Gladys Cooper




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Gladys Cooper




The Crystal Heart
Saville Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London


"The Crystal heart", a musical comedy which was both ambitious and expensive (for its time) costing over thirty thousand pounds.  A show in which almost everything that could go wrong did so.

"The Crystal Heart" is a story of a ship load of Victorian sailors at large on an island inhabited only by six women

Gladys, now sixty-eight years old was required to both sing and dance, something that she had not done for almost fifty years.

On the tour during a dance routine Gladys cracked a bone in her chest which meant that she had to open the show on painkillers.

Though Gladys managed to win the audience over the show was a disaster and it closed after only five performances.  The audience resorted to heckling and booing almost from beginning to end on the first night.  Amends were made as Gladys took four curtain calls amid great applause and cries of "Bravo" on the last night.


Play Title :-
The Crystal Heart

Year / Date  Produced :-
Early 1957.

Presented at :-
Saville Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London

Presented by :-
Toby Rowland Ltd by special arrangement with Lyn Austin, Thomas Noyes & Roger L. Stevens (in association with Charles Pratt Jr.)

Written By :-
William Archibald

Directed By :- Bill Butler

The Cast :- Actor / Actress :-
Part Played :-

Laurie Payne - Ted

Mike Morgan
- Jeremy John

Harold Scott
- Wellington Marchmount

Dilys Laye
- Virtue

Mavis Traill
- Hope

Stella Claire
- Charity

Andrew Downie
- Herbert

Gladys Cooper
- Mistress Phoebe Ricketts

Julia Shelley
- Miss Louisa Hatfield

Elvi Hale
- Alexandra Crowley

Peter Sinclair
- The Captain

George Ballantine
- A sailor

Paul Elsom
- A sailor

Stanley Fleet
- A sailor

Ken Martyne
- A sailor

Bill Morgan
- A sailor

John Morley
- A sailor

Harry Oliver
- A sailor

Raymond Parks
- A sailor

Charles Schuller
- A sailor

Time - Somewhere between 1830 and 1840.

Act I  Scene 1 :- The deck of a passenger-schooner.  An hour before dawn.

Act I  Scene 2 :- Coming ashore.  Morning.

Act I  Scene 3 :- Ricketts Folly.  A few minutes later.

Act I  Scene 4 :- The same.  The following afternoon.

Act I  Scene 5 :- A hilltop.

Act I  Scene 6 :- Ricketts Folly.  A few minutes later.

Act II  Scene 1 :- Ricketts Folly.  The following day.

Act II  Scene 2 :- A pathway.

Act II  Scene 3 :- Ricketts Folly.  That evening.

Act III  Scene 1 :- Ricketts Folly.  Early morning, two days later.

Act III  Scene 2 :- A lonely spot.  The following day.

Act III  Scene 3 :- The deck of the passenger-schooner.

Musical Numbers - Act 1 :-
A Year is a Day  -  Ted

The Anchor's Down  -  Ted, Herbert and the Sailors

Yes, Aunt  -  Alexandra

A Girl with a Ribbon  -  Ted

I Wanted to See the World  -  Jeremy

Hilltop Dance  -  Hope and Charity

A Monkey when he Loves  -  Ensemble

How Strange the Silence  -  Louisa

Desperate  -  Marchmount and Jeremy

Musical Numbers - Act 2 :- Lovely Island  -  Jeremy, Virtue, Charity, Hope and Alexandra

Pretty Little Bluebird  -  Mrs. Ricketts

Handsome Husbands  -  Virtue and Ensemble

Agnes and Me  -  Herbert

Madam, I Beg You  -  Mrs. Ricketts and Marchmount

My Heart Won't Learn  -  Louisa

When I Dance with my Love  -  Ted

Musical Numbers - Act 3 :- Lovely Bridesmaids  -  Virtue, Hope and Charity

I Wanted to see the World (Reprise)  -  Jeremy and Alexandra

It's so British  -  Sailors

It took them  -  Virtue, Hope, Charity and a Sailor (Raymond Parks)

When I Dance with my Love (Reprise)  -  Ted

How Strange the Silence  -  Louisa

Lovely Island (Reprise)  -  Jeremy

A Year is a Day (Reprise)  -  Ted

General Manager  :- John Roberts

Company Manager  :- Robert Clinton

Stage Manager  :- Ruth Atkinson

Assistant Stage Managers  :- Felicia Warde & Ken Lawton

Wardrobe Mistress  :- Mrs. Elsie Codner

Press Representative  :- Suzanne Warner Ltd.  45 Lowndes Sq., London, S.W.1.  (Tel: BELgravia 3807)

Manager (for Saville Theatre):- Frank Sleap

Music by  :- Baldwin Bergerson

Choreography by :- Ray Harrison

Scenery & costumes designed by :-
Malcolm Pride

Lighting & Technical Advisor  :- Michael Northen

Orchestrations by  :- Ted Royal

Musical Direction by :- Jack Coles

Scenery built by :- E. Babbage & Co. and Stage Door Ltd

Scenery painted by :- Alick Johnstone

Ladies' costumes executed by :- Elizabeth Curzon Ltd

Gentleman's costumes executed by :- Carl Bonn and Colin Mackenzie

Hats by :- Eric Gates

Shoes by :- Anello & Davide

Wigs by :- Wig Creations

Stockings by :- Kayser

Wardrobe care by :-

Guns by :- Bapty

Basketwork by :- L. Peacock

Electrical Equipment by :- Strand Electric & Engineering Co

Cigarettes by :- Abdulla