Habeas Corpus

by Alan Bennett

Directed by Martin Chadwick


Production Team

Director’s Notes

It is 35 years since I first saw ‘Habeas Corpus’ and I laughed so much that I knew it was a play that I wanted to be in or direct, and when I started directing a few years later I put it forward to the Garrick committee. Unfortunately they thought it too risqué and so I have had to wait until now to get the chance to do it.
Alan Bennett is wonderful observer of people and in this play he pops fun at various aspects of life in the 1960s, the permissive society, the medical profession, the upper classes and the clergy included.

His main character is Dr Wicksteed who is not averse to lusting after his more attractive female patients, his wife Muriel who is desperate to break out of a loveless marriage, his hypochondriac son Dennis whom he detests and his dowdy, flat chested sister, Connie, who longs to find her Mr. Right. Add to these Muriel’s old flame, Sir Percy Shorter, who has a chip on his shoulder about his height or lack of it, Cannon Throbbing who looks up girls skirts but thinks marriage will cure it, Lady Rumpers who has a skeleton in her cupboard and her daughter, Felicity, who has her own little problem. Then we have Mr. Shanks who is on a mission and Mr. Purdue who is threatening suicide.

The whole play is held together by the sharp witted cleaner Mrs. Swabb. You will notice that the author has given his characters names to match their persona.

We have laughed continuously throughout rehearsals and we hope that you get as much pleasure watching it as we have done. You might still find it risqué, but we hope you find it as saucy as a seaside postcard. M.C.

Kath Riley as
Mrs Swabb
Alan Miller as
Arthur Wicksteed
Anne Chadwick as
Muriel Wicksteed
Wayne Brankin as
Dennis Wicksteed
Val Nicholson as
Constance Wicksteed
Stephen Dixon as
Canon Throbbing
Viv Thornber as
Lady Rumpers
Laura Chadwick as
Felicity Rumpers
Steve Grist as
Mr Shanks
Tom Garner as
Sir Percy Shorter
Kevin Kay as
Mr Purdue
The play directed
by Martin Chadwick