As per the earlier post, Harry Beddington’s one act farce was performed at Jolter’s Press yesterday as the finale to the Mitcheldean Poetry Festival. As it did in Cinderford in 1948, it made the packed audience laugh out loud. If you missed it, it will be repeated in Bream later in the year by the Oh Crumbs team – come back to this post nearer the time.
Yesterday was a perfect day for a walk in the woods around Bream and some 20 of our members (and three dogs) made the most of this, guided by the extremely knowledgeable Geoff Davis. We didn’t do the whole walk (some 6 miles) but rambled for about 2 miles looking at old mine workings and some very large and interesting holes in the ground.
One thing Geoff mentioned was that he’s pretty sure the white cottage you can see in the picture below is the one referred to by John Bellows in his original 1880 A Week’s Holiday in the Forest of Dean. For those of you who haven’t read this charming and often amusing book, you can buy the replica edition with an Introduction by Vice President Ian Standing on Amazon.
In 1938 F.W. Harvey made a pioneering broadcast at the BBC in Whiteladies Road, introducing the Forest dialect. The slightly pompous BBC, tethered to public schools and received pronunciation (PR) were shaken to hear the voices of ordinary people on the airwaves. The Forest dialect has been a thing of fascination ever since.
75 years ago, Harry Beddington, proud of the dialect tradition and friend of F.W. Harvey, wrote about a character called Jolter using dialect. He also wrote several plays, one of which was awarded a prize at the very early Gloucestershire Festival of Music and Drama.
An ensemble cast of Darren Hoskins, Andy Scarf, Louise Bullen and Lynn Teague will be assembling at Jolter Press, The Mews, Mitcheldean at 6.00pm on Sunday 21st July, to perform a revival of 'Footing the Bill' Harry's one act farce. It is free of charge and a BBC film crew (camera & producer) will be coming along to film for the final scenes of an Inside Out West TV feature on Harry & dialect due for broadcast in the autumn.
Darren, Andy, Louise and Lynn need a good audience to make this a successful production and you don't have to speak in dialect to get what this play is all about. Please support the play and share this opportunity with friends.
(Thanks to Andrew Maliphant and Colleagues from the Mitcheldean Festival for supporting this event)