Although the exact ‘opening’ date of the Drama Club remains a matter of debate, and it may well be a little before the one given here, it is clear that the foundation for all that followed was laid by Cyril Malyon’s decision to start an After School Drama Group at Markhouse – despite this activity […]
As the overall work and direction of Markhouse School began to change with the arrival of Les Smith as the new Headmaster in 1957, so did the interest and development of the performing arts curriculum – and this, along with the after school drama activities, were soon complemented with the opening of a more structured […]
‘Poison, Passion & Petrifaction’ by George Bernard Shaw
‘The Man in the Bowler Hat’ by A A Milne
‘The Family Group’ by Mabel Constandurous
These three plays were the Drama Club’s entries in the ‘District Round’ of this annual competition – with the victorious cast of ‘Poison, Passion and Petrifaction’ progressing onto the County Final
Read about all three plays in the Guardian newspaper reports of the time – plus the possible existence of a film of the winning production!
This Guardian clipping shows part of the report of the 1959 ‘Youth Speaks’ Competition held in the Walthamstow Council Chamber
The first part of the article relates to the Junior Competition in which the Drama Club did not compete – but, as the ‘Marsh Street Wins’ sub heading shows – it not only competed in the Senior Competition – but also captured the trophy!
These entries in this year’s Essex Youth Drama Festival may not have met with the previous year’s success, but the Guardian report does, at least, add 2 further plays to the Website’s production list – and proves that this includes some ‘authentic’ Shakespeare!
Click to see the recently found Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Report of the Drama Club’s first production of Thackery’s ‘Fireside Pantomime for Great and Small Children’
This short, but interesting report in the 1st January edition of the Walthamstow Guardian, fills in yet a bit more history of the Drama Club and its successful involvement beyond the confines school – this time in the Essex County ‘Youth Speaks’ Finals and ……
Click to see Cast & Stage Management List
1960 June : ‘The Plot Thickens’ by Mark Langham & ‘Poison, Passion and Petrifaction’ by George Bernard Shaw ›
Any ‘un-informed’ reader of this fairly brief report in the Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper might understandably assume from the ‘title’ (‘First in Public’) that the MDC had not presented anything prior to this date – or at least not with an audience etc!
However – the ‘bigger’ question this report raises is – who were ‘The BRUNSWICK PLAYERS’
‘Bloaters’ by Ella Adkins
‘The Thought Machine’ by Ella Adkins
‘The Man Who Painted his Wife’s Nose’
This Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Report on the Mark House Drama Festival records the four plays staged and produced wholly by pupils in the Lowhall, Manor, Lea and Lammas House Groups – and which of them ‘won’ the apparently much cherished runners up ‘ORACE’ Trophy!
This short play, Directed by Drama Club member Brenda Chapman, was staged at the conclusion of the 1960 Mark House School Prize Giving Evening. The cast and back stage crew included a good number of school pupils who subsequently became established members of the Mark House Drama Club!
CAST LIST NOW ADDED – to the Memorabilia of this ‘mini’ version of Cinderella which was both the first pantomime to be staged at Markhouse and also the first production entirely written (all in rhyming couplets) by a number of Drama Club members – all of whom were in the school’s 5th year group at that time – and obviously completing this task as a respite between their GCE mocks!
The earlier Cast & Stage Management List is now complimented with the newly added Guardian Report of this ‘Pirate Adventure’ – and its encouraging comments about the Drama Club’s ability to transform its ‘miniature’ stage from a library to a pirate vessell!
No memorabilia or cast details have, as yet, been found for this first ‘dabbling with Shakespeare’ via Douglas Bryce-Pitt’s hilarious version of ‘Macbeth’ – The Scottish Play!
‘Spot The Lady’ was ‘reproduced’ by the MDC in 1963 for entry in the Walthamstow Drama Festival and details of the Character and Cast list are shown later in this production chronology.
The Guardian Newspaper Report of the 1961 Mark House School Prize Giving Evening briefly mentions that ‘after the ceremonies, the school drama club presented J M Barrie’s ‘Quality Street.
Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Report highlights almost a ‘Clean Sweep’ of the Trophies by Drama Club Members at the 1962 ‘Youth Speak’s Contest
The date of this One Act play, along with a couple more named members of the cast, has now been confirmed as March 1962 and that it was the Drama Club’s entry in that year’s Walthamstow Drama Festival
‘Click Here’ to see Photographs and Cast List of the Drama Club’s first production of ‘The Pageant’ – plus the Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper encouraging headline titles of ‘Should Have Been on TV’ and ‘School puts on Lively Comedy Play’
‘Murder in Motley’ was a 3 Act Play with, according to the programme, ‘the action taking place in the Drawing Room of Aston House; the home of Sir William Ainslie. The first part of the programme shows an initial cast list with a note advising the audience that in order ‘to enhance your enjoyment of […]
‘Hip Hip Horatious’ by Richard Tydeman
‘Spot The Lady’ by Douglas Bryce-Pitt
‘Katy at School’
‘One Black Rose’
‘Four Plays for the price of one’ – as reads the first line of a very brief, but ‘historically’ helpful clip from the ‘What’s On’ column in the Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper – confirming the performancse of a further two, previously forgotten, plays – ‘KATY at SCHOOL’ and ‘THE ONE BLACK ROSE’
Unfortunately the following week’s edition did not carry a report on the performances – but read on for what is known about them!
See the relatively brief – but significantly telling Walthamstow Guardian Report – of our loss in this contest by a mere ‘half of one point’ – rather than a whole ‘one point’ as stated previously – which only makes it feel worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Click to see Cast & Stage Management List
The Author, Angela Ainley Jeans, describes ‘Listen to The Wind’ as a ‘Play for Children and Grown Ups’ – with the story beginning and ending in the the Parlour of a large country house in East Anglia – via a series of adventures through other parts of the house, a Gypsy Camp, an Island, The Palace of the Wind Kingdom, a Seashore and the Cavern of Black Thunder Cloud!
This very challenging and contemporary One Act play by Michael Walker, set in Berlin, was chosen by the Drama Club for its entry in the Walthamstow Drama Festival held at the McEntee Technical School in March 1964.
Both of the Guardian Newspaper Reports reproduced in the website give clear evidence of the scope and success of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass’ – and both are well worth reading if you want to be reminded of the strength of the relationships that were developed between the school, its staff (on and behind stage) present pupils and those former pupils who had progressed onto the Markhouse Drama Club.
One of the reports describes this production as a ‘tour de force’ wherein ‘hardly a trick was missed’ and never an ‘incident was omitted’ – ‘All of Lewis Carroll’s story was there!
Full Cast List & Guardian Newspaper Report added for this second rendition of Thackery’s ‘Fireside Pantomime for Great & Small Children’
‘Life is Like That’ has a significant role within the MDC production chronology, in that it is the only play that was written by a member of the Markhouse School staff – despite so many of them being involved in so many other ways (including a fair amount on stage) over the 20 odd […]
Click to see the newly added Picture Gallery of ‘1066 & All That’ and read the Guardian Newspaper Report of what they described as ‘ A RUMBUSTIOUS PIECE OF STAGE ENTERTAINMENT’
Click to see the Guardian Newspaper Report of this classic A A Milne story – plus the full character list and those MDC members known to be in the cast!
Click to see Photographs and the newly added ‘LAST SHOW – FIRST PANTO’ pre show article by the Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper – plus their full report and cast photograph of the actual performance!
The recently ‘unearthed’ Poster for this production sheds a good deal of light on perhaps the most important period in the Drama Club’s history. It announces that ‘Babes in the Wood’ – on the 15th, 16th & 17th December 1965 – was ‘Scheduled as our first Christmas Pantomime – NOW – our last dramatic presentation’. ‘The closing of the School means the end of a Drama Group which has flourished for several years – PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FINAL EFFORT!
But – as we well know these words proved to be somewhat premature – as ‘behind the scenes’ plans were afoot and ‘Babes’ was soon to be followed by another production – of ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ in April 1966 – and many more over the next 11 years!
Ian Hay and P.G.Wodehouse’s brilliant comedy, ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’, occupies a significant place in the Drama Club’s history in that it was the last play to be performed whilst Markhouse existed as a school – albeit by only a couple of weeks before it ‘closed’ at the end of the 1966 Summer Term.
‘Baa Baa’ also marked the start of a new era where, almost as soon as the final curtain fell, the whole of the upper part of the premises began to be developed into a Youth Theatre – with a rebuilt stage, designated costume and scenery bays/rooms, a coffee bar, box office, a rehearsal room and, not too long after, even a sound studio – all planned and undertaken by the members! More significant was the fact that the new Youth Theatre became accessible throughout the week and so led to an expansion of both the number and range of plays and films – and all the activities that backed these up.
‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ was exactly the right play to be staged at this time – its success gave everyone the added enthusiasm that was needed for the opportunities that laid ahead.
The recently found Walthamstow Guardian Report of ‘Baa Baa’ – and of the Drama Club’s future plans – has now been added to this part of the website.
In the period following the re-organisation of Secondary Education in the Borough, and the consequent closure of Markhouse School, there was clearly a good deal of ‘behind the scenes’ discussion taking place about the future use of the premises – with, it would seem, Stan Raynor, the Warden of the nearby Marsh Street Youth Centre, doing his very best to ensure that it would continue to serve the young people of the area – and doing so with obvious success!
This is the only photograph, taken during rehearsals, that is presently available from this pantomime – but it is fortunately not the only piece of memorabilia that has now come to light – as a copy of the inner two pages of the programme has been found – so browse on to see the Cast and Backstage Lists, a few words by Cyril and some brief comment about the ‘MDC Association’ and its ‘formal’ title at that time!
And – more recently – the Guardian Newspaper Report has been found and has now been added!
Click to see the Character List of this play set in a Health Resort
New. In addition to the newly added copy of the Walthamstow Guardian Report making encouraging comments about both the play and the ‘startling results’ of the Drama Club’s revamped stage etc, it also confirms the previously ‘guessed’ production date – now known to be in May 1967!
‘From School to theatre’. Click to see the newly added Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Report of this ‘light hearted crime thriller’ by Jack Last – along with some further comments about the Drama Club’s transformation of the school into a ‘bright, cheerful and cosy Little Theatre’
Click to see the Guardian Report that has now been added to the Photo Gallery & Cast List of this original ‘self written’ swashbuckling adventure – beginning with Fairy Twinkletoes immortal lines:
“The Fairy of this pantomime I be, With Wings and Wand as you can see. From a Copter I have come, To see this story is unspun’ etc
Click to see Cast & Stage Management List and some programme notes of this second MDC production of ‘The Pageant’
According to the programme notes, John Dighton’s ‘The ‘Happiest Day’s of our Lives’, which had been first performed at the Apollo Theatre in London in 1948, ‘had been in our minds a good number of times when play selection had been discussed – but that it was only after the stage was re-built that it had become a feasible venture! Presumably this was because the larger performing area could then do justice to the ‘actions’ required in this ‘well known and loved Comedy Farce of its time – as well as giving the ‘behind the scenes’ crew plenty of scope to build the full size Set!
Cast List & Programme Notes added!
This one off ‘Evening’s Entertainment’ featured ‘The Telephone Call’ – a One Act Play’ and ‘Markovian Films’ screening of ‘Three’s A Crowd’ – a short film located in Battersea Park which was devised, filmed and edited by club members. The sound track was added by Dick Dunn some year’s later for showing at the 2007 Re-Union!
‘AND NEVER MORE WAS THE AWARD SO TRULY DESERVED’
Read the Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Report and their above view of the Drama Club winning a NODA award – plus the development of Markhouse into a ‘Little Theatre’
Full Cast & Backstage List now added!
As part of the NODA (National Operatic & Dramatic Association) National Annual Awards Programme the MDC received the Constance Power Trophy for 1968, for the youth drama group ‘most worthy of encouragement’ The featured image is the NODA Badge
Cathode Elysium Lights was set up and run by Terry Hooker, John Oatham, Dave Pauldine and Sid Worth – who between them brought a new dimension to the activities undertaken at – and in this case ‘beyond’ the Markhouse Drama Club – as is detailed in the Homepage CEL link
Cast & Backstage List added!
PHOTO GALLERY & CAST LIST added for the 1969 Annual Pantomime of ‘Little Miss Muffet’ – and her accompanying entourage of Nursery Rhyme characters!
The script notes for ‘Pearly Pearls’ describes this play as a ‘Farce in Two Acts’ set in the ‘comfortable and well furnished’ home of Sir George Newton and his wife Lady Violet – supported by their intrepid Butler – Bennett – the butt of his masters hearty humour! Lady Violet and her friend, Mrs Pilchard, […]
The script of ‘Saloon Bar’ shows that this ‘Play in 3 Acts’ was first produced at Wyndham’s Theatre, London. The play is set in the Saloon bar of ‘the Cap & Bells’ Public House in the triangle bounded by Shaftesbury Avenue, Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street.
Although the exact date of this production is unknown the MDC cast list is now included on the website!
In addition to the photographic gallery included on this page of the website, the memorabilia for this production of ‘Dick Whittington’ includes a well worn copy of the programme – complete with Gordon’s interesting and amusing article about ‘Pantomime Dames’ – the MDC versions!!!!
Photo Gallery & Cast List now added for this MDC production of Charles Dyer’s ‘Wanted – One Body’ – a ‘who dunnit-thriller’ set in the Lounge of the late Mr Barraclough’s stately home – ‘Greenacres’
Walthamstow Guardian Report on the MDC’s ‘ANNUAL BIT OF NONSENSE AND FUN’ now added for this 1971 Pantomime of ‘Red Riding Hood’ – along with the NODA Report showing their thoughts on this ‘ANNUAL PANTOMIME ROMP’ – being a ‘perfect example of ‘industry and teamwork’
Click to see the recently added Walthamstow Guardian ‘postponement’ notice – and its announcement of Jill’s return as Mrs Oliver and Daphne’s forthcoming ‘debut’!
‘Four Queens Wait for Henry’ by L du Garde Peach
‘Her Husband’s Harem’ by Sam Bates
‘Speeches & Cream’ by Richard Tydeman
Cast Lists and photographs added for these three One Act Plays performed by the Drama Club’s ‘Intermediate Group’
The recently unearthed copy of the Walthamstow Guardian’s report of the Drama Club’s reprise of this all time favourite pantomime – ‘Babes in the Woods’ – appears in this part of the website under the aptly named title of ‘A JOLLY ROMP’ – so if you were in the production – read on!
Click to see the Cast List and a copy of the original Walthamstow Guardian Newspaper Report of the Drama Club’s performance of Arnold Ridley’ s (Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army) well known and often performed play.
PHOTO GALLERY (& A Libretto) NOW ADDED – for the Drama Club’s Annual Pantomime – Verne Morgan’s ‘QUEEN of HEARTS’ – which started in December 1973 and ended in January 1974 – with a brief break for Xmas!!!!!
‘Ask a Silly Question’ by Richard Tydeman
‘The Cinderella Story’ by Kenneth Lillington
‘Man in A Bowler Hat’ by A A Milne
‘Black Comedy’ by Peter Shaffer
See the NODA Report on the above plays – with lots of members being mentioned for their performance – so, if you were in the cast – read on!
Photo Gallery & Cast List added!
See the full copy of The NODA Report and cast list for the Drama Club’s performance of this comedy by John Chandler
1975 December : ‘The Four Muskateers’ by Peter Lee & John Payne in collaboration with Anne Albiston, Jill Haydon & Margaret Lee ›
This ‘member written’ panto was apparently chosen ‘because no one had ever produced it before as a panto’ – also because, according to the programme, the authors were bored, boozy and barmy and looking to save the licence fee and script costs – e.g. all the essential ingredients for a MDC Panto!
The full cast list and notes from the recently ‘re-discovered’ programme of this epic tale have now been added – plus a question mark about whether what looks like a plagiarised song from ‘Round The Horn’ was used in the panto???
Click to see the Script & Cast List of this recently ‘re-discovered’ One Act Play
Anthony Booth’s drama ‘The Living Hell’ is set in a steamy jungle hut in the Far East during the 2nd World War – where the imminent advent of the Japanese Army is of concern The play has an all female cast.
T.C. Thomas’s ‘situation comedy’ – They Simply Fade Away’, is set in the interior of the Signal Box at Penrhlw, a lonely railway station on the Beacons – where, according to the script notes, the characters are ‘all too matter-of-fact to be over sentimental about the loss of their railway’.
Character List, Script Notes and just 1 cast name added – so far!!!!
Not quite on the scale of ‘Grand Theft Auto’ – but this film tells the the tale of a desperate teenage gang of car thieves taking advantage of local car owners parking in the roads around Hoe Street , Walthamstow – all made much worse by their audacity to even set up their ‘Used Car […]
See ‘Hold Up’ through the Home Page link to ‘Markovian Films’
The script of Richard Tydeman’s ‘Red Hot Cinders’, describes the play as a ‘potted version of the Cinderella pantomime’ – just the thing for your Christmas Party, Summer Fete, Club Night, Night Club, Curtain – raiser, hall – emptier, Drama School, Revue Item, Prologue, Epilogue and a hundred and one other occasions – in fact, the very thing you have been looking for, to put on with the very minimum of preparation.
Cast List & Script Notes now added!
Click to see the list of character of this play – which is still awaiting details of 14 other members of the cast!
Character List added
NEW – Click to see a newly added collection of photographs from the last of the Drama Club’s Annual Panto’s – Alas!!!!
The Drama Club closed on the retirement of Cyril Malyon from his teaching and youth work career in 1977. However, it was not, as this photograph shows, without this being marked by past and present members expressing their appreciation for what he achieved over the Drama Club’s 20 plus years! A full photo gallery of […]
This new and additional Gallery contains a range of photographs and newspaper clips that are either about Drama Club members, are unrelated to any single production or are from plays that have not yet been identified.