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Martins Bank Society of the Arts Drama Section in: Honeymoon Couple by Neil Grant

Staged: 20 March 1951 in the Music Room at Head Office

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Once more at Head Office, playing to an audience of colleagues and fellow members, the Society of the Arts Drama Section presents TWO one-act plays.  As we have seen before in these pages, the occasional in-house performance is the perfect way to try out new material, and also to provide a safe space for those who are new to acting, producing or directing.  It seems incredible today to think that there was no shortage of talent - on stage AND back stage amongst the employees of one company, and in particular reference to the backstage guys, even those who fancy trying their hand at scenery building are catered for, this particular play “Honeymoon Couple”. 

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Don’t expect some syrup drenched tale of new love however, as Neil Grant’s play is tense and dramatic, with the promise of foreign travel and bomb conspirators, and Martins Bank Magazine is pleased to find that the tension created by the actors from the start, was sustained throughout the performance.  Special mention is made of Howell Jones, whose acting skills really do get him noticed – he goes on to feature in several of the Argosy Players’ productions in the early to mid 50s.

Members of the Drama Section spent a very pleasant evening in the Music Room at Head Office on March 20th when two one-act plays were produced. “ Honeymoon Couple” by Neil Grant, depends for its success upon the degree of tension which can be worked up in about five minutes and sustained right to the end. In a one-act play this is not easy but the cast was a strong one and in the capable hands of Sydney Rimmer, who produced it, the players adequately sustained the drama. Nora Owen and Howell Jones as the bomb-conspirators gripped their audience and the display of fear and emotion which Nora put over deserves full marks. As for Howell Jones, his every movement is dramatic and compelling on the stage: he just has that knack of holding the attention of an audience.

Nora Owen Howell Jones Norman Hubbard and Hilary Parr

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To offset the tenseness we had Hilary Parr, who portrayed the sweetest little maid it could ever be one's good fortune to encounter in a foreign hotel, and Norman Hubbard, who used his excellent gifts of character portrayal to present us with the landlord of the inn. bearing the stamp of undoubted authenticity. A neat little play, well put over. Margaret Shaw acted as Stage Manager and the scenery for this play and for “The Late Lamented” was made by members of the Drama Section under the direction of E. G. Shaw.



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