Ely High School 1905-1972: The Rivals, 17 & 18 July 1959

Wendy Sealy - Valerie Smith? (behind) - Helen Smith - Janet Robinson - Valerie Teale - Elizabeth Heffer - Jennifer Drake - Valerie Brown - Hazel Smith (behind) - Anne Rees - Judith Chapman
Original photo by Brian Lane: source Helen Smith


Richard Brindsley Sheridan

Characters in order of their order of appearance:

Miss Lydia Languish
Miss Julia Melville
Mrs Malaprop
Sir Anthony Absolute
Captain Absolute
Mr Faulkland
Bob Acres
Sir Lucius O'Trigger
Jane Buck
Christine Day
Anne Rees
Hazel Smith
Janet Robinson
Jennifer Drake
Elizabeth Heffer
Judith Chapman
Helen Smith
Valerie Teale
Valerie Brown
Valerie Smith

Elizabeth Hudson, Wendy Sealy, Patricia Sharpe

The action of the play takes place on a summer's day in Bath.


There will be a short interval between Acts I and II, and an interval for coffee between Acts II and III.

Produced by:
Stage Manager:

Costumes and Wigs
Miss PR Brook
Miss MR Reynolds
Miss S Cork
Constructed by Miss Reynolds and Miss Cork. Painted by members of
the VIth Form
Diana Clarke
by L&H Nathan, London.
loaned by Messrs Chapman and Wade

The Producer and cast wish to thank the many people who have assisted in
various ways with this production, especially Miss Johnson and Miss Bridge.

A silver collection will be taken.

from the May 1960 Ely High School Magazine

from the EHS magazine, original: Brian Lane
L-R: Helen Smith, Valerie Smith?, Elizabeth Heffer, Judith Chapman, Anne Rees, Valerie Brown, Jane Buck?, Jennifer Drake, Valerie Teale, Hazel Smith, Christine Day, Janet Robinson
(Helen is unsure of two playing the other servants - other Smiths not related)

"The Rivals "
RB Sheridan

During the past years, many discoveries about the benefits of well-planned sets and good lighting have ensured that our dramatic ability and our ambition have increased and improved. Our recent performance of "The Rivals" is widely considered to be the best we have yet given, chiefly because of the excellent casting of the main roles, the magnificent costumes and a very ambitious set design, on which Wendy Young is to be congratulated, together with Miss Reynolds and Miss Cork.

Convincing performances by two charming young ladies and two handsome escorts, together with sufficiently pert Lucy and a very irritable Sir Anthony served only as a back-cloth to the riotous performances of Mrs Malaprop and Acres. As the former, Jennifer Drake managed at every performance to convulse, not only the audience but also those of us who knew the play almost by heart. Her character changed every evening as soon as she put on her wig.

Valerie Teale, with her ill-fitting wig and uncontrollable legs was earnest enough to amuse the audience thoroughly, and Valerie Brown as Sir Lucius O'Trigger, played up with an ability and skill at first unsuspected.

Last but not least, the identical poker-faced footmen must be praised for their admirable solemnity.

The cast and all others concerned offer hearty congratulations to Miss Brook for a splendid production.



from the Cambridgeshire Times, undated: source Helen Smith


Sheridan comedy

Large audiences were present at the performances of Richard Sheridan's famous comedy "The Rivals," which girls of the High School put on on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The play, which was produced by Miss PR Brook, left little to be desired, and the audience should long remember the events of that summer's day in Bath, and will perhaps often raise a smile when thinking of the gross misapplication of words by Mrs Malaprop.

The scenery, too, helped much to give one an impression of the period, and much credit is due to Miss Reynolds and Miss Cork, who constructed it, as well as to Wendy Young and the members of the VIth Form, who were responsible for painting it.

The performances, too, were made especially entertaining by the serving of coffee in the interval between Acts II and III.

Members of the cast were: Christine Day, Fag; Jane Buck, Thomas; Ann Rees, Miss Lydia Languish; Hazel Smith, Lucy; Janet Robinson, Miss Julia Melville; Jennifer Drake, Mrs Malaprop; Elizabeth Heffer, Sir Anthony Absolute; Judith Chapman, Captain Absolute; Helen Smith, Mr Faulkland; Valerie Teale, Bob Acres; Valerie Brown, Sir Lucius O'Trigger; Valerie Smith, David; Elizabeth Hudson, Wendy Sealy and Patricia Sharpe, footmen.

The stage manager was Miss MR Reynolds, and lighting was by Miss S Cork. Prompter was Diana Clarke. Costumes and wigs were supplied by L and H Nathan, London, and spectacles were loaned by Messrs Chapman and Wade.

L-R: Wendy Sealy, Valerie Smith?, Helen Smith, Jane Buck? (behind), Janet Robinson, Valerie Teale, Elizabeth Heffer, Jennifer Drake, Valerie Brown, Hazel Smith, Ann Rees, Christine Day (behind), Judith Chapman, Patricia Sharpe.
original photo by Brian Lane: photo source Wendy Sealy

The Rivals
1959: Producer Miss Pam Brook, set designed, constructed & painted by Miss Mary Reynolds (Byfield) & Miss Stella Cork:
L-R: Valerie Smith? - Judith Chapman - Helen Smith - Elizabeth Heffer - Jennifer Drake - Jane Buck? - Valerie Teale - Valerie Brown - Hazel Smith (almost hidden) - Janet Robinson - Ann Rees
image source: Stella Cork: IDs by Helen Smith

Programme & magazine source: Helen Smith: the spelling of Wendy Sealy's name was incorrectly given in the programme and Cambridgeshire Times article as Sealey
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