Dulwich’s own Am-Dram group celebrates its fiftieth year having been formed by the amalgamation of two older local companies - The Village Players and the Dulwich Dramatic Society who were both founded after the end of WW2. To mark the occasion, Jill, Jane and Louise Alexander put together the following poem incorporating all of the Players’ past productions which they performed at the 50th party.

It all began with The Venetian Twins
who Relatively Speaking
in the Absurd Person Singular
were The Rivals
who had a Beaux Stratagem
to win the hand of Miranda
whose sister Anastasia
a Hypochondriac
I'm afraid
was married to An Ideal Husband
called Uncle Vanya.

Her other sister Alice
was Charley's Aunt
and got dreadful Hay Fever
whenever she visited him on Cold Comfort Farm
where The Corn is Green,

This Caste
lived in The Dolls House
called Thark
It had a Gazebo
and was in Laburnam Grove
on the Outside Edge
of On Golden Pond
quite close to Our To
Joking Apart

(we did it twice so I can mention it twice)
went to The School for Scandal
where she learnt her Ten Times Table
and all about The Lion in Winter
in The Glass Menagerie
and most important about
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds,

By the way her brother in law The Magistrate
much admired Sherlock Holmes
but he was aware of Habeas Corpus
and investigated lots of The Real Thing
such as A Day in the Death of Joe Egg
Murder on the Nile
A Murder is announced
The Assassin
The Rape of the Belt
and The Murder Mystery of the Farndale
Avenue Townswomens’ Guild

and of course the affair of The Crucible
which was found to contain Arsenic and Old Lace.

Well Night must Fall
and it was Time and the Conways
Birthday Party
Abigail's party
where they went at Lark Rise
on the Ghost Train
to see a Cabaret
in the
Dining Room
of the Plaza Suite
of the Hotel Paradiso.

There was much Present Laughter
at this Cocktail Party
on the Night of the Iguana
when Dandy Dick
who was The Matchmaker
struck A Delicate Balance
between The Merry Wives of Windsor
and A Man of Destiny.

It was a real Comedy of Errors
almost a Black Comedy
or a Bedroom Farce

Don't Listen Ladies
You never can tell
How the Other Half Loves
and when A Letter to the General
saying Oh What a Lovely War
was published in
The Private Ear and the Public Eye
In Confidence
it was Hobsons Choice
whether Home and Beauty
or Agnes of God
would Inherit the Wind
on a Voyage round my Father
by Boeing Boeing.

Of course the whole thing was A Pack of Lies
and it wasn't until
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
when Pygmalion
said When we are Married
I will give you A Rose and a Ring
with my Season’ s Greetings
and All My Sons
will give you An Italian Straw Hat
with a Hollow Crown
and it will be
The Happiest Days of your Life
that I realised it was nearly 1995
and time for Animal Farm.

The second 25 years began with
The Real Inspector Hound
chasing Toad of Toad Hall
and The Mollusc
because they had infested
The House of Bernarda Alba
which was quite a Bleak House
with Dry Rot
and Nuts.

It was a Bedroom Farce
a real Comedy of Errors
when Cinderfella
and Harvey
said When we are Married
we will Return to the Forbidden Planet

where we will find
and Tartuffe
Living together.

But it was
The Accidental Death of an Anarchist
which created A Chorus of Disapproval
from Top Girls
and The Jew of Malta
when they heard that Amadeus
and Pericles
were The Rivals
for the hand of Lysistrata
who was A Compleat Female Stage Beauty,

just like The Merry Wives of Windsor
who on Twelfth Night
decided to be Benefactors
to Dear Brutus
and The Pied Piper,
whose Loyalties
were Much Ado About Nothing.
Then The Three Sisters
and My Three Angels
went Dancing at Lughnasa
by Gaslight
in Secret Rapture
with All My Sons

Now The Man who came to Dinner
with Jack and the Beanstalk
drank Shakers Re-stirred
and Bouncers Remix
with only The Memory of Water
until they were both just Talking Heads.

In A Midsummers Night's Dream
Daisy Pulls it off
The Dresser
as She Stoops to Conquer
The Ghost Train
but The Taming of the Shrew
was all for
Our Country's Good.

In another Midsummers Night's Dream,
A Servant to Two Masters
said Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
and they Can't Pay, Won't Pay
so that's Life x 3.

But in The Winter's Tale
which is one of those Grimms Tales
where A Murder is announced,
A Murder in the Cathedral-
by A Woman in Mind.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
put A Ring Round the Moon
with a Rope.

Meanwhile in Arcadia
in yet another Midsummer Night’s Dream
it was Ladies Day
when The Steel Magnolias
discussed The Adventures of Alice
and The Importance of being Earnest
as they played Racing Demon
in a Tempest.

It reminded one of The Coarse Acting Plays
but really it was just As You Like it



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The Society’s aims and objectives are to foster and safeguard the amenities of Dulwich, both in the interests of its residents and the wider local community of which it is a part, and to increase awareness of the varied character that makes the area so special.

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