by Jean-Jaques Bernard, translated by John Leslie Frith; producer Harold Hart
25-27 March 1954
The show that never was
Having been the driving force behind the building of Chelsfield Village Hall, it’s ironic that the Players were instrumental in its destruction. The show was ready to go, with the dress rehearsal completed on 24 March and photos taken. By the next morning, the Village Hall that the Players had striven so hard to build was a smoking ruin and the lovingly painted set destroyed. It was speculated that a smouldering cigarette left backstage caused the fire. The show was cancelled. Doreen Adams, due to make debut with the Players, never returned.
And yet the Society’s account books show a profit on the show of £8/9/6, which was more than was made on The Late Christopher Bean, which had gone ahead, and there is no record of any refunds. Was this fully rehearsed show presented somewhere else in a more modest form or did the patrons generously refuse to accept refunds?