Rawlinson End - The Play

In 1993 The Orion Players put on a stage production of ‘Sir Henry at Rawlinson End’ in aid of charity, those who attended it this first time round said it was a highly memorable experience.

Above: Sir Henry (Right) reminisces with Sir Humphrey of the Mall, 1993
Nick’s original script was sourced from radio recordings, the book, and the film to a lesser extent, however it was mainly based on the vinyl album.
The narration was performed by one of the cast at a plinth at the side of the stage.
Nick Linfield (the man behind this production) got in touch with Vivian (or at least Viv was aware of the performance) through Stephen Fry by contacting Fry’s agent.
He never spoke to Vivian, and unfortunately Viv never turned up to the performance.
They incorporated slightly adapted songs, such as ‘Scrotum keeps his clips on’, and the story was centrally based on the record.
There were a couple of brief press articles on this 1993 performance (see below).

They re-staged it again this year (2005) for the charity Outreach 3 Way.
The play started off with an amusing and well put together short film, this was put together to avoid starting off with five minutes of narration, and it certainly had a stronger impact than narration by itself would have done.
The play then went into a series of ludicrously good scenes involving Rawlinson End and its inhabitants and the jollity of the face jumping contest shall not be forgotten easily.
This was a wonderful representation of Vivian’s work as a musical with various cast members performing slightly adapted songs form Vivian’s repertoire, drawing upon a vast range of lines the characters elucidate with a flair for the visual representation of the comical moments of Rawlinson End.
This musical format held the work together better than the 1980 film in many ways.
There were songs included that Vivian never recorded for commercial release including ‘Cul de Sac’, and the vast array of characters they were able to include along with some bizarre visual humour brought Viv’s work alive for the 21st century and to a new audience in this school hall in a small Sussex village.
This was a performance that I’m sure Viv would have appreciated.

Below are a selection of photographs from the 2005 production...

Henry, Florrie, the Rev. Slodden and Lady Philipa enjoy an eating.

Henry awakes, aided by Scrotum to the drinks cabinet.

'I don't know what I want, but I want it NOW!'

The garden gnomes were a length more obviously masculine than hitherto.

Scrotum & Hubert dance...

Nice and Tidy, 'we'll hoover your mats and neuter your cats'

A wee bit more will be added soon.

The complete script (suitable for printing...)