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Rudyard and the Raj

History at Large, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Rudyard Kipling
devised by George Fleming and Sue Paramor

Salisbury Museum Lecture Theatre

Thursday 11th and Friday 12th June 1998


The writer confesses...


The origins of this offering lie in a show I put together nearly twenty years ago, for the Larkhill Amateur Dramatic Society.

It was called, simply, "Kipling's Army" and involved a fusion of his "Barrack Room Ballads" with documentary material, slides and sound effects.

It worked rather well, in a military environment, and has been repeated several times since then in similar circumstances.

I was tempted to offer it here tonight, but "H.A.L." has now had a fair number of military historical productions and I felt this might be one too many. We don't want to become known as "Bloodbath Theatre"!

So, in a mood of facile optimism, I decided to broaden the scope of the operation and make it a study of Kipling as "the Poet of Empire", with particular reference to his Indian works. This foolishness brought me, shockingly, face to face with the sheer immensity (and complexity) of Rudyard Kipling's output on this theme and the virtual impossibility of doing it justice in one small-scale production and with less than five months to research, assemble and produce it.

In fact so appalled am I at what I've got myself into and so impressed with the possibilities of further "H.A.L." work in this field, that I have joined The Kipling Society, so as to start doing the job properly!

In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy tonight's show and ascribe its deficiencies to an old man's folly and NOT to Rudyard Kipling or to my long-suffering cast and crew!


"Rudyard and the Raj"...

The piece consists of readings and recitations from Kipling's works (delivered on stage) complemented (from the floor of the house) by readings of criticisms and comments on the works or their backgrounds.

This documentary material is entirely Victorian or Edwardian. Our aim has been to see how far the poet confirms or conflicts with the comments. You may be surprised at how "politically correct" some of these are!

We HAVE used "Land of Hope and Glory" rather out of chronology! We hope you will appreciate the reasoning.




The Cast

The readers

Nikki Angel-Jull, Rosemary Finney, Beth Laurence-Paramor, Joe Rooney, Dave Schirn


The actors

Ruth Buckingham, Izzy Ford, Carrie Jones, Alec Clapperton, Richard Clarke, George Fleming, Nino Pelopidda


The narrator

George Fleming


The Crew

Stage Manager - Natasha Cherry
Sound Design - Paul Gulliver
Lighting Design & Operator - Steve Lucas
Sound - Hannah Mawson
Slide Projectionists - Mike Mansfield, Paul Routledge
Costumes - Sue Paramor
Piano Players - Ian Marshall, Michael Warren
Front of House - Pat Mawson, Dee Mansfield


Acknowledgements

All the Staff at the Salisbury Museum
T.O.G.S.
B & Q
Paul Gulliver & The Stable Studios
Guilder Graphics
Black Paw Productions




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