[1 October 1955 – September meeting]
TALENT IN CONCERT BY OVERSEAS CLUB
A packed St. Andrew’s Hall in Hastings on Wednesday night enjoyed a programme brimming with talent, ingenuity and humour, presented by the entertainment group at the annual social of the British Women’s Overseas Club.
Among the audience were a number of British newcomers some of whom had been in New Zealand for as little as two weeks.
The variety of entertainment from singing by the choral group, and several sketches to a “potted pantomime”, with imaginative scripts written by Mrs. Noel Sunley, revealed many weeks of hard work.
A mime, “A Bench in the Park”, told the story of a downtrodden, bedraggled tramp who lay down to sleep on a bench next to a sheet-covered statue and who was disturbed by a lady, two “spooning” lovers, a well-dressed flapper and an inquisitive, sweet-sucking “school-child’.
The bench was full, until each person who was seated next the tramp left one by one, scratching furiously. Finally the tramp left hurriedly as the statue began to scratch. Those taking part were Doris Andrews, May Watson, Hilda Stuart, Pat Wilson, Maureen Fielding, Peggy Horne, Olive Andrews.
A clever sketch “False foundations” by Mrs. Noel Sunley revealed a group of women who had preciously proclaimed their intentions to diet. However, all but one had thrown away her diet sheet – one used a ‘vibro-massager” and another had begun to exercise, showing her ability by almost touching her toes.
But the hostess had a much better idea – “the secret lies in the foundation garments, not one but several”. Five garments were needed by each woman, and the hostess was going to pay for them from an inheritance left by a favourite aunt.
However a solicitor’s letter revealed that the inheritance was a three-tier cake stand, a 42-piece tea-set and a recipe book on cake-making.
Both the script and the acting were extremely well done. Nan Fulford, Vera Lowe, Olive Andrews and Connie Wood took part.
“The Cockerel’ by Courtney Hope was a fight between Mrs. Tipper (Olive Andrews), whose cockerel had flown over the fence and was not seen again, and Mrs. Dyson (Pat Wilson), who said that she had not seen the bird. Insults in a broad Lancashire accent were screamed at one another, and the scene ended when Mrs Tipper was chased out of the house, and Mrs. Dyson brought out two eggs from her apron picket saying “she ought to have the cockerel seen to”.
“Gypsy Encampment” devised by Mrs. Betty McDonald, was a large group of gypsies, in peasant skirts and blouses, scarves tied gypsy-fashion around their heads, and golden ear-rings, seated round a campfire. Songs with a gypsy flavour included “Golden Earrings”, the first verse recited by Olive Andrews. After a dance with castenents [castanets], by small Pat McCue, the song “Gypsy Sweetheart” concluded the scene.
A game “Where Am I?” conducted on the lines of twenty questions by Len Wainscott and Malcolm Mason, was a popular item. Three men and three women from the audience formed the panel.
The potted pantomime, “Cinderella”, devised by Mrs. McDonald with the script written in rhyme by Mrs. Sunley, caused the audience a great deal of amusement. The costumes, although not quite as the fairy story brings to mind, were similar.
The ugly sisters prepared for the ball, and Cinderella was left behind “weeping”. Imagination was necessary during the Cinderella transformation, at the wave of the fairy godmother’s wand, into a beautiful belle of the ball. A pumpkin was whisked off the stage and the coach – a tiny seat in between two sticks with a servant at each end – was brought in.
Cinderella left for the ball still in her fleecy-lined boots and at the strike of twelve, rushed away leaving her “glass-slipper” behind. The fairy story continued in Cinderella’s home, but with more humour than the original author ever intended.
Those taking part were Olive Andrews, Betty MacDonald, Doris Andrews, Pat Wilson, Peggy Horne, Betty Isaacson, Mary Watson, Vera Lowe, Joan McDonald, Maureen Fielding, Noel Sunley, Elsie Prior, Hilda Stuart, Nan Fulford.
A cavalcade of song was presented by the choral group, with perhaps the “Happy Wanderer” as favourite. Solos were sung by Mrs. B. McDonald and Mr. E. Hall.