The Duke in Darkness (by Patrick Hamilton) 1962-63

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Directed by John Fox

Back row:
Paul Collis, Paul Bradley, Ken Barber,
David Waters, David Baggaley.

Front row:
Roy Morley, Terry Hollins, Peter Deakin,
Wilfred Deakin(standing).

Thanks to Peter Deakin for the full cast picture above and to Dave Baggaley for the programme and the other photo.

From the 1963 School Magazine "The Review"


This year the Drama Society performed the second of the three act plays seen at Stanfield. After our disappointment at not being able to obtain the rights to perform an American play in time to prepare it properly, Mr. Fox chose Patrick Hamilton's "The Duke in Darkness".

Set in an imaginary French province at the time of the sixteenth century civil wars, it tells the story of the imprisoned Duke of Laterraine and his servant Gribaud. For fifteen years the Duke has feigned blindness and by this stratagem is finally enabled to escape. The tragedy of the situation is that Gribaud has to be poisoned in order that the escape can be successfully made. No easy conquest of the audience could be made by riotous scenes and the success of this incisive study of character and divided loyalties was made possible only by controlled and delicate acting.

The Duke himself (D. J. Walters) was on stage throughout the play and Gribaud (D. Baggaley) had the difficult task of feigning madness Barry Capper was excellent as the fat, sensuous and vindictive Duke of Lamorre, and Roy Morley gave a strong performance as the loud ill tempered Voulaine. The Count D'Aublaye, a very convincing character of the French aristocracy, was finely portrayed by Terry Hollins. Those who had smaller parts, Ken Barber, Peter Deakin, Paul Collis, Paul Bradley and Wilf Deakin, supported the main characters solidly.

Mr. Light designed an excellent set and undertook all the advertising and publicity, Mr. Ballhain saw to the front-of-house arrangements, Mr. Thomas managed the finances and tickets, Mr. Bromfield and Mr. Goodwin the props, Mr. Allen and Mr. George supervised the effects with the help of a group of willing boys.

We had a complete sell-out of tickets for the three nights, and were most pleased that Mr. Potts was able to attend this year.

Now our thoughts are converging on the 1964 performances - a production of 'Twelve Angry Men'. It is tense, dramatic and very challenging. Last year we had just enough volunteers to share the load fairly: this year we would like a lot more fifth-formers to come to Drama Soc. and share our pleasure and excitement.

D. John Walters (Secretary), U.VI.Sc.

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