Shakespeare plays at CH

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rockfreak
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Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by rockfreak » Sat May 14, 2016 9:01 pm

The Hollow Crown series on BBC has reminded me of a time when CH used to do Shakespeare plays - one a year. One of the plus points of CH for me was the way that Shakespeare was not only acted out in Big School but explained to us in class. I remember Mr Keep in my English class in the Prep School giving us the lowdown on The Tempest and Julius Caesar. Even at age nine, I was hooked when we saw the Upper School acting it out.
Here are some remembrances which I may or may not have got right. The Tempest with Stuart Holland as a very animated Ariel, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Richard the Second where I seem to remember a current poster Graham Riches as Bolingbroke and Walter Raleigh King (now a senior cleric) as the aggrieved King's wife: "Gardener, for telling me these news of woe, Pray God the plants thou graftest may never grow." And I believe the gardener in receipt of her ire was a larrikin called Joe Salkin from one of the Barnes or Lamb houses. Have I stirred any memories here? Did Shakespeare still get acted out when co-ed took place and there were real girls to act the parts instead of younger boys?

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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by sejintenej » Sun May 15, 2016 7:08 am

The play of the year was that set for GCE English Lit that year. For me it was the "Scottish Play"
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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by Phil » Sun May 15, 2016 8:44 am

Joe Salkin was in Barnes A.
Does anyone know what happened to him after he left school? University? Then what? And now?

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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by J.R. » Sun May 15, 2016 12:24 pm

sejintenej wrote:The play of the year was that set for GCE English Lit that year. For me it was the "Scottish Play"

That was my first year play when in Prep B, and my introduction to Shakespeare in 1958.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by postwarblue » Sun May 15, 2016 5:00 pm

Started for me with Richard III done in LFB on Fanny Hurst's puppet theatre, 1948

Then, maybe not in order,

Macbeth with Colin Alves, not sure what his role was. ?1949

Julius Caesar with Eric Saville as JC, John Turner as Portia, ?1952

Midsummer Night's Dream, me as Hippolyta ( how sad!), PD Greene as Hermia, produced by David Jesson-Dibley. ?1951 Easter term, snow on the ground - choice of costumes supplied, so wore both of them.

Twelfth Night done in class

Marched into Horsham to see Laurence Harvey as Hamlet

Ditto? but remember Olivier as H V

A break from Shakespeare, Marlowe's Doctor Faustus with Arthur Dyball as Dr F, me as the Good Angel (2 lines, there were more but Gad cut them), David Kruger as the Bad Angel, John Henes as Lechery (I think). Produced by Gad Malins. ?1953

Missed Merchant of Venice 1954 as I was away in London doing my exam for the Navy.

Reading round the class took many English periods so took weeks to get to the point, too many poor readers, rather put one off the Bard. Rectified by seeing (and hearing) R III done properly at Stratford in the 1960s.
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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Sun May 15, 2016 5:24 pm

rockfreak: your Merchant of Venice is out of order; it was not performed while I was at CH. but was performed the year after I left, i.e. in 1964, with Baxter Pine as Shylock and Keith Hildrew as Antonio.

The first school play I saw (1956) was Julius Caesar (John Watts as Portia, Anthony Arblaster as Brutus); then Twelfth Night (John Watts as Malvolio); then Macbeth (John Watts as Macbeth, and someone named Hooper (PeA) as a splendid drunken porter). At this point the policy of performing the O Level set play was abandoned, because I did As You Like It, and this wasn't performed. Instead, there was Richard II, about which I remember nothing except the scenery collapsing at one performance. Then came The Taming of the Shrew, with Richard Payne as the shrew. Then Henry IV Pt. 1 (the most memorable performance here was 'Lofty' Rye as Glendower), then A Midsummer Night's Dream, which we took on tour to Holland, with Joe Salkin as Bottom (and Howard Davies, who later had a stellar theatrical career, as one of the rustics); Tony Coombs played Puck, and John Ball Oberon. Brian Allgar composed and conducted the memorable music, but he's lost it. In my final year it was Henry V, produced by Tim Law, with Branson in the title role.
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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Sun May 15, 2016 5:54 pm

Phil wrote:Joe Salkin was in Barnes A.
Does anyone know what happened to him after he left school? University? Then what? And now?
He went to Bristol University. I think his first name in fact is Anthony.
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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by jhopgood » Sun May 15, 2016 7:20 pm

Joe Salkin was in Barnes A.
Does anyone know what happened to him after he left school? University? Then what? And now?
I have probably got this quite wrong, but the name rings a bell and I believe I did write in to the Blue about "Old Blue Coincidences", using this as an example.

I worked in Amsterdam from 1981 - 1984 and in about 1983 decided to take evening classes to learn Dutch.
It was all pretty informal and one evening the class took place in the flat of a Colombian, who claimed to have a swimming pool in the basement.
During the break, whilst some went downstairs to swim, I noticed a black and white photograph on the sideboard, which turned out to be a house photo of Barnes A from the period that I was in Barnes B (59 - 66).
When they came up from their swim I asked the Colombian where it came from and he said he shared the flat with his brother-in-law, who was in the photo. Just as the class was finishing said brother-in-law appeared and I recall it was Salkin or a similar name.
I had never spoken to him at CH, but we chatted and then never met again.
Weird experience, but unless someone can delve into the Blue to recheck my story, I will have to leave confirmation pending.
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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by rockfreak » Sun May 15, 2016 8:08 pm

[quote="michael scuffil"]rockfreak: your Merchant of Venice is out of order; it was not performed while I was at CH. but was performed the year after I left, i.e. in 1964, with Baxter Pine as Shylock and Keith Hildrew as Antonio.

The first school play I saw (1956) was Julius Caesar (John Watts as Portia, Anthony Arblaster as Brutus); then Twelfth Night (John Watts as Malvolio); then Macbeth (John Watts as Macbeth, and someone named Hooper (PeA) as a splendid drunken porter). At this point the policy of performing the O Level set play was abandoned, because I did As You Like It, and this wasn't performed. Instead, there was Richard II, about which I remember nothing except the scenery collapsing at one performance. Then came The Taming of the Shrew, with Richard Payne as the shrew. Then Henry IV Pt. 1 (the most memorable performance here was 'Lofty' Rye as Glendower), then A Midsummer Night's Dream, which we took on tour to Holland, with Joe Salkin as Bottom (and Howard Davies, who later had a stellar theatrical career, as one of the rustics); Tony Coombs played Puck, and John Ball Oberon. Brian Allgar composed and conducted the memorable music, but he's lost it. In my final year it was Henry V, produced by Tim Law, with Branson in the title role.[/quote

Heavens, what a response! There was actually an earlier Merchant of Venice in the mid fifties, Michael, but I can't remember who was in it. (You might be getting a bit mixed up here because Portia was in Merchant of Venice and Brutus in Julius Caesar). I believe there was also a Henry V ?? in around 1959 when I was doing it for O-level - thanks David Herbert for getting me through it, but I'm not totally sure about that. I've no doubt the plays were somewhat truncated for the schoolboy players but I was always in awe of the lead players who had to mug up formidable amounts of verse while also, no doubt, studying for A-levels and being senior monitors as well. My own scatty brain simply couldn't have absorbed it all. Brian Allgar was a contemporary of mine in Col B and was something of an all-round aesthete as I remember. But when did the school stop doing Shakespeare?

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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by Phil » Mon May 16, 2016 8:40 am

Thanks for the information about AJ “Joe” Salkin.

There was also a presentation of The Merchant of Venice in 1954, when it was the (Oxford and Cambridge Joint Board’s) O level set work. The lead was taken, I think, by Richard Shuttleworth, Maine B, a superb actor. I suspect that he did very well in his intended post-Cambridge career as a barrister.

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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by Kit Bartlett » Mon May 16, 2016 3:07 pm

On 30th. October 1945 the whole school , with the exception of the Prep. who went by train, marched into Horsham to see the "Henry Vth Olivier film.
Performances of the plays included "Hamlet" performed in Michaelmas term 1945 by the Geography Deps. in the Prep. Hall in modern dress. The cast included the following.
D. Hunn Lamb A as Hamlet. N.P. Evans, Barnes B as Polonius, M.J. Lewis Peele B as Ophelia. R.W. Freeman, Coleridge B as the Gravedigger, L.H.C. Jennings, Barnes A as Laertes ,C.D. Copppard, Maine A as 0sric and D.D. Glennie Peele B as Horatio. The performance was reviewed by the Hon. D.S. Roberts in The Blue for March 1946.
"Macbeth" was performed in Big School in Michaelmas term 1946. produced by Miss H. Tyrell.
The cast included B.H. Trowell Middleton B as Macbeth , D.R.W.Silk Maine A as Lady Macbeth, D.H.Harmer-Morris Barnes B as Banquo, A. Joanes as Lady Macduff.
Michael Marland TA 44-53 took "Twelfth Night" on Tour in the August 1952 summer holidays to Streatham, Horsham. Bexhill and Sandwich. and other places no doubt. Masters F.Haslehust and David Jesson-Dibley were chaperones. M. Aird (LB) and A.A. Beck (Mid B) were the leading actors

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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Mon May 16, 2016 4:22 pm

jhopgood wrote: I recall it was Salkin or a similar name.
There was also at the same time a Caulkin in Barnes A, Simon by name. Often called 'Des'. He went to Oxford and became a journalist, many google hits.

There is a Portia in Julius Caesar, wife of Brutus.

JC was played in March 56 (the first one I saw); I think it was preceded by The Tempest in 1955 (before I arrived), so M of V in 1954...
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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by Phil » Mon May 16, 2016 5:30 pm

The Tempest’s Prospero was Anthony Arblaster, later an MP. After the shipwreck he appeared in an immaculate white shirt, strikingly calm and elegant as though having just disembarked from an upmarket cruise ship.

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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by LongGone » Mon May 16, 2016 5:57 pm

I am utterly amazed at the detail of some people's memory. About the only thing I remember is a performance 'in the round' which attracted a lot of purists (who also loved the authenticity of boys playing the female roles).
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Re: Shakespeare plays at CH

Post by michael scuffil » Tue May 17, 2016 3:13 pm

Anthony Arblaster, later an MP.

I don't think so. He contested Rye (Sussex) in the Labour interest in 1979, but came third. He has however written on political philosophy.
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