The Happiest Days of Your Life


Performed:
21st
-
23rd November
1996
Acted by: Directed by: Written by:
Masham Players would like to thank the above for their participation!

Plot

Set in 1949, confusion reigns when St Swithin's Girls School is accidentally billeted at Nutborne College: a boys school. The two heads, Wetherby Pond and Muriel Whitchurch, try to cope with the ensuing chaos, as the children and staff attempt to live in the newly cramped conditions (it being impossible to share dormitories or other facilities), and seek to prevent the children taking advantage of their new opportunities.

Additional humour is derived from the departure of the Nutbourne College domestic staff and their hurried (and not very effective) replacement with the St Swithin's School Home Economics class.

The main comedy is derived from the fact that the parents of the St Swithins girls would consider it improper for their daughters to be exposed to the rough mix of boys in Pond's school, and from the consequent need to conceal the fact that the girls are now sharing a school that's full of boys. Pond is offended at the suggestion that his boys are not suitable company for the young ladies of St Swithin's, but he needs to appease Miss Whitchurch in order to salvage his chances of an appointment to a prestigious all-boys school for which he is in the running, and which depends on his ability to prevent his current post presenting the appearance of a bear garden.

Matters come to a head when a group of school governors, from the prestigious establishment to which Pond has applied to become the next headmaster, pay a visit at the same time as the parents of some of the St Swithin's girls. Frantic classroom changes are made, and hockey, lacrosse and rugby posts and nets are swapped about, as students and staff try to hide the unusual arrangement.

Two simultaneous tours of the school premises are arranged: one for the girls parents, and a separate one for the Governors; and never the twain must meet! The facade finally collapses when the parents become obsessed with seeing a girls lacrosse match at the same time as one of the Governors has been promised a rugby match.

The punchline is delivered - a clever swipe at wartime bureaucracy - when, weeks too late, a Ministry of Schools official arrives, to declare everything sorted out. "You're a co-educational school, I believe; well I've arranged for ANOTHER co-educational school to replace St Swithin's next week... Oh, it appears they're ahead of schedule." At this point, several more coachloads of children and staff appear noisily, and utter chaos reign.

Photos

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