Lucilla Has A World Premiere!
A Most Thrilling Event!
Aileen Ward, a Member of Lucilla for many years, writes:
It was most exciting, in 1962, when I played one of the leading parts in the World Premiere of a play written by one of our own Members. The play, a thriller entitled Double Jeopardy, was written by Stanley Clayton (the pen name of Stanley Clegg) and Olive Chase. It was first performed by Lucilla at Alexandra Hall, Crosby in April 1962, but it was destined for a much wider audience and star treatment, as it was adapted by another playwright (David Butler) and went on to be produced professionally as Person Unknown. I remember in particular that it had professional performances in Liverpool, at the Royal Court Theatre, and in Blackpool at the Winter Gardens Pavilion.
Another play by the same authors, a thriller entitled Crime In Store (1963), in which I also had a leading part, likewise went on to be produced professionally in 1966 as Countercrime. it is interesting to see that this was performed in 1980 by the Saracens Theatre Company.
A few us from Lucilla were able to attend a performance of each play, and go backstage to meet some of the cast, including Raymond Francis, Charles Tingwell, Philip Latham, John Alderton, Ronald Howard, Jill Browne, Windsor Davies, and the star of Double Jeopardy, Anna Neagle. Not all of these names will be so familiar today, but all were household names at the time, from there TV and film appearances.
When Person Unknown was performed in Liverpool in 1964, Anna Neagle kindly gave of her time to attend and open the Lucilla's charity coffee morning, which enabled other Members of the Society, and the public, to meet her. She was a delightful personality and wholly unaffected. The photograph on the right shows Anna Neagle with the play's author (far right), our Producer (far left) and myself. . A memorable few years!
See other items of interest about this play from Aileen's archive Double Jeopardy Archive
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