Distinctive amateur drama
in Northampton since 1932
Registered Charity No. 294848
by Alan Ayckbourn
Cast & Crew
Harvey Owen Warr
Bernard Rob Kendall
Berlinda Jan Stoppani
Pattie Vicky Kelly
Neville Max Troy
Eddie Tony Janney
Rachel Janice Shortland
Phyllis Mary Greaves
Clive Vince Perry
Director David Ashton
Stage Managers Elaine Ashton, Clare Brittain
Assistant Stage Manager Lynette Ashton
Set Construction Derek Banyard
Sound & Lighting Richard Walker, Robert Vaughan
Script Continuity Grace Ciappara, Jane Lanchbury
Front of House Greta Hendy, Mary Greaves
Publicity Grace Ciappara, Rob Kendall
Programme & Poster Design George Hammerschmidt
Jan Stoppani ad Berlinda and Rob Kendall as Bernard
Production No. 308
David Ashton, director
As someone who has spent most of his spare time over the last 35 years either watching or being involved in plays, it would have been impossible to avoid an involvement with Alan Ayckbourn. My first exposure was in 1981 with a production of The Norman Conquests and from that point on I was hooked.
Four years later I played Bernard in a local production of Season's Greetings along with Masque members Jan Stoppani as Belinda and Roger Sawford as Neville.
Last year I managed to persuade Jan to return to the role of Belinda in a rehearsed reading for the Masque Christmas entertainment and, as a result of the favourable response from our audience, we decided to revive the play in time for this Christmas.
Season's Greetings was first presented, in the round, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in 1980. This play, while lacking the experimental ideas of time and space found in some of the later plays, remains, in my opinion, Ayckbourn at his best. Season's Greetings is a play about love and, as Rachel puts it, how unfair it all is. There are also themes of success, failure, jealousy, self-deception, lust and gluttony: in fact, just your average family Christmas! And, looming over the proceedings in true pantomime spirit, are the shadows of two eccentric uncles, a good angel and a bad one.
15 - 18 December 1999
Northampton College Studio Theatre, Booth Lane, Northampton
Page last updated: 10/02/2013 Masque Theatre © 2013
TINSEL AND TEARS
Northampton Chronicle & Echo, 6 December, 1999
Tinsel and tears are guaranteed in a seasonal comedy presented by Masque Theatre next week.
Alan Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings shows that Christmas doesn’t always mean good will to all men.
The play is set in the home of Belinda and Neville, who decide to invite family and friends for a weekend of festive cheer.
But the couple, played by Jan Stoppani and Max Troy, get more than they bargained for when their guests arrive.
One visitor, aspiring author Clive, is more interested in his hostess than his writing and Uncle Harvey, played by Masque stalwart Owen Warr, causes friction by insisting on giving all the children guns as presents.
He also frustrates the efforts of Bernard, played by Rob Kendall, who desperately wants to put on his own puppet show.
Mr Kendall said: “Squabbles break out with hilarious results right from act one when Neville’s middle-aged sister Phyllis tries to cook Christmas Eve dinner during a major nose bleed.”
Janice Shortland, Vicky Kelly and Tony Janney make up the cast, and the play is directed by David Ashton.