© The Monday Players 2017
Home News & Calendar Productions Galleries About Us Members Links


TITLE: Habeas Corpus  PLAYWRIGHT: Alan Bennett PERFORMANCE DATES: 19th-21st May 2011  DIRECTOR: Ken Davison 


Dr Arthur Wicksteed Hugh Dower Muriel Wicksteed Pat Davison Dennis Wicksteed Graeme Parker Connie Wicksteed Linda Baillie Mrs Swabb Nicki Clay Sir Percy Shorter Richard Ingram Lady Delia Rumpers Jill Pearson The Hon. Felicity Rumpers MacKenzie Crompton Canon Throbbing David Lane Mr Shanks Brian Rowland Mr Purdue Craig Hodgson Click HERE for full Cast and Crew details 


A play which highlights the sexual excesses of the Middle Classes in the 1960s. It  centres around Dr Arthur Wicksteed, his family and some of the people they meet.  There are three main plots, all of which meet at some point in the proceedings. Arthur  Wicksteed MD, trusted medical practitioner, is tempted by the feminine charms of a  young lady who wanders into his surgery one afternoon feeling faint. By chance she  meets the Doctor's hypochondriac son, Dennis, during her visit and learns that he is  terminally ill with Brett's Palsy. This is the answer to her dreams as the honorable  Felicity Rumpers is with child out of wedlock, a heinous crime, even in those  promiscuous times. Three months of wedded bliss with the terminally ill Dennis will give  her the respectability she needs when the baby eventually arrives, hopefully nine  months from the announcement of their engagement.  Arthur's sister, Connie, is a little challenged around the mammalian protuberances and  hence has difficulty in attracting acceptable male suitors. Her current courtship with the  limp but good natured Canon Throbbing has spent ten years in complete stagnation.  Connie's fortunes change with the arrival of an appliance designed to give more  proportion to her frontage as she uses her new found confidence to attract the visiting  President of the BMA, Sir Percy Shorter. Arthur's wife, Muriel, is more than a little put  out by Percy's preference for the dowdy Connie, especially as it was she who arranged  for the eminent physician to visit with the intention of resuming an earlier relationship.  Muriel is not left out of the relational merry go round as she welcomes Connie's  appliance fitter into the house. He immediately believes that he has found the right  Wicksteed and begins to adjust the appliance. She believes that he is exercising an  incredibly cheeky opening gambit and responds with pleasure to his flattery. Still at  cross purposes Denzil Shanks, a perfectionist and master of his craft, takes  photographs of Muriel to share with his colleagues back at Leatherhead, the appliance  fitter headquarters.  As the play progresses there is indignation and counter-indignation as the various  blossoming relationships are revealed to spouses and lovers. Muriel banishes Arthur  from the family home for his intentions toward Felicity, Sir Percy threatens to have  Arthur struck from the medical register and the Canon pleads with Connie to return to  him. Felicity learns that Dennis is a Hypochondriac and unlikely to die and Sir Percy  glimpses Connie without her appliance and rejects her. The key to unraveling this  maelstrom of hypocrisy is the arrival of Lady Rumpers, mother of Felicity, who manages  to discover that Sir Percy was the locum with whom she had sexual relations under the  table during an air raid in Liverpool just prior to boarding a ship to the colonies. Thus  the identity of Felicity's father is revealed. Arthur's fortunes take a sudden turn for the  better as a little quid pro quo is suggested, even more so when he discovers the  photographs of Muriel taken by shanks. Suffice to say that most people got what they  wanted in the end, with the possible exception of Canon Throbbing. To see who got  whom I suggest you read the play. The whole drama is narrated by Mrs Swabb, house keeper to the Wicksteeds and  representative of the working classes. Part of the irony was the maintenance of a  higher moral standard by those who toil by the sweat of their brow as compared with  the more privileged few. To aid Mrs Swabb in her castigation of the middle classes  another character was introduced, Mr Purdue, a manic depressive whose National  Health status led to his plight and subsequent attempts at suicide being ignored by the  good doctor 



11 photos Click HERE

Click poster for

full size image