84 Charing Cross Road

by Helene Hanff - Adapted for the stage by James Roose-Evans

directed by Belinda Drew

Performed at the

Plaza Theatre, Romsey


25th to 28th April 1990

The shop was Marks & Co, the lady, a merry New Yorker who didn't believe in being formal. Instead of writing orders for books, she wrote "long, goofy letters" first to Frank Doel, the manager, and then to members of his staff and family. Fortunately she kept all the letters, and this extraordinary relationship was revealed first in a book, then in a BBC television play starring Frank Finlay, and later in James Roose-Evans faithful adaptation as a stage play, first performed, incidentally, at the Salisbury Playhouse in 1981. The play was a huge success in London and a monumental flop on Broadway, but regained success when the film was made of this delightful story starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins.

In October 1949 Helene Hanff wrote the following letter to Marks & Co Booksellers:

Helene Hanff Mollie Manns
Frank Doel Albie Minns
Cecily Farr Jane Royle
Megan Wells Philippa Taylor
Bill Thomas Kevin Mitchell
Mr Martin Douglas Coates
Mrs Todd Jan Ward
Maxine Stuart Hazel Burrows

A note from the Director

To increase the intimacy of the feelings of the characters, I decided to include live music during the course of the action, rather than the normal taped sound effect, based almost entirely around one theme, "Deep Purple", which many of you recognised. Michael Patterson, known to many of you as a director for the company, played the piano.

Belinda Drew, Director

For the Maskers
The Director Belinda Drew
Stage Manager Angie Barks, assisted by Jean Durman & Julia Campione
Set Designer Ken Spencer
Set Builders Ron Tillyer, Geoff Cook, Edwin Beechcroft
Lighting Designer Ron Tillyer
Lighting Operator Chris Bennet
Sound Lawrie Gee, Tony Lawther
Wardrobe Fran Morley, Katherine Morley
Props & Furniture Ella Lockett, Meri Lawther
Publicity Manager Michael Patterson
Front of House Coordinator Christine Baker


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Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

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