Alongside the people named as members of cast and crew, Taunton Thespians
would like to thank the following for their generous support in the making of this
For displaying Billboards:
Mrs Tooze, Chelston•
The Westgate Inn•
Holiday Inn Taunton•
The Civil Service Sports & Social Club, Taunton•
Yule Brown, Taunton•
For all their help behind the scenes:
Members of Taunton Thespians•
For their support:
Our advertisers and sponsors•
Seaton Primary School for the bell•
Trowbridge Players for the hockey sticks•
Taunton Thespians is a Registered Charity,
Programme.indd 2 04/11/2009 22:14:27
A Message from the Headmistress
Welcome to Grangewood’s School Magazine. This special 25th anniversary edition
is dedicated to all of the girls who have been through the doors of Grangewood
during the past 25 years, myself being one of them.
Through my time here as both girl and scholar I have seen the school strive
forward to reach outstanding sporting and academic achievements. I am
immensely proud to be the Head Mistress of this fine establishment.
I also take great pride in starting the tradition of inter-dormy hot water bottle
fights, which I believe girls still enjoy, even today.
Here’s to Grangewood, long may she flourish. Honesta quam magna!
Programme.indd 3 04/11/2009 22:14:28
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The Garden terrace is open for coffees, light lunches, afternoon tea and drinks
Open daily, 5-star silver award for accommodation
Please call for further details and bookings
Contact Marie on 01984 640056
Binham Grange is a Jacobean house
set in 300 acres of parkland and
Programme.indd 4 04/11/2009 22:14:29
Where does one start with directing a play? An overall understanding of the period and
characters and a central conceit for the show, as far as I’m concerned. As I was rather heavily
involved in our Festival One Act and the Summer Tour, this rather went onto the back burner.
However, on a trip to the wonderful Fagin’s Antiques back in April, I saw a staircase that
seemed the ideal heart of the production. I built lots of ideas around this massive edifice – the
two returns giving different levels and doors, all sorts of possibilities. Unfortunately, it was
about 4 or 5 metres high and very solid indeed. More sensible heads persuaded me I would be
insane to even try to use it or copy it – thanks, Dave.
With the Tour out of the way, I started thinking and reading
again. What emerged from that was a feeling that the key to
the production is in Miss Gibson’s opening speech: “each form in
the school has assumed responsibility for one entire evening's
entertainment .... The mantle of responsibility falls... on the
Fourth form, together with a little help from members of staff,
who have asked me to announce their offering, a play in two acts
entitled Daisy Pulls It Off”. So there it was. The play has been
put together by the Fourth Form. They’ve worked with their
Drama teacher, the Craft teacher and the Art teacher, they’ve
created the play and made the settings. That’s the conceit, that’s
what you’ll see on stage.
Once my head was around that (and I’m probably the rather
radical Drama teacher, in our Grangewood world), the production
needed to be assembled. Cast, as ever, are the key consideration
in any play. The original show used actresses in their 20s, while
many amateur shows have “the girls” played by... more mature
ladies, shall we say. School productions and other amateurs use
girls of the age the characters are supposed to be. How were we
to do it? From the start, I wanted to follow the intentions of the
author in this, inspiring cries and dark mutterings from those
who felt we couldn’t possibly find enough actors of the right age;
as you’ll see, we did. Not only that, but we’ve tried to insure
against the onset of swine flu (advertised as hitting exactly this
age group) by having understudies to hand. Even if we get to
show week with a full cast, more bodies will help to fill the stage.
Another of the play’s key concepts is the breaking of the “fourth wall”, taking the action into
the auditorium and having cast meeting and greeting the audience. And not just cast, but
having our Front of House team role playing as teachers and governors, in costume. Miss
Gibson, the Headmistress, and other teaching staff will also have met you. The girls are
probably all too nervous, but one or two might have come “out front” , and I hope they behaved
You will have to forgive us, though, for choosing the wonderful Tacchi-Morris Theatre as our
venue. However much it would have benefitted the conceit to have you all sitting in canvas
folding chairs in an Elizabethan Great Hall, lit by a couple of floodlights, we couldn’t find one.
Instead, we’re here, at a very welcoming, clean, friendly venue. Which is nice, very nice indeed.
Certainly makes a change from my recent experience. I hope you enjoy the show. As a friend
of mine is very fond of saying “When it’s good, praise the performers. When it’s bad, blame the
director”. They’ve all worked their socks off, on stage and behind it, so are very deserving of
your praise. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to bathe in their reflected glory.
Programme.indd 5 04/11/2009 22:14:29
Daisy Pulls It Off is a parody of wholesome adventure
stories about life in a 1920s girls' English boarding school,
such as those by Angela Brazil.
Brazil (pronounced ‘Brazzle’) was not the first writer to
produce school stories for girls, but she created a new
genre that changed the direction they were to take in the
coming years. For the first time, growing girls could read
books that were slanted towards their own point of view,
with a whole race of jolly, sporty, robust and, above all,
believable role models. The heroines of her books may
have been, on the one hand, silly or vain or selfish and
pig-headed; or, alternatively, they may have been reliable,
well-meaning or happy-go-lucky, but whatever their
characteristics, a mutual tolerance ensured that they all
managed to co-exist happily and learn from each other's
experiences. A far cry from the moralistic fables of the
Their popularity was not, alas, shared by the majority of
"real life" head-mistresses, who seem to have particularly
abhorred the schoolgirl slang that peppers the books.
Today it seems harmless enough to most people, but at the
time there were voices raised to have the books banned or
even burned. As Angela Brazil's fictional head-teachers were usually portrayed very sympathetically,
this hardly seems fair, but she was quite unperturbed by the opposition to her books, continuing to
turn them out at the average of two a year for almost half a century. She wrote the following about her
credentials for writing such books:
"To be able to write for young people depends, I consider, largely upon whether you are able to retain
your early attitude of mind while acquiring a certain facility with your pen. It is a mistake ever to grow
up! I confess I am still an absolute schoolgirl in my sympathies."
In plentiful supply is the now very dated slang that used to incense teachers so much: pleasant
experiences are termed "blossomly", "chubby" or "jinky", and unpleasant things are decidedly "piggy".
The stiff upper lip is as prevalent as in boys' stories: girls are always being exhorted to "brace up and
be sporty" and "turn off the waterworks". And as a reward for all this bracing up, there were sweet
treats galore, cheesecake being a particularly sought-after favourite among the girls.
Romantic friendships abound in the books, but there was plenty of adventure, too. Girls are often
marooned through their own foolishness and there are several shipwrecks. Fostering and adopting
children was another theme in several stories, and others tell of missing wills, long-lost relatives who
suddenly reappear, and - a stock plot from Victorian times - the girl of apparently humble birth who
turns out to have aristocratic connections.
Brazil’s stories gave enjoyment to thousands of girls for well over half a century. It is on record that
when someone in the Blackie office heard the news of her death, he suggested that it wouldn't be
long before they received the manuscript of "The School at the Pearly Gates" - an irreverent remark,
perhaps, but an indication of her prolificacy!
Programme.indd 6 04/11/2009 22:14:30
THE BEST PAPER FOR SCHOOL STORIES!
No. 001, Vol 001] Published Just the Once [Week Ending November 14th 2009
Programme.indd 7 04/11/2009 22:14:31
About Taunton Thespians
The society has passed (or celebrated) its eightieth anniversary; we have been providing live
theatre for and by the people of Taunton and surrounding area since 1928. That February, Ian
Hay’s Tilly of Bloomsbury was staged for 3 nights at the Lyceum Theatre, and was a great success.
Over the intervening decades we have staged over 300 productions of all types. Thespians were
instrumental in creating the theatre in which we’re performing tonight.
Every year we entertain thousands of people by:
Staging two major productions, formerly at the Brewhouse, now at the Tacchi-Morris•
Participating in drama festivals (we’ve reached the English Semi-final two years running)•
Spending two weeks touring a classic comedy every summer•
We also provide Murder Mystery evenings and Cabaret shows for parties and fund-raising events
around the area. To see what's happening in amateur drama in Taunton, come along to a Club
Night. There's no charge, and you're very welcome. Just drop along to “The Place” in Wilfred Road,
Taunton at 7.30pm on the first or third Wednesday of any month from October to May. As you will
see elsewhere, our Spring Production will be an adaptation of Stella Gibbons’ wonderfully funny
novel Cold Comfort Farm. Auditions for this are taking place next week at “The Place”
If you do fancy joining us, there’s plenty to do, and it doesn’t just involve getting up on stage.
Membership is only £12 a year, and it’s just about the most fun you can have for a pound a month!
For more details call John Burbery on 01823 442118
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am so proud of my beautiful daughter Daisy for winning the scholarship to Grangewood. I shall miss
her terribly, but I know she will be successful at she does. It may be hard for her, but she is strong &
courageous, as was her Father, God rest his soul.
Bonjour! I had much pleasure in taking mes enfants of Grangewood for a
trip to Nice. For some of them their first journey out of England – apart, of
course, from Sybil. Her parents are rich enough to travel the continents.
Our train journey was exciting, if not long. I was so proud of Daisy, qui
parle Francais fluently (thanks to sa Mere). It taught the spoilt rich girls a
thing or two! Scholarship girls can be formidable at times, n’est ce pas?
Life contains many decisions and as a gardener eye catching results require
methodical thinking and planning. At all times of the year, especially now,
the right combination and cultivated success depends on past actions and a
helping hand from nature. My hopes for the future and wholesome prosperity
lie within the next few months of maturity. I can only envisage what will
bloom, as I seek sustenance from the development of many hours lost in the
void, but forever with a watchful gaze of a perennial anticipation of colour.
The outcome always in the joy of holding what one can appreciate and love.
Mr Thompson, School Gardener
Programme.indd 8 04/11/2009 22:14:33
I have always seen the school magazine as a portal for
communication between staff, parents and pupils and hereby
intend to use it as thus. More often than not the summer flies
by and I look forward to returning to my post as Fourth Form
Mistress at Grangewood. However, this summer has been quite
different. I return to a school in which much has changed. It is
said to be progress, I, however, would strongly doubt that.
It would seem, much to my chagrin, that Grangewood is now to
welcome the idea of scholarship girls. I have always thought of
myself as firm and fair, but the idea of elementary school girls
entering the realms of Grangewood is much beyond my desires
for the future of the school.
I ask you how well has this scheme been thought through?
What do we know of the morals and intellect of this class of girl? What levels of etiquette do
they practice; can they even use a knife and fork properly? Do they appreciate the rules and
conventions of polite behaviour in society?
Quite frankly the school seems to be drifting towards entertaining the introduction of all kinds of
riff raff. What next I ask you, will Mademoiselle be instructing the girls in the Can Can; will Miss
Gibson be entertaining the ideas of introducing BOYS!?
I for one am most unhappy with the direction Grangewood is going.
Miss Granville, Fourth Form Mistress
Most of you will know me as Mr Scoblowski, a strict but
generous and somewhat enigmatic music and geography
teacher. However before I had to move to England I was a
Count Scoblowski, from a proud and noble Russian family with
a highly distinguished lineage. I was born in the once great
city of Samara, close to where my family’s estate was based. I
served as a Colonel in army of the Russian Empire during the
war and received the Order of St Anna from the beloved Tsar
Nicholas for bravely ordering my troops into a hail of German
cannon fire. Back in those days Russia was the envy of the
world, a land of peace and liberty, where the workers knew
their place and the peasants did what they were told. I can
tell you that the Bolshevik Russia you girls hear about now is not Russian at all but the result of
a vile plot imposed upon the people by a band of usurping foreign bandits.
While I long to go back to the real Russia that I lost I am happy to say that England is now my
home. While it has its drawbacks, (the ballot box & trade unions to name a few) it remains,
not least through its empire and its public school system, a beacon of civilised and conservative
governance and society throughout the world. As girls of Grangewood it is your duty to
remember the role of your country and your own responsibility to uphold it.
Programme.indd 9 04/11/2009 22:14:33
Back row, L to R: Sybil Wilby, Alice Wilby, Clare Beaumont (Head Girl & Sports Capt
Middle Row, L to R: Mr Thompson (School Gardener) Mlle Dormibien (French), Mr Scobl
Miss Granville (English), Miss Joplin (Music). Miss Wilby-G
Front Row, L to R: Winnie Irving, Trixie Martin, Daisy Meredith, D
Programme.indd 10 04/11/2009 22:14:34
Daisy’s Absolutely Top Hole Treasure Hunting Tips
(with thanks to Dick, Douglas, Daniel and Duncan)
Tip 1 : Do it at night and preferably with a chum.
At night you are less likely to be discovered and ultimately sneaked upon by some horrid beastly little
rotter. If you have a chum they can keep a look out whilst you crack on with task in hand.
Tip 2 : Obtain a map.
Treasure is almost always either buried or hidden in an old school somewhere. Now, if it’s buried you’re
in a spot of bother if you don’t have a map. If this is the case, your best option is to start tapping wall
panels and testing floorboards to look for hidden passages (there is always at least one).
Tip 3: Remain diplomatic.
Once you have found your secret passage (it shouldn’t take long) you may find you have woken a
mistress or prefect. They can prove to be a beastly nuisance as they will usually send you back to the
dormy with an order mark. Say that you are most awfully sorry, you are treasure hunting, a most
serious business, and that if you do not find it within the night then the future of the the School/
Country/England is in great jeopardy.
Tip 4. Take provisions and instruments.
The following are absolutely essential – pencil, paper, handkerchief, hairpin, black cloak.
A hairpin can prove jolly useful in picking locks on tricky trap doors and treasure chests. A black cloak
can be rather handy to disguise yourselves and to scare off anyone *who may sneak up from the rear.
(*who may happen across your path.)
Tip 5: Do the right thing.
Once you have found the treasure, report it forthwith to the appropriate authority, so that it can be put
to the best use for the benefit of all without further ado.
All of the above should save you from getting yourselves into the most beastly funk/ dismal sell, and
will ensure that you set a good treasure hunting example for all to follow.
NB: should you be discovered, return to the dorm, re-group the following night and start again at Tip 1.
Daisy Meredith, Upper Fourth, Grangewood School
Your Editor is always delighted to hear
from you, whenever you like to write. His
address is “The Schoolgirls’ Own,” The
Place, Wilfred Road, Taunton
Programme.indd 13 04/11/2009 22:14:35
Express print ad
Programme.indd 14 04/11/2009 22:14:35
Upper Sixth Hockey
Grangewood 3, Cheltenham 2
Grangewood were back on winning form
this week after a triumphant defeat against
Cheltenham Ladies College. However,
Cheltenham started with a confident start and
were rewarded an early goal in the opening
5 minutes. Despite being 1-0 so quickly,
Grangewood picked up their spirits and began to
take control of the game. Deputy Captain, Alice
Fitzpatrick levelled the score after a splendid
tackle in midfield position and drove it through
Cheltenham’s defence with an unstoppable
shot. Grangewood didn’t relax there though;
it wasn’t long before Diana Jenkins latched
onto an excellent ball and scored another goal
for Grangewood. Due to a poor reaction from
Grangewood, Cheltenham managed to slip
through the tight netted defence to equalise.
In the last few minutes, Grangewood stole the
game with a long shot from Alice Fitzpatrick
to Claire Beaumont, who ran the length of the
pitch, deceived the goalkeeper and managed to
slip the ball pass the keeper to steal the game
for Grangewood. Cheltenham didn’t give up and
were jolly players throughout.
Clare Beaumont, Head Girl and Sports Captain
Upper Fourth Hockey
Grangewood School for girls has done stiflingly
well this term in our most important season of
them all, our hockey season. Our teams have
battled through some great competitors, and
have beaten for the first time West Beuton (1-0),
Richfield (3-1) and Longlake (3-2) teams.
Members of the fifth form are truly proud to
have Clare Beaumont and Alice Fitzpatrick
representing them, being by far the strongest
team in Grangewood. I am honoured and
extremely pleased to announce the success of
this team, as they have reached the final of the
County Hockey Championships. I give my upmost
happiness for them, and wish them the best of
luck as I’m sure the rest of you do. It would be
great to see everyone supporting the girls, and
to come see Grangewood beat Vearnecombe once
and for all!
Belinda Mathieson, Captain of the Upper Fourth
My Christmas Wish List
A new pony, I’ve had my old one for over 2
My allowance at the Sweet Shop to go up by1.
at least 3 pounds
4 new dresses, all from Harrods2.
My own maid at Grangewood (to brush my3.
hair and do a little of my prep for me)
6 framed pictures of me to put around my4.
P.S. Daddy if I don’t get at least 4 of these
things, I will tell Mummy about the money at
Sybil Wilby, Fourth Form
Programme.indd 15 04/11/2009 22:14:35
The School Song
In days of yore the female sex
Of learning they had none
But now thanks to bold pioneers
Education they have won.
Proud girls and women teach and learn
In many a famous hall
But of them all there's none more dear
Than that of Grangewood School.
Long may ye flourish Grangewood School
Glorious is thy name
Honesta quam magna is our call
As we strive to play the game.
Denise Deegan, Old Girl
Grangewood School for
How glorious the sight of Grangewood school
When we alight at the train station.
How proud and grand it stands, so tall,
As does its fine reputation.
Good girls are we, from good families
Who attend this Elizabethan mansion.
Never should this change, or become
Grangewood needs no expansion!
For the sake of the school, of England, the
We should maintain our excellent ‘branding’;
As Grangewood scholars are, and ever shall be,
Rich and morally upstanding!
Sybil Burlington, Vice-Captain, Upper Fourth
There's a excited hush in Grangewood tonight
Eleven as one, but a team to win
A super pitch and a shining light,
An hour to play, but we all must win!
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat.
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But a captain's stance as she shouts aloud
"Play up! and play the game!"
Alice Fitzpatrick, Deputy Head Girl
Pink petals wrapped in twisting vines
Beauty lies confined
Once noble age...
crushed beneath their grime.
that one rose stands unscathed
roots embedded in solid rock
above the great abyss.
These petals are notes,
These vines are ripe with dirt,
As forgotten hero strives
to remove elementary sneak
Winnie Irving, Second Form
Programme.indd 16 04/11/2009 22:14:36
Another Christmas family pantomime treat!
14th - 23rd
Nigel K Ford
At the Brewhouse
*available on selected
Sat 16th at 2.30pm
Sun 17th at 1.30pm
Sun 17th at 5.30pm
Thurs 21st at 2.30pm
Sat 23rd at 2.30pm
Programme.indd 17 04/11/2009 22:14:41
This production is
The Phoebe Rees
Founded by Phoebe Rees
and run by the Somerset
Fellowship of Drama, the
competition is open to
amateur drama societies
and groups in Somerset.
Plays are adjudicated
by members of the
who also run an annual
Festival and the county’s
first round of the All
England Theatre Festival, and organise drama
The Rose Bowl Awards
Founded by the families of Walter Hawkins and
John Coe, this is now
funded through the
sponsored by the
and Somerset are assessed by GODA qualified
Taunton Thespians’ next main stage
production will be an adaptation of Stella
Gibbons’ wonderful comic novel Cold
Comfort Farm, directed by Jane Burt.
Auditions are being held at The Place
in Wilfred Road on the 23rd & 24th of
November at 7.30pm.
The following week, there will be a read-
through of our County Drama Festival
entry, Seascape by Tony Rushton on the
30th of November and 1st of December,
with auditions following on the 2nd and 3rd
Programme.indd 18 04/11/2009 22:14:48
Joanna Marie Bagwell
Tony & Tessa Beaven
John & Carol Burbery
Ray & Nikki Court
Barrie & Maureen Dale
Mark & Nicola Dawson
Moira Helen Douglas
Ken & Anne Hague
Alison Sarah Jenkinson
John & Audrey Meikle
Andrew (Dusty) Miller
Ron & Jacqueline
President - John Meikle
Vice Presidents - Margaret Way, Thelma Wander,
Programme.indd 19 04/11/2009 22:14:48
If you are thinking of buying or
selling in the area, contact us first
Estate agents - valuers - auctioneers
& Development Surveyors
Letting Agents & Property Management
Winchester House, Corporation Street,
Taunton TA1 4AJ
Programme.indd 20 04/11/2009 22:14:48