When We Are Married: June 1995
By J.B. Priestley
Classic comedy of ‘living in sin’.
There is a certain topicality to JB Priestley’s classic farcical comedy, which reflects Edwardian attitudes to “living in sin”.
During their joint silver wedding celebration, three couples – all upstanding pillars of society – discover that they were united by an unlicensed clergyman and are thus not legally married.
Set in West Riding in 1908, Yorkshire accents are required and are generally sustained convincingly – especially by Susan Knights as the char Mrs Winthropp. In the central roles of the three husbands, solid performances come from Neil Batchelor and Gerald Fisher as the down-to-earth Joe Helliwell and Albert Parker and Colin Prentice as the hen-pecked Herbert.
They receive excellent support from their wives Maria (Peggy Francis), Annie (Joan Spall) and Joyce Harvey as the waspish Clara.
Craig Rouse tends to underplay the part of the new chapel organist, Gerald Forbes, whose revelations start the furore.
Mike Thame provides plenty of comedy as the tipsy photographer from the Yorkshire Argus, assisted by Peter Thrower as the reporter. Sally Strong is a brassy old flame from Joe’s past and Kees Van Woerkom a diplomatic vicar.
In minor roles Julia Greef is Gerald’s lover Nancy Holmes, and Sally Parkinson as the housemaid Ruby, whose performance would improve with less rapid delivery.
An attractive set and authentic costumes and props contribute to a workmanlike production directed by June Cooper.
Performances continue nightly until Saturday.
Scroll down for photos.
|Cast (in order of appearance)||Backstage|
|Ruby Birtle: Sally Parkinson||Producer: June Cooper|
|Gerald Forbes: Craig A. Rouse||Stage Designer / Stage Manager: Kees Van Woerkom|
|Mrs. Northropp: Susan Knights||Stage Assistants: Freddy Strong, Paul Cunliffe|
|Nancy Holmes: Julia Greef||Prompt: Sue Fisher|
|Fred Dyson: Peter Thrower||Props: Ann Cunliffe|
|Henry Ormondroyd: Mike Thame||Lighting and Sound: Jonathan Emery|
|Alderman Joseph Helliwell: Neil Batchelor||Photos: Ben Britton|
|Maria Helliwell: Peggy Francis|
|Councillor Angela Parker: Gerald Fisher|
|Herbert Soppitt: Colin Prentice|
|Clara Soppitt: Joyce Harvey|
|Annie Parker: Joan Spall|
|Lottie Grady: Sally Strong|
|Rev. Clement Mercer: Kees Van Woerkom|