Distinctive amateur drama
in Northampton since 1932

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The School For Scandal
by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Alan Carr in The School For Scandal

Cast & Crew

Tab Mark Harris
Lady Sneerwell
Liz Clarke
Mary Greaves
Joseph Surface
Vince Howells
Rebecca Adams
Mrs Candour
Janice Shortland
Mr Crabtree
Tony Janney
Sir Benjamin Backbite
Min Kingston
Sir Peter Teazle
John Lott
Michael Frazer
Lady Teazle
Pat Coleman
Sir Oliver Surface
David Ashton
Michael Gallant
Charles Surface
Alan Carr
Richard Walker
Sir Harry
Paul Ikin

Director Ursula Wright
Stage Manager
Clare Brittain
Assistant Stage Manager
Vicky Kelly
Alison Dunmore
Assisted by
Jane Roebuck, Jean McNamara, Dorothy Granger, Clare Brittain and Masque Costumes
The Works
Wigs and Hair
Lisa Green, Vicky Kelly
Grace Ciappara, Jane Lanchbury
Front of House
John Clarke, Greta Hendy, Denise Swann
Rob Kendall
Programme Design
George Hammerschmidt


David Ashton and Alan Carr in The School For Scandal

Production No. 302

More images from The School For Scandal


First published in Masque News, November 2008

Today Alan Carr is lauded as one of the country's funniest men. In 1998, aged 22, he performed in Sheridan’s The School for Scandal for his local amateur dramatic company, Masque Theatre.

It was Ursula Wright’s first production for Masque: "I was fortunate to have an excellent cast - John Lott and Patricia Coleman as Sir Peter and Lady Teazle, Janice Shortland, Liz Clarke, Min Kingston and Tony Janney as the gossiping scandal-mongers, Mary Greaves and Michael Gallant in memorable cameo roles, the late David Ashton at his gentle, loveable best as the gullible Sir Oliver Surface and Richard Walker making use of a newsprint-covered chamber pot (everything on the set was covered with tabloid newsprint!) with comic bravado. As well as Michael Fraser (borrowed from Desborough) and three Youth Theatre members, we added a pair of very photogenic and impeccably behaved King Charles spaniels to the cast list.

"The two central roles of Joseph and Charles Surface were played by Vince Howells and Alan Carr: Joseph a plausible but scheming villain who is eventually unmasked, and Charles a dissolute but good-hearted wastrel who wins the day, and the lady!

"Alan had recently completed a three-year course at drama school and was wonderful to work with. Although not entirely suited to the role, he brought a professional attitude and self-deprecating charm to all rehearsals. He was receptive to direction, welcomed my endless notes, even during the run, and instinctively recognised the need for speed and a light touch in delivering Sheridan's dialogue. The scene where he takes his disguised uncle Oliver on a tour of the family portraits, describing each one before auctioning it off at a knock-down price, was performed with the dry wit and accurate timing which characterise his stand-up routines today.

"Members of the cast may have backstage memories and anecdotes, but to me he was simply a talented young actor, somewhat camp in manner, who I hoped would audition again for future productions. We later learnt that he had gone back to London. When I met him again at his book-signing he remembered The School for Scandal with enthusiasm and said he was going to do some more acting and film work in the future."

Masque Theatre's Alison Dunmore also has vivid memories of Alan Carr during that production, especially his underpants: "He had see-through, light-fitting britches but the only garments he produced to wear underneath were gory, youthfully exuberant boxer shorts."

When told that he’d need to wear something more suitable and less visible, he professed not to own anything. "His solution was to wear nothing underneath" recalls Alison with a chuckle. "The britches were not firm in texture, leaving little to the imagination, and we had a rather interesting rehearsal!"

28 - 31 October 1998 at 7.45pm
Northampton College Performing Arts Centre, Booth Lane, Northampton

Page last updated: 15/08/2011 Masque Theatre © 2011