Point of Departure
By Jean Anouilh
5th-8th May 1965
Assistant Stage Managers
Settings designed by
Settings built and painted by
Licensee for the Scunthorpe Corporation
Theatre Manager for the Scunthorpe Corporation
House Manager for The Hospital Players
The Hospital Players
R. G. Roberts
The myth upon which the present production is based is as follows –
Orpheus was the most famous poet and musician who ever lived. Apollo presented him with a lyre, and the Muses taught him its use, so that he enchanted all who heard his music. Eurydice was attracted by his music and he married her. One day, Aristaeus attempted to rape Eurydice and in running away she was bitten by a serpent and died. Orpheus was distraught, but succeeded in charming his way into Hades and gained permission to return with his wife to the world, provided that he did not look at her until they were back in the sunlight. Orpheus failed and Eurydice went back to Hades leaving him alone and once more distraught. He wandered alone through the countryside playing his lyre until he was torn to pieces by the Maenads, with whom he refused to dance.
Letter written to local theatre patrons and voluntary organisations
As you may have seen in the local press, we have decided to change our programme for our final play of the season at the Civic Theatre, Laneham Street. We felt that to produce 'Serjeant Musgrave's Dance' as an immediate follow-up to 'Journey's End' was possibly to play variations on a similar theme.
Consequently our presentation will be 'Point of Departure' by Jean Anouilh and this will be given at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday to Saturday, May 6th to 8th. The Theatre's 'birthday' coincides with our first night on Wednesday, May 5th and because of this that night's performance will begin at 10 p.m. with an invited audience.
Jean Anouilh is a French dramatist and this play is a modern-day application of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. You will probably recall that Orpheus was the young man with a lute who fell in love with Eurydice. When she died, he charmed his way into Hades with his music and was allowed to bring Eurydice back to life with him provided he did not look at her on the journey. But he did look and he lost Eurydice.
Anouilh uses this theme to say things about life and death but basically this is a love story. He presents us with a picture of two young people who love each other. He then asks whether their love can ever be strong enough to triumph over the forces of envy, greed and malevolence conspiring to convince them that love is not as they know it to be, but merely a question of sordid and transient passion. The ending of the play is conclusive as regards the action, but we are left to decide whether it can be called happy or sad.
We are of course always glad of support for the Theatre in general and our productions in particular and we should be grateful if you or your members - either as individuals or in parties - would come to this play. Tickets are available at the Central Library or the Theatre itself in the week prior to the production. Alternatively, booking arrangements may be made through our Chairman, Miss Mavis Ellin.