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Martins Bank Society of the Arts Drama Section in: The House in Fern Road

by Maud Cassidy and Peter Coke Staged: 11 May 1951 in the little theatre at Head Office

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The Society of the Arts Drama Section presents TWO plays on the same night to their members in the Little Theatre at Head Office, Liverpool.  “The House in Fern Road” is billed as a tense drama, and “THE CRIMSON COCOANUT (complete with the old-fashioned spelling of Coconut) is a light, amusing drama set in a Soho restaurant. What is notable about these “in-house” productions is that the players put just as much energy and attention to detail in to every minute on thet tiny Head Office stage, as they would for a public performance in a much larger theatre.

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Practice, it would seem, makes perfect. “The House in Fern Road” builds intrigue and high drama, around the evil deeds of a cool calm and collected murderer. Margaret Simpson made her first appearance as Dramam Section actor, and it is great to see that new members of the Society can cut their acting teeth on these Head Office Performances. This does not mean they have an easy ride though, as often top management and even members of the Bank’s board of directors will be in the audience…

The Drama Section provided an evening of excellent entertainment when they presented two one-act plays in the little theatre in Head Office on the evening of May 11th. The plays were a complete contrast, and we were first held tense by the drama “The House in Fern Road” (Maud Cassidy and Peter Coke), which was produced by Howell Jones. Norman Hubbard cleverly portrayed the role of murderer with a cool detachment which certainly held our attention, while Barbara Griffith, as his accomplice, gave an outstanding performance.

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Ann Smellie Norman Hubbard J K Cornall Barbara Griffith

Maude Melville and Margaret Simpson

Her sense of drama was so very great that we really felt we were actually experiencing her emotions ourselves, especially when she told the murderer for the third time that he would ‘Hang!!’ Maud Melville, Ann Smellie and J. K. Cornall also gave very good performances, and Margaret Simpson, a newcomer to the Society, shows great promise. The stage manager was Margaret Shaw.