Young and not so young treading the boards in 1971


A group of schoolchildren showed their acting chops when they put on a performance of The Imperial Nightingale in 1971.

Under the guidance of producer Barbara Escott, the Horsham Young Players took to the stage in front of more than 100 people at the Friends Meeting House. No pressure!



In a nutshell, The Imperial Nightingale tells the tale of a tyrannical emperor who becomes good thanks to the beautiful and enchanting voice of a nightingale.

Among the performers were: Kim Richardson, as Flower, Richard Lewis (as Bamboo), Ann Lawrence (as Four Winds), Marion Angus and Louise Norrie (as the guards), Simon Hibbs (as the Emperor), Simon Greigs (as Black Circle), Anita Richardson and Juliet Clark (as the Court Ladies), Richard Lewis (as the Fisherman) and Andrew Sims (as the Warlord).

Michael Northwood and Judith Green played the wonderfully named Two Suspicious Characters, while Fiona Foster, as the White Princess, lived up to the saying ‘the show must 
go on’ when she stayed on stage despite cutting her hand.

Elsewhere, the slightly more experienced Cranleigh Players were staging a performance of Ring Round The Moon.

This picture was published in the County Times on May 14 1971 and shows Bridget Hampson as the wheelchair-bound Madame Desmortes (left) and the cast.

Joining her on stage were: Jonathon Graham-Brown (as Frederick and Hugo), Roger Ashworth (as Messerschmann), Nikki Warrell (as Isabelle) and Katrina Tee (as Lady India).

The reviewer was certainly impressed with the performance, giving Nikki an ‘oscar’ and declaring the Cranleigh Players had “emerged as more than just an amateur company”.

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