Vicksburg Theatre Guild
2010-2011 Season

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An English Heaven & Is There Honey Still?

two one-act dramas by Claire Jones
directed by John Hesselberg

Auditions: Saturday & Sunday, September 11-12 & 18 at 2 p.m. & Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Shows: Friday & Saturday, November 12, 13, 19, & 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 14 & 21, 2010  at 2:00 p.m.

We regret that An English Heaven & Is There Honey Still? has been cancelled because we were unable to cast it.
  Press release

During World War I, women vent their problems and emotions with each other while coping with their husbands, sons and brothers fighting on foreign soil. Later, while “over there,” the Nurses and VADS near the front see the worst of the war and have to cope with the aftermath with great courage.

Cast: six-to-nine women (ages 15-60), two men, and one boy.  Audition forms  Character information


An English Heaven
Mrs. Lovegrove — the Postmistress
Molly — her niece, the telegraph girl
Marigold Collis — a Farm-worker
Daisy Collis — her older sister, working in munitions
Vicky Carter — housemaid at the Hall
Jean Jackson — a gypsy-ish mother of four children
Mrs. Skeet — the Churchwarden's mother
Martha Comley — manager of the Home Farm
Dorothy Smythe — a VAD; guest at the Hall
Voices off — the Postman
                     — a small child
                     — young man's "Voice over" [Optional]
The Scene is a General Store and Post Office in a small Surrey village. It sells everything and is open all hours. It is now 7:25 a.m. on July 1st, 1916 and the store is open for the morning papers.

Is There Honey Still?
Elizabeth Kenyon — A newcomer, to France, suffering badly from travel-sickness. Neat, a little prim, and very professional.
Grace Jennings — The night VAD. Has been nursing since the beginning of the war. She comes from a respectable background, but a rebellious streak led her into the suffragette movement and she served time in prison. This, combined with her war experience have made her very thick-skinned. She resorts to short-time affairs, as a form of comfort. Though good-hearted, there is something damaged about her.
Eve Hall — Seriously ill, with a septic hand. Eve is also a long-time VAD but her extreme pain has served to regress her into childhood.
Marie — A French peasant-girl, whose family look after the VADs. Untidy, a little sluttish, but good-hearted.
Lavinia (Vinnie) Montague — Daughter of an aristocrat, Vinnie began by regarding nursing as a delicate occupation for a wartime lady, but when her eyes were opened, she often found it hard to adjust. Members of her family have been killed and she has had little time to grieve. The result is a restless, fidgety, sometimes spiteful person.
Dorothy (Thea) Smythe — Vinnie's friend. Also from the upper classes, though not as exalted as Vinnie. Thea is less abrasive than Vinnie, and often a peace-maker, but she lost her fiancι - Vinnie's brother - on the first day of the Somme offence and it is beginning to send her off the rails.
Ruth Goldberg — Ruth is a loner, rather shy. though very clever and compassionate. She is Jewish, which causes some prejudice with the others. [This was far more of a problem at the beginning of the century]. Ruth says little; she has a strong sense of right and wrong.
Clare Lawrence — A young war-widow. Clare nursed in France at the beginning of the war, and married Walter Lawrence, originally a college teacher, at the end of 1915. He joined up, feeling he must 'do his bit' in time for the beginning of the Somme campaign, and was killed shortly afterwards. Clare is calm and capable, but you get the impression that something has gone from within her.
Frances Lawrence Q.A.I.A.N.S. (Sister) — A professional Army Sister, in charge of the VADs, and an inflexible disciplinarian, realizing that it is necessary to control emotions when there is hard work to be done. She is Clare's sister-in-law, though this will not be immediately acknowledged. She is, however, capable of some sympathy and humour.
Is There Honey Still?
is set in the Autumn of 1916, during the cataclysmic Somme campaign of World War I, which was one of the most terrible battles in war history. Enormous British losses were experienced on the first day alone, many of them wiping out whole generations of young men in areas of Britain. The Army Nurses and VADS, on the spot throughout the campaign, saw the worst of it and had to cope with the aftermath, often with great courage. The VADS were completely voluntary, many were delicately raised and had no idea of the work they would do. Somehow they coped, but at unknown cost to themselves.
The Scene is a room in the Nurses' Quarters of a Field Hospital, near the SOMME BATTLEFIELDS. Autumn 1916.


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