A S T
to Productions page
Methodist Church Tuesday 25th February 1975 and
Priory Methodist Church Thursday 20th February 1975
scene is set in the courts of heaven. A judge is invited
to preside over the trialof a woman who has broken all
the commandments of God. In his self-righteous condemnation
of her he finds himself on trial, and after a searching
interrogation confesses that he too is guilty. In the
end he realises that the way of redemption is not self-righteous
aloofness, but self-identification with the fallen. The
play is a penetrating and uncomfortable challenge to the
ordinary assumption of personal, social and national life;
it convicts the conscience and stirs up the will; and
yet all the time it remains true drama.
from Priory Newsletter 23 March 1975
Trial", a play by John Ferguson was performed
by the Wesley Players at Priory on 20th February
and at Oakley on the 25th. Musical items were provided
at the beginning and end of the play by Priory Choir.
A synopsis of the play has been given before, but,
for anyone who missed it, it concerned the appearance
of a deceased judge in Heaven. He was invited to
sit in judgement on a young woman who was accused
of various carnal sins. After hearing the evidence,
the judge appeared to be deeply disturbed at the
woman's history and passed a very severe sentence.
Because of this, the judge's life was also scrutinized
and it was proved on three counts that he had during
his lifetime, been as sinful as the young woman,
albeit unwittingly, or, perhaps more accurately,
The play held one's attention throughout and succeeded
in its attempt -to dispel the audience's natural
complacency in life.
The two principal roles were played by Bill Davies,
the Judge, and Charles Spencer, the Recording Angel,
both of whom played their parts convincingly and
kept the play moving at a good pace. Some very good
acting was also in evidence amongst the supporting
from The Bedfordshire Times March 1975
new twist to
a stark background inside Priory Methodist Church,
Bedford, the Wesley Players, on Thursday, revealed
the stark truth of the inner self.
The conscience-stirrer was The Trial, by John Ferguson,
the first of the Players' three productions this
The scene is set in the courts of heaven. A judge
is invited to preside over the trial of Jane, a
devil-may-care girl who has
broken all the commandments of God.
In his self-righteous condemnation of her he finds
himself on trial.
The play is a penetrating and uncomfortable challenge
to the ordinary assumption of personal, social and
The minister of the church, Bill Davies, is the
judge, horrified in no uncertain terms that he could
be guilty of anything. But even he learns that hypocrisy
has its own reward. This realisation is
over in emphatic fashion.
Anthony Armstrong is the barrister, who is himself
self-righteous in the name of God. Perhaps this
in itself raises a few, questions. This is a good
Christine Elsom gave a fine performance as Jane,
the free-living, free-loving girl who is out to
get what she wants.
Pictured during the play are, from left: Martin
Edwards, Gillian Lees, Christine Elsom, Frances
Yunnie, Bill Davies, Anthony Armstrong and Charles