Comments from the audience
This play received a standing ovation and lots of very positive comments. Here are just a few.
"We have just returned from the Flavel and quite simply could not leave it until tomorrow to say a sincere congratulation. From a tour de force by Graham and a thoroughly accomplished performance by Sir, we were so pleased to have been in the audience. " MB Dartmouth
"Well - you pulled it off again! Great night at Flavel. NIcely abridged, so good length. I thought there was a lovely balance between the humour and pathos of the play. Please congratulate your company - they did a great job and the two (or three) lead roles were superb." SW Dartmouth
"Saw the show last night. just to say how much I enjoyed it. Congratulations to the whole cast. Great set too, particularly the "waiting in the wings' and "storm" affects."AD Dartmouth.
"Just a quick message to congratulate you on your wonderful production 'The Dresser'. We who attended from BOADS, thought that you and Graham were both amazing." JR Brixham.
" We thoroughly enjoyed the performance of The Dresser last night – well done to both Graham and you.
“The Dresser” a classic play by Ronald Harwood.
Was performed Friday 25th and Saturday 26th May 2018
by arrangement with Samuel French Ltd.
1942. A dressing room of a provincial theatre during World War 2. Bombs are dropping and air raid sirens wailing. Norman, the dresser, is preparing Sir the actor manager for his stage performance of King Lear.
Sir’s touring theatre company is determined to carry on performing Shakespeare’s classic plays to the masses even though war is raging and everyday life is being destroyed. Sir, Her Ladyship and other actors perform all over the country every evening. Turmoil strikes when Sir becomes ill and possibly incapable of performing. Norman possessively takes control of Sir enabling him to give the performance of his life but to what cost? The final devastating conclusion of the play cause Norman to re-think the meaning of his devoted service. There are echo’s of the pain and humour of Lear and Fool in King Lear.
Ronald Harwood’s wonderful 1980 play has been performed many times all over the world and filmed twice. The first film was in 1983 starring Albert Finney as “Sir” and Tom Courtenay as “Norman”. Another TV production for the BBC was made in 2015, starring Anthony Hopkins as “Sir” and Ian McKellen as “Norman”. Ronald Harwood was the dresser to Sir Donald Wolfit between 1953 and 1958. Wolfit was an actor manager who had performed throughout WW2, insisting on low ticket prices to encourage people from all walks of life to experience our culture. The play is not strictly autobiographical but there are many similarities.
The Dartmouth Players celebrated our 90th year anniversary with two performances of this great play on the 25th and 26th May 2018.
As a bonus, our own Vera Lynn (Terri-Kate Lee) sang pre-1940’s songs. Songs included: "I Got Rhythm" , "With A Smile and A Song", *Somewhere Over The Rainbow" "When You Wish Upon A Star" and "We'll Gather Lilacs In The Spring Again".
CAST (In order of appearance)
Norman Graham Mewis
Her Ladyship Shaunagh Radcliffe
Madge Linda Churchill
Sir Bill Hunt
Irene Linda Marshall
Geoffrey Fred Radcliffe
Oxenby Craig Varnam
Lady Rebecca Weemes
Director Shaunagh Radcliffe
Assisted by Bill Hunt/Linda Churchill
Stage Manager Norman Cork
Stage Computer Veronica Cork
Props Alison Adams
Make-up adviser Anna Gwillam
Costumes Linda Churchill
Set Bill Hunt, Tim Adams and members of the cast.
Pre-show singer Terri-Kate Lee