Open-air Summer Show


by William Shakespeare

A scene from The Merchant of Venice

Thu 17 - Sat 26 June 1948 at 7.30pm
Performed in the open air in the courtyard of Abington Park Museum, Northampton


Duke of Venice Horace Smith
Prince of Morocco Ernest Goulding
Prince of Arragon
Michael Green
Antonio Victor Wilkins
Bassanio Henry Gascoyne
Solanio William Ford
Salarino Geoffrey Brightman
Gratiano Alfred Judkins
Lorenzo Eric Roberts
Shylock John Parkin
Tubal Reginald Elliott
Launcelot Gobbo Jack Allcock
Old Gobbo Horace Smith
Salerio Leslie Hutchinson
Leonardo Ronald Harte
Balthazar Keith Green
Stephano David Dilley
Portia Phyllis Perkins
Nerissa Margot Hutchinson
Jessica Pamela Owen
Ladies in Waiting Yvonne Blundell, Pamela Pusey
Pages Robert Johns, Christopher Haggett
Sailors Keith Green, David Dilley
Magnificoes Ernest Goulding, Michael Green

Producer Peter M Bell
Assistant Producer Joan M Fisher
Stage Manager John Bennett
Chief Assistant Stage Manager Olive Blackett
Assistant Stage Managers Barbara Bowstead, James Cumberpatch, Joyce Hare, Robert J Inglis
Wardrobe Florence C Brawn, Eve Kew, Evelyn M Swallow, Robert J Warner
Business Manager A Dyas Perkins
Assistant Business Manager Phyllis Gascoyne
Scenery and Properties John Bennett
Costume Design Robert J Warner


My memories of the show: 'An energetic infusion of recently demobbed young talent'

Alison Dunmore | October 2007

The lead actors were well spoken in the style of the 1930s. In the case of Shylock (John Parkin), it was clear that he had been a professional actor of that breed who had manfully brought Shakespeare to the provinces in the teens and twenties of the last Century.

There was an energetic infusion of recently demobbed young talent, notably Geoffrey Brightman who soon turned professional and two young journalists from the local paper: Jack Alcock and Mike Green. Mike was to draw on his experience at that time when writing his Art of Coarse Acting. Also from the literary world was writer and broadcaster Eric Roberts who is still writing for the Northampton Chronicle & Echo.

The highly-decorative Elizabethan-style costumes were made in felt (that and lace were the only two fabrics unrationed at that time) and the exotic Venetian set was very much in the style of designer Tom Osborne Robinson who taught at the local art college as well as painting a set a week at Northampton Rep.

A scene from The Merchant Of Venice