standing: Mrs Waller - 2 - Miss Mahoney - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - Miss Baines - Miss Balmforth - Miss Richards
seated: Miss Haslam - Miss Cullen - Miss Arkinstall - Miss Wise - Miss Boreham - Miss Diggle - Miss De Peyer - Mrs Quail
from the Ely High School magazine, July 1951
The Staff Play "1066 - And All That."
In March, 1951, the High School Staff combined with the Staff of the King's School to produce "1066 - And All That." A scene showing modern sightseers in a gallery of portraits of "The Great" provided the introduction. There followed a wild medley of history and legend, interspersed with lively songs and dances, and with humorous and quite misleading comments by the commere, Miss Tilly.
We saw Roman soldiers, even Julius Caesar, longing to escape from occupying Britain, and enjoyed their oft-repeated song:
"We're going home, we're going home,
We're on the road that leads to Rome."
We caught a glimpse of Alfred, with the inevitable, but this time dangerously explosive, cake, of Canute and his horn-pipe dancers, and the Conqueror, who seemed obsessed with his 'date.' A picturesque, if mischievous, scene of a Crusader's belated return home was followed by the sight of Henry VIII and his ever-memorable bevy of wives, and by Nell Gwynn, appearing incongruously with Oliver Cromwell.
Later the trial of Christopher Columbus and Guy Fawkes took place. A brief but tuneful appearance was made by Nelson, Napoleon and Wellington, and the show ended with a scene from life in British India, and with the glimpse of West End life in the "Naughty Nineties," a vigorous performance of the "Can-Can". This closing item aroused great enthusiasm and the three different audiences, schoolgirls, schoolboys and adults, all seemed quite reluctant to be sent home to the by-now familiar tune and the words:
" You're going home, you're going home,
You've seen the good kings and the bad."
One can only hope that the facts of history will right themselves in the minds of examination candidates before it is too late !
The producer was Miss Mahoney, who put in much hard work and gave up many evenings to patient coaching. Miss Haynes was responsible for the successful and ingenious costumes. Mr Wadey painted effective portraits and scenery and stage-managed and Miss Cullen gave valuable help with curtains and properties. Anyone who saw the play or acted in it will agree that in Mr Brown, the Headmaster, the stage has lost heavily to the teaching profession. Both he and many of the other characters appeared in several different roles and one of the audience's chief interests in the play lay in identifying the actors, and actresses.
The performers greatly enjoyed themselves and it was felt that real gratitude was due to Miss Tilly, without whose help and encouragement at the beginning, the project might never have been embarked upon.
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