Grangewood School Fourth Form proudly presents
DAISY PULLS IT OFF By Denise Deegan 25th â€“ 30th June 2012
Leicester Drama Society production number 1014
November 30th 1935 – March 3rd 2012 ‘The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.’ (Hamlet Act 1. Sc.3.)
The last time we did Daisy Pulls It Off in March 1990, it was directed by Judy Price. She had taken over the production after her dear friend (and much missed member of this society) Jac Shuttlewood had died in the January. So how fitting that this production should be dedicated to Judy. Judy will be remembered by so many people for her knowledge and expertise in Theatre and her abounding enthusiasm and energy. Judy had trained professionally at The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, and had gone on to work in Repertory Theatre before marrying and having her two daughters. In the early 1980s Judy did a Performing Arts degree at Scraptoft College and eventually went on to teach Drama at Leicester High School for Girls. She had a natural rapport with young people and there must be so many ex pupils who have gained a love and knowledge of Theatre through her. Judy came to the Little Theatre in 1970 and she and I worked together for the first time in a David Campton play, part of a festival for new directors. Over the years we worked on plays, served on production committees, adjudicated at festivals together and our friendship was gradually formed. In the 1990s when we had both lost our husbands, our friendship strengthened and we both drew comfort and understanding from each other. We enjoyed travelling the world, theatre going, shopping and exchanging stories about our children and grandchildren.
Judy Price as Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera Most importantly if either one of us was directing a play and all had not gone well at rehearsal we knew we could go home, pick up the phone and off load all our frustrations and concerns. Judy was a very talented actress and an equally talented and sensitive director; she was a delight to work with and for. Judy suffered a very short illness and it was a great shock to so many people when they heard of her death. She will be missed by so many people in many different walks of life, but none more so than those of us here at the Little who loved her, respected her and considered themselves to be her close friend. Marion Morley ‘How often are we to die before we go quiet from this stage? In every friend we lose, we lose a part of ourselves, and the best part.’
contents DIRECTOR’S NOTES Grangewood School Song Angela Brazil and the Girls’ School Stories Characters in the play COMPANY SYNOPSIS
2-3 3 4-5 6 6 6
MUSIC FOR THIS PRODUCtion Grangewood School for Girls The Little Theatre Facilities Hire Costume Hire UPPER FOYER EXHIBITION
6 7 8-11 12 13 13 13
thank you The Leicester Drama Society is very grateful to the following organisations and individuals for their generosity through sponsorship and support. For further details of how individuals and companies can sponsor the work of The Little Theatre please contact Philip Royley, Theatre Manager on 0116 2542266 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of The Little Theatre: Mr. & Mrs. B. Alcock Mr. G. Austen Mrs. Audrey Brown Mr. & Mrs. P.W. Freer Mr. E.R. Gray Mr.P. McCarron Mrs. Jenny and Mr. Brian Page Mrs. H. Robson Mr Paul Southwood Mr. & Mrs. D. Statham Mrs. Lavinia Venable and Mr. Len Minor
Sponsors: Dominoes & Loughborough Endowed Schools
Grangewood School Hall Alec Davis
Box Office - 0116 255 1302 www.thelittletheatre.net
Director’s Notes My earliest recollection of adventure stories was being engrossed in the stories by Enid Blyton and looking forward to the next book of the Famous Five. These were followed by stories by Arthur Ransome. Both of these authors’ stories were aimed for boys and girls alike. It wasn’t long however, that I became aware that there were books (and comics) aimed directly for boys and of the novels by W.E Johns telling the adventures of Biggles. Comics became a high point and I looked forward each week for the Eagle and Lion. Heroes became important to me and my father used to meet me outside Mill Hill School and take me to the Cameo cinema in High Street to see the next instalment of Superman and his fight against Spider Woman!! At home I would tie a blue blanket (from my brother’s cot) around my neck and re-enact what I had seen that afternoon. This may all seem very odd and somewhat sad to today’s youngsters but seeing my grandson running around the house with a Lego space ship/ transformer, making strange noises shows that things don’t really change - and we didn’t have television to make it all seem real.
I may be wrong, but I believe we used our imagination more, although with the Harry Potter books the adventure lives on. With all this in mind, I approached Daisy Pulls it Off with some trepidation. With only experience of stories for boys, was I confident enough to tackle a similar story for girls? I needn’t have worried. Denise Deegan has written a play, which is a pastiche of the adventure stories for girls including topics present in stories for both girls and boys. Sport, bullying and treasure hunting are common in books of the period, with good triumphing in the end. The play was first presented in the West End in 1983, being produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and won the Laurence Olivier Award for the Best New Comedy. The play ran for 1180 performances and was revived in 2002. Staging the play needed careful thought. I decided that, as the story is a play within a play, we needed to keep it very simple and that we would
perform the whole play in the school hall, which would, by suggestion, become a class room, picture gallery, library, sanatorium and hockey pitch.
Directing this play has been great fun, and I am lucky to have been surrounded by a hardworking and talented cast and crew.
Alhough a comedy, it is essential that a play of this type does not become a take on St Trinians. The characters are all real people and it is by playing them seriously and watching their reactions to the situations they find themselves in that the comedy comes through.
I hope you will all have a jolly spiffing time. John Ragg Director
Grangewood School Song In days of yore the female sex Of learning they had none But now thanks to bold pioneers Education they have won. Proud girls and women teach and learn In many a famous hall But of them all thereâ€™s none more dear Than that of Grangewood School. Long may ye flourish Grangewood School Glorious is thy name Honesta quam magna is our call As we strive to play the game.
and the Girls’ School Stories Daisy Pulls it Off is inspired by the ‘girls’ school’ novels of Angela Brazil (1868-1947) published from 1906 to 1946. Its heroine, Daisy, is typical of her ‘plucky’ girls who overcome all manner of tribulation before finally winning through. Now that the distinction between boys’ and girls’ (and indeed between children’s and adults’) fiction is less clearly defined, the impact of Brazil’s schoolgirl stories is perhaps less easily understood. She was not the first writer to produce such stories for girls but her approach was innovative in that she presented a young, female point of view which was aware of current issues and independently minded; she recognised adolescence as a time of transition, and accepted girls as having common interests and concerns which could be shared and acted upon. For the first time girls could read books that were related to their own experience; they were presented with jolly, sporty and believable role models who learned from each other. This was a great contrast to the moralistic fables of the preceding era.
The books’ popularity was not shared by figures in authority. They were seen as a negative influence on moral standards and in some cases were banned by headmistresses. Particularly abhorred was the schoolgirl slang that enlivens the stories. The author, unperturbed, continued to produce them at an average of two a year. Angela Brazil was born the youngest of four children in Preston, Lancashire. Her father, a cotton mill manager, moved frequently and she was educated at a variety of schools and went on to study at Heatherley Art School in London, returning later to live with her family and, in 1911, settling in Coventry with her doctor brother. Her first published work was The Mischievous Brownie (1899), one of five children’s plays written in her youth, a slim volume costing just 3d. After contributing to various periodicals, she wrote her first substantial piece, A Terrible Tomboy, in 1904 but her first schoolgirl story was The Fortunes of Philippa (1906), based on the experiences of Angelica,
Brazil’s mother, who, having arrived from Rio de Janeiro as a young girl, found herself experiencing life in a Victorian girls’ boarding school. It is the only one of her books to be written in the first person and is untypical in that it depicts a boarding school life that is harsh and unkind, unlike the firm but fair regimes of her later books. Brazil wrote the book three times before submitting it, a method she used for all subsequent titles. The book was a resounding success and the publisher, Blackie, commissioned her to write more.
The Governess or The Little Female Academy by Sarah Fielding (1749) is generally seen as the first boarding school story. Fielding’s approach was imitated by her contemporaries and by writers in the 19th century; Susan Coolidge in What Katy Did at School (1873) and Frances Hodgson Burnett in Sara Crewe: or what Happened at Miss Minchin’s (1887) also used a girl’s school setting. Perhaps the most influential of Brazil’s 19th century predecessors was L. T. Meade who was voted most popular writer in 1898 by the readers of Girls’ Realm.
Her next few books show her perfecting a style that came to fruition in A Fourth Form Friendship (1911), which could be termed ‘vintage’ Brazil. Here are all the ingredients of her work and particularly the slang that so incensed teachers: pleasant experiences are “blossomly”, “chubby” or “jinky”; unpleasant things are “piggy”; girls are exhorted to “brace up and be sporty” and “turn off the waterworks”. The girls came into their own during the years of the Great War, where a number of books from The School by the Sea (1914) to A Patriotic Schoolgirl (1918), call for heroism and patriotism: “It is the duty of every British girl to make every possible sacrifice to keep those unspeakable Hun out of our islands”; the fact of war gave an added excitement and impetus.
Nevertheless it was Brazil’s ideas, her portrayal of liberated heroines in a world of changing possibilities, which inspired many successors: Elinor Brent-Dyer’s Chalet School series and Enid Blyton’s tales of Malory Towers and St Clares. Indeed, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series draws upon many elements of school fiction that Brazil’s work helped to establish.
Brazil did not invent the story of the boarding school; there was already an established tradition in which school life was presented.
In total Brazil published 49 novels about school life, and approximately 70 short stories. In an article published in 1923 she wrote: “To be able to write for young people depends, I consider, largely upon whether you are able to retain your early attitude of mind while acquiring a certain facility with your pen. It is a mistake ever to grow up! I confess I am still an absolute schoolgirl in my sympathies.” Sue Vials Editor 5
CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY DAISY
Our plucky heroine Daisy’s Mother
Scatterbrain French Mistress
DORA JOHNSTON Pupil
MISS GIBSON Headmistress
MONICA SMITHERS School toady and chief crony of Sybil Burlington
Head Girl and Sports Captain; shining example of British Womanhood
Vice Captain of Upper Fourth; conceited; from wealthy family and arch enemy of Daisy Prefect and best friend of Clare
ALISON LEVY KAREN GORDON GEORGINA DUNNING
Madcap and poet; best friend to Daisy
Firm but fair Form Mistress of Upper Fourth Captain of Upper Fourth; best all round sports girl Pupil
Russian Music Teacher Assistant gardener and mystery man
COMPANY Director Set Design Costume Design Sound Design Lighting Design
Music John Ragg Alec Davis John Bale James Sawle David Hately
synopsis The action of the play takes place in two Acts in and around the environs of Grangewood School for Girls. Time: 1927 There will be a 20 minutes interval between the Acts. 6
That’s a Plenty Lew Stone and his Band On the Other Side of the Hill Denny Dennis with Roy Fox and his Band Painting the Clouds with Sunshine Ambrose and his Orchestra Pick Yourself Up Bert Yarlett with Lew Stone and his Band
for this Production Stage ManagerS Deputy Stage ManagerS PROPERTIES PROMPTERS Wardrobe Assistants Wigs School Uniforms and Men’s Suits DresserS
Construction Crew Lighting AssistantS ChaperoneS Programme EditorS Programme photographs Audio Describers
Karl Strickland and Phil Wade Radojka Radulovic and Hannah Smith assisted by Simon Dickens Ron Vials, Sue Vials and Neal Harris Sandra Brown and Andy Mear Sue Manton, Daphne Spong, Lisa Thirlby, Briony Willig and Jean Woodward Tim Hogarth Jones Birmingham Costume Hire Laura Henderson, June Kennell, Jean Langhan, Mary Payton, Faith Quilliam, Diane Smith and Laura-May Tovey Naomi Costley, Simon Dickens, Nikki Finlay, Rob Leeson, Jean Lingham, John Ragg and Ron Vials Andy Crooks, Doug Finlay, James Sawle and Ben Smith José Johnson and Claudia Walker Ron Vials and Sue Vials Sally Evans Jackie Caunt and Jane Michel
For all LDS productions Production Manager Head of Wardrobe Dressers’ Co-ordinator Design Assistant Backstage Co-ordination Stage Lighting Sound Administration Properties
Alec Davis John Bale, assisted by Christine Bradley Diane Smith Hannah Smith Vacancy Andy Crooks Dave Atter and James Simpson Simon Dickens Chris Chapman
PrompterS Furniture Curator Front-of-House Co-ordinators Bar Steward Chocolates Foyer supervisors Foyer displays Upper Foyer Photographs Foyer portraits Programme design
Judith Andrew Chris Chapman Brian Derbyshire and Don Quinn Kathy Anderton Margaret Astill Charles Freckleton Fred Hyman Karen Gordon Sally Evans Sally Evans me&him
Grangewood School for Girls Karen Gordon as Miss Gibson I was the least troublesome schoolchild, trusted as Register Monitor but never a candidate for Head Girl. Shy to the point of diffidence, I was miserable on the hockey pitch, passable at netball because of my height and a reasonable swimmer (thank you, Northfield House, for your pool in which I proudly doggy paddled my way to competence). Art and English were my favourites and I adored Mr. Checketts, Art teacher at Newarke Girls, who emerged from his office to the cavernous Art Room to offer unfailing encouragement. My happiest days were spent at “Wyggy Queen Liz” College; I never dreaded having to attend and felt for the first time that I had a mind of my own. Lynette Watson as Miss Granville I didn’t attend ‘normal’ or ‘elementary’ school but from 4 to 16 was at Corona Stage Academy and every moment was brilliant! Our schooldays were split into two, mornings for academic lessons (I excelled in English, Art and Science but was the pits in Maths, Geography and History), afternoons for Drama and Dance (I wasn’t too keen on ballet but loved tap and modern) plus a daily elocution session. Resembling buttercups or maybe dandelions in our green and yellow gymslips and blazers we were instantly recognisable on film and television sets, although possibly not if we were lost in a wood. My biggest claim to fame was playing a schoolgirl with a hockey stick, albeit plastic, in The Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery. Scholastic honours? Debatable!
Pip Nixon as Mr Scoblowski My schooldays were somewhat different to Daisy’s – rather than attending boarding school, I was educated in one of the toughest backwater comprehensives in the Midlands. In between trying to avoid knife fights, I found I was fairly good at English, always picked last in PE, and useless at talking to girls. This state of affairs remains unchanged. I went on to complete a Masters Degree in European Theatre and now find myself in Daisy Pulls It Off. Michael Bull as Mr Thompson I was very happy at school in Leicester, primary in the 1950s and grammar in the 1960s, keen on PE and Games and proud to be a member of the cricket and football teams. At grammar school we had different houses and each house produced a play for our Arts Festival. My house chose The Merchant of Venice. Being an all boys school, the boys had to play girls’ parts. I was Nerissa, the maid! I was never in trouble because I was shy and did as I was told. My friends called me ‘Little White Bull’ because I was small and, at that time, the song was a hit for Tommy Steele. I enjoyed my schooldays very much, perhaps one of the reasons I became a teacher! Alison Levy as Mademoiselle I was the working class girl who went from my local primary school to the nearby all-girls’, ‘exclusive’ secondary school. I was confident and had a quick memory but I rarely stopped talking in class and some teachers never cared for my sense of humour! I did well despite never having the right equipment and making messes with my fountain pen and was a stranger to the concepts of homework, revision and deadlines! And yes, we did have a Latin motto: Juvenis Certumini Crescit: Youth Achieves Through Honour. (Though we were told it meant ‘Youth Strives Through Adversity’!)
Grangewood School for Girls Laura Bateman as Dasiy I have attended Leicester High School for Girls for six years; I recently completed my GCSEs, and will soon commence my A-level studies in Drama, History, English Literature and Sociology. In addition to singing in the choir and performing in productions, I have also played for the hockey and tennis teams. At school, I am generally the girl who tries to preserve the class’s sanity - I attempt, usually unsuccessfully, to prevent a descent into madness!
Jennifer Dodd as Trixie At school I was the class clown and even though I had 100% attendance I wasn’t always paying attention in class. I was really bad at Maths and Science but Drama and Dance had my full attention. I had many friends and the teachers all knew me as I was pretty loud for a small person; I always liked to lift the atmosphere in every lesson, even P.E.
Emily-Rose Goddard as Sybil It seems a lifetime ago that I was at school. At primary school I was worryingly obsessed with horses and used to get my friends to prance round with me in herd formation. I loved dressing up and performing and all the Arts, and loathed Maths with a passion. Fortunately, I never encountered any ‘Sybils’ at school; I was probably more of a ‘Trixie’. I did win a couple of poetry competitions come to think of it!
Kerri Haysom as Alice I loved Drama and Theatre Studies but wasn’t so keen on History. I was a little cheeky and could talk my way out of trouble! I always got my work done and wanted to do my best; gaining recognition from teachers. I managed to get my own back on bullies! I mingled with many friendship groups.
Kate Taylor-Davies as Clare Hair colours, blue and pink, black and grey; social butterfly; unhealthy obsession with Prince, vampires and Nirvana.; hippy with a love of vintage and retro; enthusiastic but ridiculous sportsperson, running on a 15 minute break, equipped with milk and digestive biscuits (still a weakness!); worst Biology student, writing answer for ‘How do you test for Typhoid?’ as ‘Eating a sugar cube’; burning hair with a Bunsen burner and setting fire to a table; escaping early to catch boys at the bus stop; trying a first cigarette by the bike sheds; bottle of Volvic on GCSE results day that actually contained vodka; figure expert in Art and prizes for Drama, Music, French and German; ONLY Labour voter in the school! failing Maths GCSE by getting the wrong day, room and time; performing in school productions, notably Nancy in Oliver! and the narrator in ‘Joseph’, directed by the sadly missed Judy Price, who along with José Johnson, taught Drama - an inspiration to my career even now…
Rachel Collins as Belinda My school days were pretty uneventful. I never had a detention, I always turned up on time and I always did my homework. I did once get sent out of class for giggling so much that I got the hiccups. I remember my first day of high school clearly. I walked onto the playing field at lunch time; I did not know anyone so I plucked up the courage to say hello to a group of girls. I must have startled them because one of the girls at that point was just about to take a gulp of her Ribena which subsequently was thrown backwards and all down my new blazer. I wouldn’t have minded but I hate Ribena. Needless to say Danielle (the Ribena girl) became my best friend.
Georgina Dunning as Monica At school I was a sporty prankster, who played truant from a few lessons, such as Food Technology and Psychology. I was frequently told off for changing names on the register to: Howard Ino or Ann Bag. I also used to be a Junior Road Safety Officer and a member of the Hogwarts after school club. My best exam answer was (to a Physics question): Hard water is? Answer: Ice.
Jessica Walker as Winnie In school, I get mostly top grades. I love Drama and Music and do lots of shows. I have a few close friends, but am also happy to join onto other groups. I float through school life; I’m seen as a hippy and sometimes a bit blonde. I don’t get into trouble too much but, if I do, I can easily act my way out of things.
the little theatre
The Little Theatre is owned and operated by Leicester Drama Society Ltd., an amateur non-profit making organisation founded in 1922 for the furtherance and study of the art of drama. LDS survives without public subsidy and presents a repertoire of plays of all types throughout the year. With its rehearsal rooms, Studio, bar and library, the theatre forms a social meeting place for those interested in the theatre.
Disabled patrons are very welcome. There is a lift to the auditorium and wheelchair spaces are available.
Leicester Drama Society Ltd The Little Theatre, Dover Street, Leicester, LE1 6PW Registered office as above Registered in England, Company No.268828 Registered Charity No.214249 Telephones Box Office 0116 255 1302 Admin 0116 254 2266
www.thelittletheatre.net Theatre Manager & Premises Supervisor: Philip Royley Honorary Life President: Lord Attenborough Kt, CBE Patrons: Billie Whitelaw CBE, Sir Anthony Hopkins CBE, Tim Pigott-Smith. Trustees: Nadine Beasley, Dennis Cooper, Andy Crooks, John Ghent, Jenny Harding, Julia Meynell, Stephanie Pennell, Lisa Thirlby, Rob Thirlby and Charles Wade.
For further information and assistance please contact the Front of House Manager or telephone the Box Office. For patrons with impaired hearing an infra red amplification system is now provided. Headsets may be borrowed from Front of House staff in the Foyer. Do you know someone who is visually impaired who might be interested in receiving a free CD about our forthcoming productions?
In addition to the half yearly brochure which is available on CD, we aim to produce an audio description for each LDS production about the set, costumes, and other observations to make the theatre experience more fulfilling. A ‘touch tour’ is also available before the Saturday matinée. For more information please contact Mary Jones on 01664 420 157. Gift vouchers A delightful gift for a relative or friend would be a night out at the theatre. Our gift vouchers, in convenient units of £10 are available from the Box Office. Theatre bar To complete your enjoyment of our production, why not relax over drinks before and after the show and during the interval in our comfortable bar lounge? The safety precautions in this theatre fully satisfy official requirements. In the unlikely event of an emergency, however, we recommend patrons note the nearest emergency exits. Patrons are advised that official regulations prohibit members of the audience from standing in the aisles during a performance.
It is against the law to smoke in the theatre building. The use of cameras, videos and other visual or audio recording equipment is prohibited during performances. Please ensure that mobile phones are switched off. Please remember that coughing, rustling sweet wrappers and bleeping from digital watches may distract the actors and spoil the performance for others. Are you interested in joining? Come along to one of our Open Evenings, held in the week prior to each production. You’ll be shown around the theatre and be able to see the different departments at work. You also have the chance to find out more about all the departments and discuss where your interests lie and how your talents may best be channelled. Contact the Theatre Office on 0116 254 2266 for further details or email email@example.com for membership information.
The Little Theatre is pleased to offer its facilities for private hire. For that special event, party, reception or business function the newly renovated bar makes an impressive venue. Other rooms, including the auditorium, may also be available.
Are you partying, fund-raising, going to a themed wedding or a murder mystery? Then we have just the costume for you. Come and visit our Aladdinâ€™s cave! Most sizes can be accommodated; keenly competitive rates; discounts for LDS members.
Please contact the Theatre Manager, Philip Royley, who will assist and advise with the planning and timing of your event. We look forward to seeing you - and the good news is that our hire facilities are available at a very competitive price. For further details and a quotation please contact Philip Royley on 0116 254 2266.
OPENING HOURS* Tuesday 12:00 - 3.30pm Wednesday 4:00 - 7.00pm Thursday 4:00 - 7.00pm Friday 12:00 - 3.30pm *last hire 30 mins before closing time. T 0116 254 0472 during opening hours. Any special information or alteration to opening hours can be found on therecorded message. 50 Albion Street, LE1 6LB. www.thelittletheatre.net email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always listening â€Ś
Leicester Drama Society is currently planning for the long-term future of the Society and this Theatre. We are always pleased to hear from our patrons. If you have ideas for improvements please let us know. There are suggestion slips and a box in the foyer. Thank you.
UPPER FOYER DISPLAY
ARTISTS AT WORK A selection of artwork in various media by local artists.
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Forthcoming productions 24TH - 29TH SEPTEMBER 2012
7TH - 15TH SEPTEMBER 2012
Directed by David Kimmins
Directed by Ruth Cheetham
CALENDAR G RLS BY TIM FIRTH
A FARCICAL COMEDY
BY ALAN AYCKBOURN
BASED ON THE MIRAMAX MOTION PICTURE BY JULIETTE TOWHIDI AND TIM FIRTH DOVER STREET, LEICESTER, LE1 6PW BOX OFFICE - 0116 255 1302 / WWW.THELITTLETHEATRE.NET
7th - 15th September 2012
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24th - 29th September 2012
‘where little fairies earn their wings’
join the fairy academy for two and half hours and enjoy some magical classes in ‘fairy finesse’ from a head to toe makeover, wing and wand design, fairy dust with a very special ingredient to making fantastical fairy pops! for more information and to book, visit
Our CHRISTMAS productionâ€Ś