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Martins Bank Society of the Arts Drama Section in: The Late Lamented by Falkland L Cary

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

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Striving far more to EARN laurels, rather than to rest upon them, the Drama Section of the Society of the Arts presents its final offering under that name before the Liverpool District becomes regularly acquainted with the Argosy Players. Performed at Head Office for an audience of staff and Society Members, “The Late Lamented” by Falkland L Cary is supposed to be a black comedy – dealing with poisoning, infidelity and flashbacks to happier times.

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The review of this production appears in Martins Bank Magazine’s Summer 1951 issue, and as this play was not staged for the public, the critique is short and sweet, and there is just one production photograph.  The staff will probably not have known at the time how important such photographs and written articles would be in the future, but we certainly are eternally grateful to those who maintained the tradition of reviewing and depicting more than one hundred and thirty plays, shows and operas, staged by the Bank’s five amatuer dramatic and operatic societies between 1946 and 1969…

This play, by Falkland L. Cary, is somewhat macabre in theme, but contrives, nevertheless, to be quite funny. The scene is the day of the funeral of George, who has really been murdered by an overdose of morphia administered by his wife who is in love with George's doctor. The ghost of George, unseen except by the audience, appears and listens with sardonic enjoyment to the proceedings leading up to his funeral. Rex Pollock took the part of George and gave it the exact amount of humour required. His long monologue, in which he expresses the thoughts going through the mind of his widow as she reclines on the couch waiting for the funeral to begin, was most effective and his general restraint gave real credibility to the part.

Rex Pollock Maureen Dempster Barbara Griffith Kathleen Horsburgh and J K Cornall

The role of murderess is a new one for Maureen Dempster and she worked it up very well, having all our sympathy at the beginning and none whatever at the end; a very tidy performance. Barbara Griffith, as the gushing Mrs. Abcrnethey who says all the wrong things, plays this kind of part supremely well, and Kathleen Horsburgh as the grief-stricken maid gave us a very neat portrayal of this character part.

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The part of the doctor was taken by J. K. Cornall and we were rather relieved that the portrayal eventually reasserted the moral rectitude of the medical man who, though he might carry on an affair with another man's wife, did not want to be mixed up with murder, for we felt that Ken was more at home in the part towards the end than at the beginning and that his performance improved as the play evolved. Barbara Phillips was the producer and T. R. Owens stage-managed.

 

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