by T B Morris

A Soldier of Rome Anthony Armstrong
Damaris (a child) Gillian Carter
Cleophas (a rich young Jew) Ralph Kilby
Esther (his wife, a cripple) Frances Yunnie
Mary of Magdala Susan Armstrong
Salome (friend of mary of Nazareth) Peggy Durrent

Producer Eileen Snell
Prompt Joy Newbold
Stage Management Jeff Peake
  Geoff Elsom
  Bill Newbold
  Myrtle Newbury
Organ R J Snell

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April 1971
Extract from The Bedfordshire Times by D.W.

Stark contrasts in
a one-act drama

THE Wesley Players' version of the Easter play Night on the Hill by T. B. Morris was performed at Priory Methodist Church, Bedford, on Good Friday after a preview performance at Oakley Methodist Church three days earlier.

The scene is Christ's Cross after he has been taken to the tomb. With the suffering and selflessness that the Cross implies being fully explained throughout the one act drama, it is the commanding image of the play.

Before it, the stark contrast of two of the characters is drawn between Mary of Magdala, former prostitute, who was converted by Jesus and is kind, patient and caring, and Esther, a former beauty, but now a cripple who is only worried about appearances and desperately wants hers to be restored. And Esther is appalled at first to receive advice from a "street walker" as she calls Mary of Magdala.


These themes are lightly touched on between Esther's complaints of her ugliness, well managed by Frances Yunnie, and Mary's description of Christ's work, sacrifice and suffering, on the Cross — Susan Armstrong avoids the easy pitfall of overplaying in this part.

A report of the events surrounding the Crucifixion is given in the monologues by the Roman soldier guarding the Cross. The part is well played by Anthony Armstrong.

Mary of Nazareth appears as the last character in the play,

and Vera Newbold gives a controlled performance as the ordinary mother whose son, she remembers, was apart from her, was so different, so alone in many ways, and so questioning of authority.

Ralph Kilby as Cleophas. Gillian Carter as Dumaris, a young a girl who saw the Crucifixion, and Peggy Durrant as Mary of Nazareth's friend, Salome, complete the fine cast.
The lighting was excellent — two ordinary light bulbs and three lanterns, which produced the proper cold, thin atmosphere.


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