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Alphabetical Order
by Michael Frayn

Phil Eastwood and Martin Borley.  Photo by Northants Herald & Post

4 - 7 October 1989
Northampton College Arts Centre, Booth Lane, Northampton

Page last updated: 27/07/2012 Masque Theatre © 2012

Cast & Crew

Leslie Phil Eastwood
Geoffrey
Owen Warr
Arnold
John Hendy
John Martin Borley
Lucy
Denise Swann
Nora
Rhina Jones
Wally
Tony Saunders

Director Alison Dunmore
Decor
Gloria Pollock
Costume
Jane Roebuck
Music
Tony Gosling
Continuity
Jean Jongman
Stage Management Team
Gloria Pollock, Jean Jongman, Ursula Walker
Set Construction Geoff West
Box Office Manager
Greta Hendy
Front of House
Foff Walker
Publicity
Grace Ciappara

Production No. 253

More images from Alphabetical Order

A scene from Alphabetical Order

MASQUE MAKE THE NEWS
Northampton Chronicle & Echo, 26 September 1987


As the Autumn nights begin to draw in, so the local drama scene begins to stir from its summer slumbers.

The Masque Theatre presents its production of Michael Frayn's Alphabetical Order at the Arts Centre, St Gregory's Road, Northampton from October 4 to 7, with productions starting at 7.45pm.

This comedy should appeal to all my work colleagues as it is set in the library of a provincial newspaper and tells the tale of a newspaper librarian and a reporter, played by real-life BBC Radio Northampton reporter Martin Borley.

What he will make of life this side of the typewriter only he can say!

FAME FOR CHRON'S LIBRARY
Northampton Chronicle & Echo, 4 October 1989


Producers of a Northampton play about a newspaper have based their set on the Chronicle & Echo library.

Members of the Masque Theatre are putting on Michael Frayn's comedy Alphabetical Order, set in the cuttings library of a provincial paper. So producer Alison Dunmore visited the Chronicle & Echo to pick up some tips.

"The first thing I asked was how to set about the business of cutting, which seems utterly simple," said Mrs Dunmore, of Park Avenue North.

"Our cutters were just digging into the middle of the page but I found you first had to cut down the spine, then from the bottom up, on the left hand side of the page."

Other hints came on filing systems and routines. "We even went into little details like coffee cups," said Mrs Dunmore.

The amateur show director was impressed by the Chronicle & Echo system but the play would be very different, she promised.

"It is set in a newspaper library with a highly disorganised head librarian, to whom everybody comes to tell their troubles," Mrs Dunmore said.

"She is a lovely lady but can't run a library and is going crazy. Then a new, efficient librarian comes along.

"It's a play about confusion and order banging up against each other."

Alphabetical Order is at the St Gregory's Road arts centre, Northampton, until Saturday, starting at 7.45pm.

 

MASQUE TROUPE COMES UNDER ORDERS
Northants Herald & Post, 4 October 1989


It's a case of hold the front page at Northampton Arts Centre this week - and a real life gentleman of the press is taking a leading role.

Martin Borley, making his debut with the company, is a reporter with BBC Radio Northampton - but has never worked on a local newspaper.

And he'll probably never work on one quite like the provincial journal which forms the setting for Michael Frayn's comedy Alphabetical Order.

The author is well known for cutting to the quick of human absurdities, of both the comic and tragic varieties, in plays such as Noises Off and Benefactors.

And this early effort is no exception, being drawn from his own experiences working in the library of a local newspaper.

Denise Swann (last seen as Hermoine in The Winter's Tale) plays the disorganised librarian Lucy while Martin takes on the role of John the chief reporter.

Other Masque regulars in the cast include Owen Warr, Rhina Jones and John Hendy. The director is Alison Dunmore.

The performance opens tonight (Wed) at Northampton College, Booth Lane South at 7.30pm and runs until Saturday.

Tickets start at £2.

 

READ ALL ABOUT IT! MASQUE HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
Northants Herald & Post, 11 October 1989


Masque Theatre showed last week why they are one of the best am dram company's in Northampton with their production of the tricky Michael Frayn comedy Alphabetical Order at the Arts Centre.

The setting for the drama is a disorganised library of a provincial newspaper.

Central character Leslie (Phil Eastwood) plays a young librarian who enters the chaotic world of a newspaper determined to impose her own idea of order upon it.

Her mentor is supposed to be senior librarian Lucy (Denise Swann) - but the tables are turned as the drama unfolds and Leslie becomes confident enough to rearrange the filing system.

The rub is that although Lucy's filing system is madness, there is method in it and the rest of the office is perversely happy with it - they distrust the order Leslie brings.

John, played with suitable vigour by Martin Borley, is the archetypal political journalist incessantly searching for the elusive quote that will complete his story and stitch up the politician.

The plot thickens and we learn that unhappily married Arnold (John Hendy), elder journalist and typical booze-sodden hack, is trying to escape from the claw-like grip of the Features Editor, Nora - played by Rhina Jones and looking suspiciously like Marjorie Proops.

           
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