In April 1974the Lane End Players produced a fine evening entertainment consisting of three popular one act plays - one of which winning an award at the Maidenhead Drama Festival
There were three one act plays presented...
1) Mr Sampson by Charles Lee
Director - Helen Clark
A play that takes place in the kitchen of a cottage in the West Country during the mid-nineteenth century.
Catherine Stevens - Elsie Stone
Caroline Stevens - Eve Milne
Mr Sampson - Frank Shepherd
2) Us and Them by David Campton
Director - Les Reading
A meaningful play that begins with two groups of wanderers looking for a place to settle. They agree to share and mark the line between their territories, then build a small wall. The wall is built higher and then still higher. Suspicion and mistrust grow to the point where the groups must inevitably explode in conflict.
This play was entered into the Maidenhead Drama Festival was many other plays from theatre groups all around the local area. Us and Them by the Lane End Players won the Aubrey Harding Award for best short play and also came fourth over all, beaten to fourth place by three full length plays .
3) When the Bough Breaks by Gwyn Clark
Director - Doreen Reading
Decanius a young and innocent Roman soldier stands guard at the sacred Druid grove. A young woman married three years has come to seek the help of the chief Druid Daftan. She has realised that all women who ask for his help in this matter later give birth to red headed babies – just like Daftan
Marius - Les Reading
Decianus - Colin Wess
Daifta - Sandra Hines
Nan - Julia Howes
Duftan - David Beever
Festival Entry Looks A Winner
(Local newspaper review)
The Lane End Players showed on Friday and Saturday that they are out to win the Maidenhead Drama Festival on April 23rd with their entry "Us and Them" a one act play by David Campton.
The Players also performed two other one act plays.
A 19th century West Country dram "Mr Sampson" began the evening. Elsie Stone and Eve Milne played two unmarried sisters, wooed by Mr Sampson their tenant played by Frank Shepherd. The problem which fluttered the hearts of the two spinsters was: which one should he choose for his wife?
In the end it was neither, but in the interim the three admirably portrayed the pathetic situation in suitable West Country dialect. It was an insoluble problem, with the possible solution coming form Mr Sampson's: "I should have been born a heathen Turk"!
"Us and Them", the entry for Maidenhead, was a modern play, set ay any place and at any time.
It was about the building up and breaking down of barriers, fear, insecurity and distrust. the choice was suitable for it bought all of the Players onto the stage at the same time.
The stage was blank and the only prop was the wall which would be erected between the two groups of people occupying the stage. The two were divided by mutual mistrust but held together by the same mistrust - needing something to scorn.
It was a sad commentary on inevitability of human relationships breaking down. The wall was not only physical, but a mental barrier typical of the kind that mankind but up between groups in belief that good walls make good neighbours.
But the all only intensified curiosity and mistrust which overwhelmed into conflict, and then into recriminations. The futility and lack of man's ability to learn was shown by the fact that in the end it was the wall, not the people, who were blamed.
The play was produced by Les Reading who also took the part of the Recorder. Frank Shepherd, Simon Bird, Sandra Hines and Doreen Reading conveyed the intensity of feeling in the different camps.
The evening ended with "When the Bough Breaks" a play set in Roman Britain, produced by Doreen Reading.
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