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News > Heritage > Galsworthy's 'Escape'

Galsworthy's 'Escape'

Army House's bold production in Dec 1955
19 Apr 2021

Nigel Webb's memories have brought some great photographs into the College Archives recently. He was part of the Army House production of John Galsworthy's play 'Escape' from December 7 to 10 1955 and has sent us some wonderful photographs of the performance which are attached and indexed below.

The Bradfield Chronicle review describes the play about the escaped convict as " a bold choice for any producer to make, who has such a large cast to find and so many inexperienced actors". However the review also describes the outcome as "a triumph for Mr Raeburn who showed what could be achieved by teamwork in the absence of outstanding performers". The play focuses on the characters and the patience of human relationships. Peter Workman (C 53-57) as Matt Denant, the escaped convict, "gave a beautifully natural performance", Simon Down (C 54-57) played an "exquisite old gentleman" alongside Timothy Hornsby (C 54-58) and Martin Thompson (C 52-56) as the sisters in Galsworthy's salute to Chekov. The full review from the Bradfield Chronicle can be seen at the bottom of this page.

In Nigel's memories of his time at College he describes his great friend Peter Workman, "one of Bradfield’s and Army House’s cricket heroes, was a great friend of mine and I used to visit his family in Guildford in the holidays. He had the leading part, of a prisoner on the run, in John Galsworthy’s play Escape, now very dated but still delightful, which was performed as the Army House play. I played the parson in whose vestry he takes refuge and who persuades him that the gentlemanly thing to do would be to give himself up!"

Thank you to Nigel for his memories and for helping us by identifying those pictured on a number of the photographs in an Index here:

Escape 1 (L to R): R.Ede (The Captain); F.C.Woodhead (Shopkeeper’s wife); P.J.Workman (Matt Denant); P.B.Best (Shopkeeper); B.R.Burn (Shopkeeper’s sister)

Escape 2 (L to R): P.J.Workman (Matt Denant); N.G.G.Webb (The Parson)

Escape 3 (L to R): P.R.Phillipps (Bellringer); R.Ede (Farmer); N.G.G.Webb (Parson); A.E Bodie (Constable); P.B.Best (First labourer); F.W.Kitchen (Second labourer)

Escape 4 (L to R): A.E Bodie (Constable); I.Moxon (Man in plus fours); C.R.M.White (Wife of Man in plus fours)

Escape 5 (L to R): S.W.Thompson (The shingled lady); P.J.Workman (Matt Denant)

Escape 6 (L to R): P.J.Workman (Matt Denant); I.D.Colvin (Fellow convict)

We also found the programme of the play in the Archive, so all these photographs and documents help to bring the play to life and hopefully will evoke memories for those who took part and can be viewed below.





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