Ritual for Dolls (1984)

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Poster by Poster Designer

by George MacEwan Green

Directed by John Woodrooffe

Performances: 17th & Sun 18th November 1984, Prompt Corner


The first half of a double bill with Transit of Venus (1984)

With their childhood owners now grown up, the log discarded toys live in the attic with only each other for company. As midnight sounds they rise from their daytime sleep to re-enact stories from the lives of their owners in the nightly "Ritual for Dolls".




"Ritual for Dolls" packs a tremendous punch. Four Dolls come out of their box at midnight to enact a tale of passion and retribution in colonial Africa under Queen Victoria. The tragedy was compellingly directed by John Woodroofe.

Sally Lill was the monkey doll Jo-Jo and her drum was the very heartbeat of the story. Julliet Male was superb as Arabella, emerging from her box with icy mien and racist gibes, before playing out the passionate tale of Alice.

The doll Bravo was played by Quentin Cobby, stiff and stilted and telling her brother Percival's tale in a mounting crescendo of mounting terror. Jonathan Lewis was Golly, a doll parody of the primitive African, with drawling accent and hypnotic delivery. This was a riveting half-hour.

Donald Madgwick, the Croydon Advertiser - reprinted in SCENE with permission.


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