Haul for the Shore

Spring 1957

Haul for the Shore - by Jean Mc Connell
Performed - Spring 1964 at the Blenkin Memorial Hall, Boston

A comedy in three acts.

Boston Playgoers Provide Laughs
Boston Playgoers Society sticking faithfully to the tried and trusted policy of selecting plays which do not demand too much of their audiences has chosen the three-act comedy “Haul for the Shore” for their Spring production.

You may already have seen this amusing concoction on television but the chances are you will still enjoy thoroughly enjoy the local presentation which opened a three-night run at the Memorial Hall last night writes G.S.B.

The characters are stock ones, certainly – the salty old seadog with a heart of gold beneath a rugged exterior, a stagey parson, and a nosey neighbour all included. But producer J. W. Alexander is fortunate in having players who manage to bring them to life, and the laughs are there aplenty.

The setting, an attractive one, is a cottage on the Devonshire (or possibly Cornish) coast, where the main occupation of the local inhabitants, it seems, is avoiding the attention of the Customs authorities. Living there are the seadog (Fred Kirk), his nephew (John Bignall), and the girl the nephew can never make time to marry (June Kemp).

Mr Kirk positively revels in his role, and to him go the comedy honours of the evening. He has an excellent foil in Mary Parker, as the neighbour with whom he engages in a never-ending verbal battle.

June Kemp is a most attractive bride-to-be, but John Bignall lacks a certain ruggedness I would associate with the character.
Two other expert characterisations are those of John Cammack (a newcomer, I believe), as the diffident parson who finds himself inextricably embroiled in some of his parishioners less lawful occupations, and Richard Ansell as the “cover,” ever ready to fit the needs of the moment with a semi-Biblical quotation.
Bess Berry, as the doctor, Jill Sharp, as the milkmaid from London, and J. Lindsay Stephen, as the considerate constable, all contribute effective cameos. Completing the cast are G. E. Adamson, J. W. Alexander, and George Budge.

What the play lacks in speed, it makes up in good “atmosphere,” sound characterisation, players who are practically word perfect, and the fact that every ounce of fun is squeezed out of every situation.

Actors names on right:

 - Fred Kirk
 - John Bignall
 - June Kemp
 - Mary Parker
Parson - John Cammack
 - Richard Ansell
Doctor - Bess Berry
Milkmaid - Jill Sharp
Constable - J. Lindsay Stephen
 - G. E. Adamson
 - J. W. Alexander
 - George Budge

Production Team

Producer - J. W. Alexander
Stage Manager - Allan Kemp
Prompter - Margaret E. Comer
Business Manager - G. E. Adamson
Wardrobe - D. Woodcock
Properties - Shirley Kirk & Nancie Allen
Electrician - George Budge