Daddy Long-Legs Programme - pages 4 and 1

Daddy Long-Legs Programme - pages 2 and 3


Scene from Daddy Long-Legs

Press Cuttings



The members of the Temple Dramatic Society gave performances of the four-act comedy, “Daddy Long-Legs,” on Thursday and Saturday evenings last week, and Mr. George Waller, of Swanley, is to be complimented on his successful production.

The leading roles were played by very talented players, and the whole cast was efficient and well balanced. Miss Beckie Collier as Judy Abbott, the waif who, after spending eighteen years in the darkness of an orphanage, goes on to college, was an outstanding attraction. There was gracefulness and sympathy in all that she did, and her elocution was perfect. Mr. Harold Hibbs, as Jervis Pendleton, the generous trustee, who became Judy's lover, played a difficult part with success, and he was ably supported by Miss Elsie Hook, as Miss Pritchard (a joint trustee).

All the children in the John Grier Home romped as youngsters usually do and added to the diversity of the play. Miss Dorothy Wood was a sedate matron and the trustees, under whom she worked, played their parts with a keen sense of characterisation. The other minor players in the cast did everything that attractive and interesting amateurs could to make the play run smoothly.

Since 1922 the society have produced twelve plays, but the efforts of 1935 beat all records for various reasons. Prominent among these were the dovetailing of the cast and the selection of a leading lady with a perfect English voice.

Musical selections were played by Miss Drury, Miss Boast and Miss Clements. Misses C. Betts, D Croft and E. Fryer were programme sellers and a willing band of stewards (Messrs. W. Collier, C. Grimes, M. Jell, R. Murrells and Eric Webb) helped with the seating arrangements.

The proceeds of the two nights’ performances will be given to the funds of the Temple Congregational Church, St. Mary Cray.

APRIL 18, 1935.

{Bromley &} Orpington News



“Daddy Long Legs,” Jean Webster’s famous comedy of novel, stage and screen, was presented by the Temple Dramatic Society to appreciative audiences in St. Mary Cray Village Hall on Thursday and Saturday.

The story is of the pleasant, rosy kind that is unrivalled ofr giving a rest to an audience’s mind and a little exercise to their pleasanter emotions. An orphan girl is educated by an unknown benefactor. She also falls in love with a rich and eligible bachelor, but refuses to marry him because he is ignorant of her humble origin. The Gordian knot is cut when she discovers lover and benefactor to be one nad the same. The telling of the story is both human and humorous, with plenty of amusing if conventionalised characters.

The production was pleasant, but somewhat short of perfection. This was due to the fact that many of the cast were newcomers. Individually, several of them have not yet passed the stage where the mere mechanics of acting, remembering lines and business, cease to give trouble. Very often as one or the other spoke a passage one could catch a hint of lines repeated endlessly while the unfortunate player paced up and down with a wet towel round his or her head. Acting really begins when knowledge of the actual words is transformed into an interpretation of their emotional content. Too maby of the cast left off where they should have begun; but some of the acting was very good and many of the beginners showed promise which will probably be realised when they are sufficiently at ease to give imagination free play. The present lack of ease inevitably had its effect on the production as a whole, creating those little time gaps in dialogue and movement that mar an illusion of reality.

But, these criticisms apart, the actors performed enjoyably and with an enthusiasm that makes it reasonably certain they will persevere to better things.

Acting Honours.

The chief role and best characterisation were given by Beckie Collier as “Judy Abbott.” Her technique is an excellent example of how to extract every ounce of possible effect from the author’s lines. She worked hard and intelligently to build up a satisfyingly realistic conception of the character. Her talent for comedy is especially well developed. Ad present her dramatic touch is not equally effective, coming perilously near melodrama at times, but with experience it should add to her laurels.

Of the other members of the cast it is hard to find one more worthy of mention than the others, but Will Algar showed a good stage manner as “Jimmie McBride” that should ensure him many juvenile leads; Elsie Hook and Irene Duck, in the parts of “Miss Pritchard” and “Mrs. Pendleton” respectively, both acted with confidence and ability; Dorothy Wood gave a clever character study as “Mrs. Lippett,” the orphanage matron; and Leslie Duck and Frederick Murrells acted small parts with excellent conviction as “Griggs,” the secretary, and ”Walters,” the butler. Harold Hibbs, in the leading male role of “Jervis Pendleton,” gave indications of understanding the part, but lacked the flexibility of voice and gesture that are necessary if an audience is to be enlightened.

Others taking part were Gwyneth Phelps, Betty Reeves, Beryl Phlps and Ray Waller as “orphans in the John Grier Home”; Betty Amato as “Mamie”; Frederick Murrells as “Cyrus Wykoff”; Edwin inson as “John Codman” Leslie Duck as “Abner Parsons”; Enid Hislop as “Julia Pendleton”; Beatrice Smith as “Sallie McBride”; Margery Ingatfill as “Mrs. Semple” and a maid; Ida Powell as “Carrie.”

George Waller was the producer; Messrs. N. and W. Sampson were stage managers. Mr. C. Fife arranged incidental music.

Misses C. Betts, D. Croft and E. Fryer, Messers W. Collier, C. Grimes, M. Jell, R. Murrells, E. {...}nson and E. Webb were programme sellers and stewards.


“Daddy Long-Legs”

This four act comedy by Jean Webster was produced by the Temple Dramatic Society on April 11th and 13th. It was their 13th play, but hardly their best; for since 1922 they have put over some rattling good shows. Moreover several members of the cast were new to the stage. None-the-less, “Daddy Long-legs” was creditably performed and provided real entertainment.

Space is too limited to mention all the large cast of 21 characters. Five were children, orphan at the John Grier Home, and they acted with sweet naturalness. Ray Waller, the one boy in the cast, has started young—and well. Dorothy Wood made a perfectly domineering Mrs. Lippet. Elsie Hook acted the part of the sympathetic trustee with genuine feeling. Frederick Murrells made the most of his double role, being a perfect pig of a trustee and a nervous old butler equally well. Harold Hibbs as Jervis Pendleton had a large part, he was perhaps a little too stiff for a lover and not quite stiff enough for a trustee, but he had complete mastery of his lines.

Beckie Collier deserves a paragraph to herself. As Judy Abbott, the orphan who at last married the trustee, she gave a really first-class performance, and by her vivacity carried the play along.

“Daddy Long-legs” was easy to listen to, it was a pleasure to hear every word given its proper weight and sound. For this no doubt Mr. George Waller, the producer, deserves praise.

On Saturday night presentations were made to the stage managers, Messrs. N. and W. Sampson; also to the instrumentalists, Miss Clements, Miss Drury and Miss Boast, who came to the rescue at short notice.

The proceeds were for Temple Church funds.