This programme puts me in a conundrum.  There is no mention of Elsie Fogerty’s Central School, yet I think there is a connection.

This performance of Prunella was given at the Swanley Horticultural College in 1916.  In Marion Cole’s book about Elsie Fogerty, she states that when Irene Mawer was a first year student at Central, she performed in Prunella.  

I know that Irene Mawer auditioned for Central in 1914 (though I don’t know what month), and that she was certainly a student there in 1916, but I don’t know which year was her first year.

Also, this programme doesn’t tell us who wrote this version of Prunella – the Marion Cole book refers to the one by Laurence Houseman and Grenville Barker.

In that first year production at Central, Irene played the role of Pierrot.

Whoever it was who presented this particular production, they were extremely well-connected.  The performance was to raise money for the Red Cross and the list of patrons is full of Lords and Ladies, with the odd Duchess and Countess thrown in for good measure.  The number of women patrons far outweighs the men.

There were two performances, one mid-week in the evening, the other a Saturday matinee.

Author: Janet Fizz Curtis

Janet Fizz Curtis is trained in the Irene Mawer Method of Mime and Movement and is now writing a book about the life of Irene Mawer.

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