Tuesday 11th - Saturday 15th September

Make Way for Lucia

by John Van Druten

Director Belinda Hasler

If you haven’t read the books, now is the time to become acquainted. Although the play pulls on distinctive characteristics imagined by E F Benson, the full background of each character is far more complex and funny.

The play is set in Tilling during the early 1930s where the pace is slow and there’s not an awful lot to do for the genteel with private income other than gossip, paint the occasional landscape, daily shop for groceries, gossip, entertain and play bridge. They are led by Miss Mapp who has a strong hold on one and all until the arrival of Lucia. Miss Mapp has met her before, briefly, in Riseholme where… Lucia held sway and all followed her lead.

The Tilling residents swap houses with each other for the summer season by downgrading thereby saving on rental. Lucia,the outsider, rents Miss Mapp’s residence called “Mallards” and so the drama begins…

The play is a story of two women trying to gain the upper hand. It is gently funny and each and every character, however long on stage, can make an impression on the viewing audience


Emmeline Lucas LUCIA: Elegant always well turned out. She gushes, she believes in all her poses and acts and her pretences, such as speaking fluent Italian! She loves herself… must the absolute centre of attention and has a streak of ruthlessness that brings about her attaining her goals. The only constant is her affection for Georgie.

Miss Mapp: Expects everyone to follow her lead within the social group she oversees… huge capacity for curiosity (gossip)... Inclined to be super congenial to get people on side and should there be a danger of not getting her way, is very resentful and finds it hard to keep a grip of emotions. Rather prone to “fixing” things in her favour.

Major Benjy-Flint: Upright solider type manner and posture. He is very fond of a touch of whiskey and likes to feel he has a way with women BUT runs a mile when situation becomes awkward or for a simple life does as he is told. Miss Mapp feels he is her property

Georgie Pilson: aware of his looks, fastidious dresser, extremely particular about hair devoted to Lucia, very sensitive and incline to get upset very easily.

Godiva Plastow: a chance to develop a fairly robust telegraphic way of communicating! She is Miss Mapp’s best friend and an avid follower of fashion but sadly not always suiting her… not established in this play but likes to be the first to parade a new dress if Miss Mapp does not beat her too it. Has a knack for gossip and reading between the lines however incorrectly

Grosvenor: Lucia’s parlour maid: very loyal and correct and protective, doesn’t miss much: huge capacity to make herself known each time on stage

Mrs Bartlett: trails behind husband. Mouse like. Breathless always smiling … loves gossip and can get lead astray by the “group”

Mr Wyse: money in the family and has Italian family connections and has a habit of slightly bowing to whom ever he speaks too or even when name dropping. Smart and elegant

Mrs Wsye: Elegant. Never without a fur stole or coat whatever the weather. Although the car does not feature in the play, it will give you an idea as to her nature that she does not walk even 100 yards. Prefers the Rolls Royce

Rev Kenneth Bartlett: Jocular hearty. He slips in to broad vaudeville Scots when talking. This is a must to who ever auditions

I give you Signor Cortese;