1952 - 1953

Merrie England

As 1953 progresses the thoughts of the Canadian people and of many people abroad turn increasingly to the Coronation to take place in June.  It is everyone's hope that it will inaugurate a long, peaceful and prosperous reign.  Therefore, the Directors of the Orpheus Society, offering their loyal duty to our new Queen, consider that they can most fittingly celebrate the occasion by presenting as their Spring Production, Edward German's Merrie England.


Sir Walter Raleigh loves Bessie Throckmorton, Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting.  He sends her a love letter, but Bessie loses it.  The lost letter is found by Jill-all-alone, a forest dweller, whose constant companion is a black cat.  Living in the forest with a black cat necessarily points to Jill as a witch. She ventures to the castle to restore the letter to its owner, but runs afoul of the worthy citizens of Windsor intent on their May Day revels. What could be better than a witch hunt?  When she is being hunted and harried, the Royal Forester, Long Tom, comes to her aid and is supported by the Earl of Essex, to whom Jill hands Bessie's letter.  Essex, thinking that Raleigh is his rival for royal favour, accepts the letter as his opportunity to arouse Eliizabeth's jealousy and he hands the letter to the Queen.  Elizabeth mistakens the letter as an avowal of Ralph's love for her but Raleigh is not the man to allow the Queen to be under a misapprehension and explains that the letter belongs to Bessie Throckmorton.  The Queen is furious and orders Raleigh to be banished, Bessie imprisoned, and Jill, who mocked the Queen's distress, to be burnt as a witch.


In the opening of the second act, Jill is seen to escape and to rescue Bessie from the Castle by a secret passage; they hide in Herne the Hunter's oak in the forest.  Essex now determines to make amends for the harm he has done Raleigh and is assisted in his plans by Walter Wilkins.  Essex plans to work on the Queen's superstitious fears and to stage an appearance of Herne the Hunter during a masque presented by Walter Wilkins.  According to tradition, the ghostly huntsman only appears in the forest when the monarch contemplates a crime.  The Queen is terrified at the apparition and pardons the lovers and Jill-all-alone. The populace are delighted and the joyful strains of Robin Hood's Wedding brings the story to a "happy ever after" conclusion.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Cast

Alan Hoskins

A Soldier, Chorus

Anne Saunders

Second Royal Page

Arthur Pownall

Lord in Waiting

Bill McDowall

The Earl of Essex

Bill Murray

A Tailor

Brenda Brooks

First Royal Page

Elsie Parkes

Lady in Waiting

Freda Lyon

Miss Bessie Throckmorton

George Winship

A Tinker

Grant Wheeler

Walter Wilkins

Ivan Mitchell

Big Ben

Jack Zoubie

The Queen's Fool

Jean Halley

Lady in Waiting

John Pickard

Silas Simkins

Lloyd Burton

Herald, Chorus

Margaret Leahy

The May Queen

Marjorie Stranks

Queen Elizabeth

Mary Allen

Jill-all-Alone

Mary Barrette

Marjory, Dancer

Maurice Anka

Sir Walter Raleigh

Mildred Ker

Kate

Norman Payne

Long Tom

Ralph Hopkins

Royal Bargeman

Stan Bailey

Lord in Waiting

Stan Hicks

A Butcher

Ted Hothersall

A Baker

Agnes Bourassa

Dancer

Aileen Ryan

Chorus

Alfred Papineau

Chorus

Arnold Sharpe

Chorus

Audrey Gignac

Chorus

Audrey Patterson

Chorus

Beverley Pyefinch

Dancer

Bill Cody

Chorus

Daisy Mae Checkley

Dancer

David Ardley

Chorus

Dorothy Ardley

Chorus

Dorothy Campbell

Chorus

Dorothy Hupp

Chorus

Eleanor Whitworth

Chorus

Esther Lightstone

Dancer

Eunice Tubbe

Chorus

Evelyn Edgeller

Chorus

George Wetzstein

Chorus

Greta Jensen

Dancer

Helen Allard

Chorus

Inika Janacek

Chorus

J.H.W. Currie

Chorus

Jacqueline Wilson

Chorus

Janet Giles

Chorus

Jean Goulet

Chorus

Joyce Kirby

Chorus

Juliette Sabourin

Chorus

Klara Franzke

Chorus

Lillian Horrocks

Dancer

Lois Johncox

Chorus

Louise Cameron

Chorus

Lucile Nezan

Chorus

Margaret Nurscher

Chorus

Margaret Rowles

Chorus

Marion Deavy

Dancer

Marion McKinnon

Chorus

Marlene Whitely

Chorus

Norma Besserer

Chorus

Norma Coll

Chorus

Otto Matous

Chorus

Patrick McGee

Chorus

Ronald McGee

Chorus

Rose McCallum

Chorus

Ruby Rutkowsky

Chorus

Production

A.E. MacLaurin

House Manager

Christine McCulloch Allan

Prompting

Dermot Sladen

Business Manager

Joseph E. Webb

Producer

Malabar Toronto

Costumes

Phillis Kerr

Properties

Ralph Wetzstein

Assistant Musical Director

Verne Ridgeway

Scenery Designer

Winifred Canty

Accompanist

© 2019, Orpheus Musical Theatre Society 

A not-for-profit registered charity
No. 11907 0415 RR0001

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