The following review of the production appeared in the local paper.
Children's exciting 'Pinafore'
"The most enterprising and exciting venture the school has attempted" was the way
the Headmaster, Mr. J. R. Fisher, BA, described "HMS Pinafore" performed in Downhills
Central School on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The patience and hard work that must go into a production of this kind were
well-rewarded by the polished and competent performance given by the children under
the musical directorship of Miss Flowers, head of the school's music department.
Seventeen members of the School Orchestra, four of whom are in the Middlesex Youth
Orchestra - Diana Hudgell, Carole Kelly, Edward Manning and Brian Wells - were joined
by friends and ex-pupils of Miss Flowers and ably led by Mr. Blatchford.
Ralph Rackstraw was played by Graham Bartlett whose attractive voice, normally of
baritone range, adapted well to the dad, pensive young hero whose love is rejected in
the first act by the Captain's daughter, Josephine, who was played by Dorothy Tilbury.
Buttercup was shyly, yet engagingly played by Janice Feldman, a Third Former.
Sir Joseph's pomposity and condescension were well portrayed by Paul Warren while
Anita Martin conveyed convincingly Hebe, the cousin in love.
David Watts, the Bos'n's Mate, had a strong, clear voice and Robert Benbow most
amusingly rendered Dick Deadeye, the unlovable villain.
Colin Martin, as the rather young Carpenter's Mate, showed promise as a tenor.
Mr. P. Francis, on the Staff, who sang Frederic in the "Pirates of Penzance" for
Rowland Hill School last year, gave an even better performance as Captain Corcoran.
The Chorus of boys and girls was agreeably tuneful. The boys in the crew were
Terrence Hanley, Ronald Capell, John Cooper, John Hill, Roger Smith, Stephen Nyeman,
Alan Stroud, Graham Smith and Michael Pitts.
The girls' chorus of sister, cousins and aunts were: Susan Adams, Brenda Beeson,
Hilary Charter, Christine Phillips, Margaret Barker, Pauline Halfred, Vera Skoumalova,
Christine Byrne, Gillian Brown, Nancy Lee, Gillian Hand, Janis Marcu, Jean Collins,
Joan Kitching, Sandra Good, Fay Barnwell, Brenda Osborne, Diane Summers,
Margaret Collins, Linda Morris, Celia Robertson, Linda Allen and Susan Smeeton.
The set and scenery were built in the school workshop by Fifth Form boys under the
direction of Mr. Learner and painted by third form boys with advice from Miss Brooker,
Head of the Art Department.
The Mermaid Players lent hats, trousers and some tops for the sailors, and the girls
made other tops and trimmed and remade dresses from the Prop. Box guided by Mrs.
Deane, who runs the Needlework Department.
Children helped with make-up (taught by Mr. Learner), refreshments, printing of
programmes and tickets on the School Press (Miss Brooker) and laundering of costumes.
Praise is due to the Producer and Stage Manager, Mr. Arthur Learner, assisted by
Mr. A. S. Jaques, who brought life and movement out of their young cast without
losing the order and control necessary for so many young people on stage at one
time. - J.D.