1954, The Duke in Darkness
Michael J.O.N. Sealy
Click on the photo to enlarge

Summer 1954, The Duke in Darkness

“In 1580, during the French Civil Wars, the Duke of Latteraine has been imprisoned in the Chateau Lamorre for 15 years, together with his servant, Gribaud. The Duke has feigned blindness in the hope that it will aid his eventual escape. As the two men play a tense game of chess, it becomes evident that confinement has caused Gribaud to lose his reason. They are visited by an erstwhile friend named Voulain, now in the service of the enemy, who tries to persuade the Duke that he is still loyal to him. Voulain sets out a daring plan of escape. The Duke must decide whether he can be trusted—and determine what to do with a loyal, mad companion who could be the plan's undoing.”

Two things stick in my mind about this production.
My costume had a name tape reading “Hugh Burden”, who I found out was the
actor who played my character, Voulain, in the original London production!
In the play, the Duke was imprisoned in a room high up in a tower of the castle.
When Gribaud went mad we had to get rid of the body by throwing him out of the window. As the body fell to the ground I had to say something along the lines of “alas poor Yorrick, I knew him well”. The body ( Nick Clarke) was thrown onto a pile of mattresses on the floor and as I looked down to say my lines all I saw was Nick looking up at me pulling outrageous faces!

Cast
The Duke of Latteraine Jack Knowles
Gribaud Nicky Clarke
Voulain Michael Sealy
Duke of Lamorre M.J. Draco
Count d’Aublaye D. Westmoreland

Photo
L to R: D.A.V.Beare, R.G.Best, M.S.Wilson, M.J. Sealy, Jack Knowles,
Nick Clarke, M.J.Draco, D.Westmoreland, Ian McLeod, R.C. Cartwright.
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