“A Living Crossword” was the title of an entertainment given by St. Mary Cray and St. Paul’s Cray Women’s Institute at St. Mary Cray Village Hall, on Saturday. Performances were given afternoon and evening.

Each of a series of one-act plays had a sub-title which was a “clue” to the solution of a crossword puzzle hanging in the hall. The audience were asked to provide the answers.

“A Domestic Entanglement” was presented by the following: M. Braithwaite, “Mrs. Groner”; P. Roffery and R. Ashby, “Lily” and “Clara”; M. Banks, “Dr. Sharp”; E. Wellstead, “Mrs. Harris”; A. Walters, “Hepsibah.” Clue: “A lively kind of play.” Answer: “Farce.”

The players in “The Crystal Gazer” were: M. Eden, “Madame La Sorciere”; K. Wright, “Miss Bessie Blank” B. Hart, “Yvonne.” Clue: “What the crystal-gazer professes to do.” Answer: “See.”

The cast of “Drama on the Village Green,” an old-fashioned melodrama, was as follows: B. Collier, “Dare-Devil Dick” E. Collier, “Lottie Lettice.” Clue: “What the villain dabbles in.” Answer: “Crime.”

A mime, ”The Blackmailer,” was performed by: E. Ashby, “Bernstein”; M. Morum, “Ducane”; A. Jarrett, “Housekeeper.” Clue: “What the murderer tries to prove.” Answer: “Alibi.”

“The Burglar” was played by: R. Ashby, “Mabel”; D. Miskin, “Peggy”; P. Roffey, “Valerie.” Clues: “An agile burglar.” Answer: “Cat.”


Those taking part in scenes from Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” were: B. Collier, “Oberon”; D. Fitzgerald, “Titania”; E. Collier, “Bottom, the Weaver”; I. Churchman, “Puck”; B. Fitzgerald, “First Fairy”; Ronald Darby, “Little Changeling Boy”; M. Gordon, J. and S. Stokes, B. Little, P. Bell, J. Stroutts, M. Ashby and Geoffrey FitzGerald, “Fairies.” A solo was given by D. Miskin and other singing by the Institute choir. Clue: “This word describes ‘Bottom, the Weaver’.” Answer: “Asinine.”

“Another Summer’s Night” was presented by: R. Ashby, M. Banks, J. Barnes, B. Collier, D. Miskin and P. Roffery, with a solo by G. Ashby. Clue: “Frequenter of highway and by-ways.” Answer: “Hiker.”

Mrs. Monty Herring carried out the producing with the skill for which she is noted. Mrs. Bernard was at the piano. Miss Tennent ably fulfilled the duties of compere with the assistance of Mrs. Ware. Mr. and Mrs. Twyman were responsible for make-up and conducting the choir. Mr. Harris was in charge of lighting and furniture was lent for the performances by Capt. Stanger. Very clever scenery and properties were designed and executed by Mr. G. Rackstraw. Especially notabkle work of the last-named were a grandfather clock in “The Blackmailer,” and a bee in the Shakespearean episode.

Mrs. Jones, president, thanked all those helping in the production.

The producer was presented with a cut-glass vase by the cast and a bouquet by the “fairies.”

{...} [TIM]ES, FRIDAY, FEBRUA[RY] {...}




Members of the St. Mary Cray and St. Paul’s Cray branch of the Women’s Institute introduced a diverting novelty at their annual dramatic performance held at the Cray Village hall on Saturday evening. In a programme of seven plays there were crossword clues from which the audience had to find answers.

Mrs. Monty Herring, who has organised successful dramatic events at Orpington Church Hall during the past three or four years, was the producer.

The plays were well arranged and successfully presented. Miss Tennant acted as commère.


Mrs. Groner was being cared for by her doctor, but her daughters decided to have the advice of another medical practitioner, and invited Dr. Sharp. She was shewn into the drawing-room, where Mrs. Harris, the prospective cook, was a waiting an interview. The doctor confused Mrs. Harris with Mrs. Groner and began prescribing for her.

The clue was “A lively kind of play.” The answer of the audience was “Farce.”


Miss Bessie Blank was seeking the address of a lost lover, and Madame La Sorciere confused her with another lcient who was trying to find a lost cocker spaniel. The dialogue was perfect and amusing.

“What the crystal gazer professes to do” was the clue, and the answer given by the audience was “See.”


Dare-devil Dick returned to his native village, and on the village green was shot by the girl “of his heart.” Lottie Lettice then poisoned herself and fell across her lover’s body. The players were mother and daughter.

The clue was “What the villain dabbles in,” and the audience answered “Crime.”


This was a mime in two acts. Bernstein expected Ducane to visit him for the purpose of buying back incriminating letters, but at the last moment the appointment was cancelled. An hour afterwards Ducane entered the blackmailer’s house by stealth. There was some good acting.

The clue was “What the murderer tries to prove.” “Alibi” was the answer given.


All the ladies were in a country house drawing-room discussing the accomplishments and activities of an agile burglar. The discussion created hysteria, but bravery was displayed by Gert, a tennis girl, who advised everybody to retire to bed and fear nothing, not even a burglar.

The clue was “An agile burglar.” The answer of the audience was “Cat.”


Fairies.—Misses M. Gordon, J. and S. Stokes, B. Little, P. Bell, J. Stroutts, M. Ashby and Geoffrey Fitzgerald.

A change from heavy drama and farces was welcomed by the presentation of scenes from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in a beautiful setting. The dancing of the fairies was one of the attractions. Mrs. FitzGerald, Mrs. Collier and Miss E. Collier, with the help of Miss I. Churchman and Miss B. FitzGerald, did well. Applause was also given the members of the Women’s Institute choir and D. Miskin for their singing. Bottom the Weaver, who assumed an ass-like appearance and temporarily captivated the heart of Titania, gave the clue, i.e., “This word describes Bottom the Weaver.” to the crossword. The answer was “Asinine.”


R. Ashby, M. Banks, J. Barnes, B. Collier, D. Miskin, P. Roffey and G. Ashby.

In this, the final playlet, seven “modern girls” are out on a country ramble, singing. The camp-fire singing of “It's a sin to tell a lie” and “Love’s Old Sweet Song” gained for G. Ashby hearty rounds of applause.

Miss Tennant said that the seven performers gave the clue “Frequenters of the highways and byways.” The answer was “Hiker.”

Mrs. Barnard prsided at the piano during the evening. Mr. Ward, Mr. P. Collier and Mr. A. R. Banks assisted as stewards and helped with the scenery.


Mrs. Monty Herring received presents of bouquets and a large vase.

Mrs. Jones, the president, thanked Mrs. Monty Herring for the splendid show she had produced. She also thanked all the members of the Women’s Institute who had contributed to the success of the playlets, and the children—and the grandchildren, too—of the members who had so gracefully played their parts in the dancing and other scenes.