One-act plays with Miss Hill
Bill Buckland arrived at the school in 1947:
One of the highlights of that first year was treading the boards for two public performances in the school hall and one competition in Cheltenham. Miss Hill was the producer and during her time at the helm used the format of three one act plays so that the acting experience could be spread over the age range with opportunities for juniors, inters and seniors.
This first effort was entitled the Poetasters of Isfahan wherein I was one of several poets manqué bidding for the hand of a fair maiden who was eventually won by shepherd John Payne. We did not come bottom in the competition and in fact got an honourable mention. The adjudicator commented on our delivery and suspected that the acoustics of our school hall were somewhat inferior to the auditorium we were performing in since we came across loud and clear. She wondered also how I managed to navigate the stage since I seemed to have my eyes tight shut!
I was typecast as the losing suitor as my next role was as the unctuous Mr. Collins being spurned by Elizabeth Bennett, to be followed by being one of the brothers Grimm taking notes whilst his other brother showed him how to propose. Unsurprisingly the lady accepted the other brother’s (Tony Wyatt) practice proposal and my carefully taken notes were thrown into the waste bin.
Somewhere along the line we also performed the trial scene from the Merchant of Venice where I played Shylock (standing to the right of the doorway) and, although not a disappointed suitor, did lose my daughter and my ducats. David Tarplett was the Duke, Denzil Harris and Arthur Morris(?) were in subsidiary male roles, with Joan Horne as Portia and June Turvey as her sidekick.