Programme – Billy Budd

Billy Budd

‘BILLY BUDD’

by Louis O. Cox and Robert Chapman

BACKGROUND TO THE PLAY

This play was written by Louis O’Cox and Robert Chapman this century and was first performed in 1949. But the story is based on Herman Melville’s sea tale of ‘Billy Budd’. According to Melville, absolute good and absolute evil cannot live in this world together, for human life in a compromise that follows the middle way. Cox and Chapman found this theme ideal for a morality play.

The play’s action takes place on a British warship in 1798. History tells us that one year earlier in Britain, 1797, there were mutinies where sailors refused to put to sea until they obtained fair wages, sufficient food or decent quality and better medical service. Although Cabinet had granted these demands, when our play opens conditions were little improved.

PLAY SYNOPSIS

It is a morality play centering on the conflict between impressed man Billy Budd, who is the personification of good and innocence, and John Claggart, the Master at Arms, a cruel, vicious man bent on breaking Billy.

Although the main conflict is between good and evil, there is also tension between officer and men – a result of unrest in the British navy at this time.

The First Act introduces Billy to life on board H.M.S. ‘Indomitable’ and shows the stirrings of antagonism between Billy and Claggart, and officers and crew.

In Act Two Billy has settled into ship life and is highly regarded by both the captain and the shipmates. Although Billy thwarts an attempt on Claggart’s life, he is later severely provoked into killing the Master at Arms.

Act Three revolves around the court marshal and punishment of Billy.

CAST

Edward Fairfax Vere; Captain Royal Navy    ROBERT LANGTON

Philip Michael Semour; First Officer   GARRY BRIAN

John Ratcliffe; First Lieutenant   PHILIP SHOEMACK

Bordman Wyatt; Sailing Master   MICHAEL KINGSFORD

Gardiner; Midshipman   MURRAY WIGGINS

Surgeon.   DAVID CARR

John Claggart; Master at Arms   CHRIS HYLAND

Squeak; Master at Arms’ Man   GORDON HODGES

The Dansker; Mainmast Man   FRANZ-MIKAEL JANSEN

Jenkins; Captain of the Maintop   IAN BAKER

Payne; Maintopman   MATTHEW McLEAN

Kinkaid; Maintopman   DAVID SETON

O’Daniel; Maintopman   ALAN CLAYTON

Butler; Maintopman   GEOFFREY GREEN

Talbot; Mizzentopman   DAVID RITCHIE

Jackson; Maintopman   MARK CHAMPION

Billy Budd; Foretopman   GARY TOMS

Hallam; A Marine   ANDREW JENKS

Messboy   JEFF BRAID

Stoll   CRAIG MARTIN

Duncan   RODNEY CORLETT

Drummer   ARAPATA MEHA

Marine   JOHN McHARDY

Sailor   CRAIG McCRACKEN

THE PRODUCTION

Producer   Mr. J. CHAPLIN

Properties   Mr. T. REID, PETER WEBBY.

Stage Manager   KENNETH MAYS.

Set Design and Construction, and Stage Crew   Mr. R. DUNNINGHAM, Mr. K. TRIMBLE, Mr. D. HIGGINS, KENNETH MAYS, BRUCE GADD, GARRY SPENCE, TIM GRINDELL, BILL SHIRRAS, ROSS DYSART, GREG IRELAND, PETER WEBBY, ROBERT LANGTON, IAN HILL, PAUL DOWNER, MURRAY WIGGINS, STEPHEN LOGAN, JOHN McHARDY, ALAN KALE, DERECK McCARTHY, JOHN CRERAR, PATRICK PORTAS, DEREK McKILLOP.

Lighting   GRAEME BEATTIE, PETER HENDERSON, DEREK WILLIS, ALAN McCRACKEN, MICHAEL DANIELL, JOHN DENT, ROSS BELL.

Prompt   CHRISTOPHER MUCALO

Costumes   Mrs. E. ANDERSON, Mrs. T. BRAID

Make-up   Mr. W. CLARKE, Mrs. P. WADDELL, Mrs. L. PHILLIPS, Mrs. M. STAYT.

Call Boy   IAN MOSLEY

Posters   MARK HOUGH

Programme Design   MATTHEW McLEAN

Programme   GARY TOMS, DAVID SETON

Front of House   Mr. G. HEATON

Sound   DAVID ROWELL, MALCOLM ABERNETHY, TIM OAKS.

Special Effects   RODNEY DANN, HUGH MONTEITH, VAUGHAN HICKSON.

Acknowledgements   TOMOANA PLAYERS – LIGHTS.
LOVELL-SMITH’S – PHOTOGRAPHS.

HART PRINT, HASTINGS

Original digital file

TaylorSC653_BillyBudd.pdf

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Description

Surnames in this programme –
Abernethy, Anderson, Baker, Beattie, Bell, Braid, Brian, Carr, Champion, Chaplin, Clarke, Clayton, Corlett, Crerar, Daniell, Dann, Dent, Downer, Dunningham, Dysart, Gadd, Green, Grindell, Heaton, Henderson, Hickson, Higgins, Hill, Hodges, Hough, Hyland, Ireland, Jansen, Jenks, Kale, Kingsford, Langton, Logan, Martin, Mays, McCarthy, McCracken, McHardy, McKillip, McLean, Meha, Meville, Monteith, Mosley, Mucalo, Oaks, Phillips, Portas, Reid, Ritchie, Rowell, Seton, Shirras, Shoemack, Spence, Stayt, Toms, Trimble, Waddell, Webby, Wiggins, Willis

Format of the original

Leaflet

Creator / Author

  • Louis O Cox
  • Robert Chapman

Accession number

504950

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