Careline Theatre Alcalali

The Farndale Murder Mystery

Directors Comments

The Director
John A. Booth

It's probably no accident that the Farndale Ladies, who can't seem to perform the simplest task without falling over or breaking something, were created in Great Britain possibly the only country in the world which discourages personal achievement as vulgar and has made a cult out of heroic failure. Coarse Acting, bad movies and botched out-takes had a loyal following in the British Isles long before the rest of the world recognised their entertainment value.

The Farndale Ladies were created in 1975 for presentation at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and such was their success that they had to make comeback after comeback.

Now the 'Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society' are seen performing all over the world by professional and amateur companies alike and there are now eleven plays ready to be desecrated by Farndale Avenue ineptitude.

'Murder Mystery', the play we have chosen to present to you tonight, is no different to what every Drama Group has experienced in that everything that can happen does. Scenery collapses, cues are missed, lines forgotten and the sound effects take on a strange note at times.

There is a strange feeling in rehearsal when it is realised how much concentration is required to get things deliberately wrong but the cast have worked very hard to make sure they get everything right/wrong in the proper order. It has been a great deal of fun, besides the hard work, and it has been a pleasure and privilege to direct this play and my thanks go to all the cast and company.

It is now for you, our audience, to decide how successful we have been.

The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery

by David McGillivray & Walter Zerlin Jnr
(by arrangement with Samuel French Ltd)


Sylvia (playing inspector O'Reilly)

Augusta Wind

Mrs Reece (playing Clarissa Rook, Lady Bishop's Sister, Régine, the French maid, Patricia Bishop, Lady Bishops Niece; Letitia Bishop, her sister; Mr Goodbody, a solicitor)

Brenda Taylor
Audrey (playing Lady Doreen Bishop, a widow, Violet Bishop, her spinster aunt, Mrs King, the Colonel's wife; Joan Bishop, Lady Bishop's cousin) Margaret Cordery
Felicity (playing Pawn, a butler; Colonel King, Lady Bishop's brother-in-law) Elaine Farrow
Thelma (playing Daphne Bishop; Lady Bishop's daughter. Rose Bishop, her spinster aunt) Candy Wright
Gordon Pugh Stage Manager (playing Inspector O'Reilly) Rick Rosewell
The action takes place in the drawing-room of Checkmate Manor. It is a winter evening, We think!


Stage Manager

John A. Booth


Lesley Balaam

Sound Board Operator

Brian Hight & Peter Brown

Lighting Board Operator

Desmond Webb

Stage Staff & Scenery Construction

Bill Parsons, Terry Farrow, Bert Cook, John Pollitt

Scenic Decoration

Brian Denton


Brigid Redmond

Wardrobe Department

June Booth, Anne Atkinson,


Sylvia Johnson & Anita Smith

House Manager

Colin Worrall

FOH Staff

Shirley Barrett, Helen Baxter, Robin Baxter, Sylvia Height, Stephanie Herod, Anne Hosking, Barry Long, Jean Martin,Lynne Parsons, Jean Smith, Norman Smith, Lynne Wishart, Hazel Worrall

Bar Management

Brenda Cook, David Smethurst

Box office Ticket Sales

Ann & Rick Rosewell

Programme & Publicity

Candy Wright

Brenda Taylor

A lady who has been involved in all aspects of amateur dramatics for many a year, in fact for many a decade she says, and wherever she and long suffering husband Bill have lived. Foisted herself upon Careline (We are pleased to say), last September and was delighted to be allowed her first foray into "pantomime". As the" Baroness", the evil stepmother in "Cinderella", she greatly appreciated the hissing and booing her character engendered. However Mrs Phoebe Reece will not be pleased to receive similar treatment. Brenda is not a bossy person!.

Margaret Cordery

Margaret appeared in the very first Careline production in 1997 of Cinderella where she displayed her acting talents and legs as "Prince Charming". She has since appeared in many other Careline shows. Along with being a versatile actress she is also a lovely dancer and great tapper. Her -
performance in "Stepping Out" as the irritating although endearing, rubber glove toting "Vera", has to be one of her best so far. On saying this, you should find her portrayal of her five different characters in this play tonight an absolute joy to watch.

Rick Rosewell

Rick has played a variety of roles in previous Careline productions, three of those times "in skirts" as a Panto Dame. His interest in theatre stems from his earlier years in life as a "Butlins Redcoat". Although with his deep mellow voice, he probably didn't then imagine he would end up as the Nurse in "Babes in the wood, Jack in the Beanstalks Mother or one of the Ugly Sister's in Cinderella. Rick is a real trooper and unknown to our last panto's audience took a head dive through backstage scenery when he tripped in the dark and lay innert to everyone's horror. On asking him, "Rick, Rick, are you alright?", he responded, "Yes, but where's my orange wig! " Once on stage he never faltered, apart from whispering to his Ugly Sister, "Is my skirt straight?". He says he is looking forward to this comedy just to be normal again, well almost! ! You can decide for yourselves..

Elaine Farrow

Being a very active member of Careline Theatre, Elaine has the unbeatable record of having appeared in every production since its conception. She thoroughly enjoys the challenge of different character roles as well as giving full vent to her singing voice in Careline Pantos, and in this comedy play has put her usual enthusiasm and talent into the role of "Felicity", as "Pawn", as the "Colonel"!! Although she may be diminutive in size, you will see tonight, Elaine has an ability to fill the stage with her personality..

Candy Wright

Has been in love with theatre and show business for as long as she can remember. She became a member of Careline Theatre in 1997 and has appeared in most of their productions in one aspect or another. Previous to this she acted with Castle Theatre Denia and has a very fond memory of her part as the Singing Kissogram Girl, Mitzi, in their production of "Look no Hans". Candy's first love is comedy „,although song and dance in her not so corpulent days were very popular with her. A bit of serious drama would probably not go amiss she admits, and perhaps one day this should be attempted. (Providing she can take it seriously, Ha, Ha!!)


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