role. You mention that he had broken his arm, but I wonder if it wasn't his collarbone. Inky, here's the test: Do you recall which it was? If it was the collarbone, then I am responsible, because when Inky and I were riding home on our bicycles one day, we pretended to be closer mates than we should have, and tried to ride with our arms around each other's shoulders while continuing to pedal. Unfortunately, the pedals got snarled and Inky plunged into a grassy ditch to the left. At least that's the way I recall it. I felt terrible, of course, but I also very fortunate that it had not been me. Actually, I suppose it could have been Inky's arm that broke. I just remember it as his collarbone. But maybe that was just an attempt to mitigate my sense of guilt, because I had always heard that breaking your collarbone wasn't quite as painful or serious as breaking your arm. How twisted memories become.

Kaye HargreavesFred

Terry Woollcott provided us with a picture of Kaye Hargreaves as The Harpy.

| BACK | TOP |