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Martins Bank Society of the Arts Drama Section in: The Crimson Cocoanut by Ian Hay

Staged: 11 May 1951 in the little theatre at Head Office

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“The Crimson Cocoanut”, a light comedic thriller was the second of two plays performed on the same night in May 1951, by Martins Bank Society of the Arts (Drama Section). This evening of plays was held in the Little Theatre at Head Office, where dramatic and operatic performaces are held on a regular basis for the benefit of Society Members, Bank Staff and Guests. Robert Dakin makes his debut as a detective, and manages the role extremely well for a first-timer with the group.

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This is a great environment for those who are acting for the first time, as empathy with such a daunting situation is on tap from the longer established members of the Society, all of whom have trodden the boards in some capacity since 1946.

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Better to fluff your lines or enter the scene at the wrong time here, than in front of a large theatre full of people who have paid to see you act!  The Head Office Performances usually revolve a round a meeting of the members of the Society of the arts, sometimes the AGM, and on some occasions, like this one, refreshments are on hand…

“The Crimson Cocoanut” (Ian Hay) was produced by Winifred Snape, it was light, amusing and most enjoyable. Bill Brookes as the waiter in a Soho Restaurant, gave an excellent performance with just the right amount of expression and comedy and his presence was the highlight of the play.

Brian Isaacson and Mrs. Lily D. Gittins, as the Russian and his wife, in possession of the bomb which was enclosed in the crimson cocoanut, were most impressive. Eric Wylie’s exasperation at the antics of the waiter was most amusing to witness, and Yvonne Simmons as his daughter also gave a good performance.

W Brookes R G Dakin Mrs L D Gittins Brian Isaacson Yvonne Simmons Eric Wylie

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Robert G. Dakin, another newcomer to acting, played the part of the detective very well. The Stage Managers were Colin Skelton and Sheila Boote. At the conclusion of the performance Mr. Price expressed our pleasure at the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Tarn, and Mr. Tarn in replying made a remark which we should very much like to endorse, when he mentioned the many hours of hard work spent by E. G. Shaw and Colin Skelton in making the scenery which was so remarkably well done. The refreshments prepared by Thea Bower, Kathleen Horsburgh, Dilys Hughes, Nora Owen and Monica Dutton were greatly appreciated by everyone. Rex Pollock’s ready assistance behind the scenes was also a great help.

 

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