2012 - Murder at the Vicarage



Present an Open Air Production of

Agatha Christie’s

12th, 13th and 14th July 2012 at

At Southwood House, Itchen Abbas, SO21 1AT
(Gardens open for Picnics 6.30 pm)
In Aid of
The Multiple Sclerosis Society
Itchen Valley Churches
Winchester Cathedral Girls’ Choir
The Chesil Theatre Development Appeal

TICKETS:£12 (under 12 free)
Nick Owen: 01962 779162 Southwood House, Itchen Ababs, SO21 1AT
Maddy Woosnam 01962 779294
Please make cheques to "Itchen Valley PCC", for E-tickets please provide email address, for physical tickets please send SAE.



The Vicar (Rev Leonard Clement)           Noel Thorpe-Tracey                                               

                                                                  Sponsored by Winchester Talking Newspaper

Griselda (his wife)                                    Maddy Woosnam                                                                                                            Sponsored by Cadogan Contemporary

Dennis (his nephew)                                 David May-Miller                                                                                                    Sponsored by Martins of Basingstoke

Mary (the maid)                                       Caroline Morgan

                                                                  Sponsored by Cynne Georgoulas

Ronald Hawes (the curate)                      Charlie Seligman

                                                                  Sponsored by Martin Humphrey

Lettice Protheroe                                    Annabelle Woosnam        

                                                                  Sponsored by Alresford Salads

Miss Jane Marple                                    Lavinia Owen

                                                                  Sponsored by Blake Lapthorn

Mrs Price-Ridley                                     Naomi Ellis

                                                                  Sponsored by Adrian Lee

Anne Protheroe                                       Mary Hall

                                                                Sponsored by Zedra Solutions

Lawrence Redding (an artist)                 Ian May-Miller                                                                                                       Sponsored by Arkells Brewery

Dr John Haydock                                     Nick Owen                                                                                                            Sponsored by Colin Rickman

Inspector Slack                                        Steve Percy

                       Sponsored by IVC of Alresford - Cars Chosen with Care

WPC Jennings                                          Claudia Woosnam

                                                                  Sponsored by Martin Humphrey


Set Building and Scenery                        Derek Ware

Prompt                                                      Alex Percy


Murderous Crew:  Patrick Appleby, Jill Croft, Chris Ellis, Sophie Jackson, Lyn Russell, Vernon Tottle, Di Wilson, James Woosnam, and many others.



Synopsis of the Scenes


The action takes place in the Vicarage study in summer



Scene 1 - A Tuesday Afternoon

Scene 2 - The following Day at 6.45pm

Scene 3 - Thursday Morning


INTERVAL (25 minutes)



Scene 1 - The following Sunday.  Late afternoon

Scene 2 - An hour and a half later



Murder and Agatha Christie

The Duchess of Death and Queen Elizabeth share a Diamond Jubilee this year. The Mousetrap, Christie’s most famous stage play, was first performed in London in 1952.  But it was in 1949 that Murder at the Vicarage began its long run at the Playhouse Theatre.  Murder was written as a novel in 1930 and adapted for the stage by Moie Charles and Barbara Toye. It is the first of Christie’s works to feature Jane Marple and the village of St Mary Mead. Other characters who recur include Mrs Price-Ridley, Griselda and Dr Haydock. As the Vicar says ‘anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe would be doing the world at large a service’.  But who did it?  There are so many suspects.


The Southwood Players was set up in 2009, specifically to raise money for local charities.  Now in their third production in Itchen Abbas, they have welcomed not just the stars of the Easton Pantomime, but have enjoyed building a working and acting relationship with The Chesil Theatre. This year too, a larger cast has allowed room for three new teenage members. Where will we go next?


Lavinia Owen - Miss Jane Marple

Who would have thought of her as this wily old spinster after the bombastic Lady Bracknell and the clairvoyant Madame Arcati.  Perhaps the latter is closer to the mark - so look for the ‘light bulb’ moment even if she does not use a crystal ball.  Lavinia is delighted to be adding a new character to her repertoire.



Noel Thorpe-Tracey - The Vicar

Fresh from playing an heroic Frenchman at the Chesil, Noel takes on the third cleric of his career so far. After Cardinal Wolsey and the Bishop of Worcester, a humble country parson might be a bit of a comedown.  But ‘this one has the delightful Maddy as his wife, so the Vicar wins - and thanks God.’


Maddy Woosnam - Griselda

Maddy is thrilled to have been cast as a grown-up after most recently playing teenagers, as Dorothy in the Easton Pantomime and Cecily in The Importance.  Her acting skills are stretched to the full in playing Griselda ‘a shocking housekeeper’ who can’t cook and has a ‘past’.


Ian May-Miller  - Lawrence Redding

Ian was new to the group for The Importance in 2010.  In two years he has traded Algernon who ‘looks everything’ for Redding, ‘quite a good looking fellow’.  Still it can’t be bad as nearly all the women fancy themselves in love with him. ‘Loose! Bound to be.’


Mary Hall - Anne Protheroe

All locals will remember Mary as the Witch of the West with the nose trouble! Here she may have become the bitch of the west who only married Colonel Protheroe for his money.  Needless to say she is very adaptable though occasionally prone to doing ‘wild and impetuous things’.


Steve Percy - Inspector Slack

Slack by name, slack by nature. This typical Christie detective and ‘hound of the law’ is cast to have rings run round him by the wily spinster.  Mrs Percy is longing to prompt him to shave off his moustache.


Charlie Seligman - Ronald Hawes

Charlie, also on loan from the Chesil, says he is, like the egg, good in parts. He too has previous form playing the clergy but refuses to be drawn about Tarts and Vicars at the Agricultural College,  ‘youth is so sensitive and so secretive.’


Caroline Morgan - Mary

Caroline moves seamlessly from the role of ‘Miss Prism, a female of repellent aspect’ to Mary, ‘my hearing’s the best thing about me’ via a stint as the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.  She claims to be fond of a little diversity.



Nick Owen - Dr Haydock

Drafted in somewhat compulsorily, he prefers to dine upstairs, especially when Mary is cooking, Nick is currently more familiar with medicine than acting but declines to reveal his scars.


Naomi Ellis - Mrs Price-Ridley

Naomi, who has courageously crossed the river, insists that playing ‘a worse cat than Marple’ with a torrent of invective comes naturally to her.   Her only regret is that a ‘change in fashion never bothers you, dear Mrs Price-Ridley.’


Annabelle WoosnamLettice Protheroe

With the ‘voice of an angel and the (painted) toes of a t…’.  Annabelle has no trouble identifying with the character of Lettice and is thrilled to be making her debut with the Southwood Players, thereby ‘keeping it in the family’.


David May-Miller - Dennis

David insists that it is ‘wizard luck’ to be playing Dennis with the Southwood Players and a bit of a change from playing ‘Oliver’ at school.  He is hoping that dealing with Lettice will stand him in good stead in his bid to be head boy.


Claudia Woosnam - WPC Jennings

Claudia completes our teenage trio and is delighted that this small but demanding role gives her a chance to order her mother off the stage. 

Now you see her - now you don’t.


Anna McGowan - Director

Anna has bravely crossed the river for the third time and had to use all her skills as Easton Pantomime director to keep control of the larger than usual cast, particularly the clergy.  Keep crossing the river Anna!





The production has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of

Co-operative Funeralcare

Hobbs Rehabilitation

Draper Tools


Other very generous sponsorships have been received from

Claremont Richards Solicitors - Programme

Richard Steel and Partners - Costumes

Mercia Crematoria Developments - Printing


We are enormously grateful also to all our character sponsors,

Totton Timber who have supplied timber and Homebase who lent the fireplace.


We would like to thank

Lavinia and Nick Owen for making their house and garden available

Princes’ Mead School for offering the availability of the Sports Hall

The Chesil Theatre, Lisbeth Rake and Malcolm Brown

The ‘crew’ and all those who have helped



Raffle tickets will be sold each night with the draw taking place after Saturday’s performance. Tickets are £1 each. Please make sure that your telephone number is on each ticket. Prizes include:


A helicopter flight over the Valley - donated by Peter Waldron

Two Opera tickets for 2013 - donated by Grange Park Opera

A day’s trout fishing on the Itchen - donated by Andrew Impey

A family portrait session to include one free print - donated by

Tiddy Maitland-Titterton Photography

Large Basket of Clarins Products  - donated by Alresford Beauty

Vintage Whisky and Port


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