|And Evermore Shall be So|
April 21st - April 27th 2013
Stage-Door's 44th show is And Evermore Shall be So, another play written by Norman Robbins and directed by Tony Makey .
It is a murder mystery with more than a touch of humour from the author of Prescription for Murder and At the Sign of "The Crippled Harlequin". Taking its title from the traditional song"Green Grow the Rushes O" the play explores the events surrounding a murder which took place four years previously and how strangely the song lyrics seem to fit so well with the circumstances. The action focuses on the repercussions that can be felt where there is "something wrong with the village ... a sense of evil about it ..." An author, cousin of the vicar's wife, arrives, having been encouraged to write a book about the murder. Old tensions and suspicions are brought to the surface as not everyone is in favour of raking up the past. Offering ten good acting roles, the story twists and turns, leaving your audience guessing until the very last speech of the play.
Reverend Edwin Summerfield invites Brandon Walsh, an old school friend and his wife's cousin, to Athelston to investigate a four year old murder in the village. Brandon - a Historical Coverup writer - agrees to look into the murder to see if the book is worth writing, stiring up a lot of old feeling in the village, esspecially with David Lilywhite, brother of Jason Lilywhite - the victim.Old wounds seem to be reopened between David and Gwendoline Cranshawe who originally accused David, not only of killing his brother but of having a sexual relationship with him. As Brandon begins digging into the past he discovers that Jason may have swindled Cranshawe out of a large sum of money years ago, prompting her to make up the story - which she has already used fifteen years ago to get her ex business partner arrested.Things start to come to a head as David slips from the edge of a nearby quarry falling to his death, at almost the same time as Edwin, Brandon and Lydia Summerfield succumb to a poisoned casserole. Edwin is the only one to survive the casserole and decides that Athelston holds too many bad memories for him now and he has to leave. Before doing so he recieves a visit from Helen Lilywhite - David's widow - who comes with a confession. Four years ago it was not Jason that died but David. David had been diagnosed with cancer and had only days left to live. The three of them had arranged for Jason and David to swap places so that they could claim Jason's life insurance before shooting David. Having moved to the village only days earlier there was only one man from their past that could identify them Edwin's predecessor whom Helen explains was pushed down the stairs by Jason, killing him. When Edwin asks why Helen is confessing to everything she explains that she too now has cancer and will be dead in a few weeks.After Helen leaves Edwin gets another visit from his gardener Roy Steadman who attacks Edwin, concerned about what Helen had told him. Roy reveals that he knew about the Lilywhites plan and had taken a cut of the insurance money. He also says that he has been sleeping with Helen ever since and it was not Jason that killed David and the Reverend Middlemarch, but Helen herself. Roy prepares to kill Edwin, not wanting him to live now he knows the full story, but Edwin stops him with a confession of his own. It was Edwin who poisoned the casserole, killing Bran and Lydia. He had discovered that Bran and Lydia had been having an affair ever since Edwin and Lydia got together and he could no longer let them go on laughing behind his back. Now having dirt on Edwin Roy agrees to let him live and leaves, but Edwin still isn't alone. His housekeeper Ida Cornish has heard everything from both Roy and Edwin and has sent her best friend Sheila Pashley to call the police to arrest both of them. Edwin shocks her with one final confession. He can't live without Lydia and has poisoned the brandy that he and Roy have just drunk. Within hours both will be dead. Ida leaves Edwin sat in his arm chair, singing the old folk song that fits the events so well - Green Grow the Rushes O
A Message from the DirectorEdit
I recall the song of the title from my school days and the final chorus of which is shown below. It became apparent from reading the script how apt the story was and none of the cast could fathom the outcome. Rehearsals have been hard work but also a joy as the cast have worked extremely hard but we have also had a few laughs along the way and they have always been ready with an idea or two to make my job that much easier.
My thanks go to the cast for their dedication and also to everybody who has helped put this show together, including the costume and props ladies and company members for the construction of the set.
Please sit back and see if you can spot the clues and determine the guilty party. I hope you enjoy the show.- Tony Makey
Green grow the Rushes OEdit
The entire play has multiple links to the old folk song Green Grow the Rushes O.
I'll sing you twelve, O
Green grow the rushes, O
What are your twelve, O?
Twelve for the twelve Apostles,
Eleven for the eleven who went to heaven
Ten for the ten commandments,
Nine for the nine bright shiners
Eight for the eight bold raiders
Seven for the seven stars in the sky
Six for the six proud walkers
Five for the symbols at your door
Four for the gospel makers
Three, Three the Rivals
Two two the Lily-White Boys
Clothed all in Green O
One is One and all alone
And evermore shall be so.
Ida Cornish - Maureen Ayres
Sheila Pashley - Brenda Hargraves
Helen Lilywhite - Karen Perry
David Lilywhite - Chris Nairne
Roy Steadman - Dave Griffin
Lydia Summerfield - Laura Thornett
Rev. Edwin Summerfield - Martin Sworn
Brandon Walsh - Barry Tinkler
Maurice Walker - Nigel Peacock
Gwendoline Cranshawe - Meg Bray
Director - Tony Makey
Stage Manager - Gary Boniface
Lighting - Brian Mercer
Sound - Tony Makey
Props Manager - Chris Moss
Wardrobe - Sandra Booker
Publicity - Micki Darbyshire
Cast photos - Alan McGregor
Posters and Programme Design - Jamie Griffiths
Printed by - Mission Labels Ltd.