Habeas Corpus

Swan Theatre Main Stage (2000)

Welcome and Good Evening.

We are pleased to present Alan Bennett’s highly amusing look at sex in the permissive society – Habeas Corpus.

This award-winning play was first produced in 1973 when Alan Bennett took the permissive society to task.  Although we are now in the more permissive age of the year 2000, Habeas Corpus still remains one of the most popular and funniest plays to date.

The minimal set represents the interior and surroundings of the Wicksteeds’ house.  There, in a satirical merry-go-round, we meet a family and its friends and acquaintances of whom the determination to put sex and the satisfaction of the body (or corpus) before everything else, is the ruling passion of their lives.

St John’s Players have performed this play successfully twice before.

When first presented in London, the play was presented on an open, flat stage furnished with three chairs.  It can be staged in many ways.  We adopted the tier system for our previous productions when it worked very well, so we have repeated it for this show.  It gives more scope for Alan Bennett’s clever dialogue.  I do hope you enjoy our adaptation.

Casting can be a problem needing actors with the correct stature.  Our thanks must go to Peter Baio for joining us to play Sir Percy Shorter.  We do hope you enjoy this very funny play.

Having successfully celebrated our 50th birthday last year we look forward to the future.  many thanks for your continued support.

Ray Archer
May 2000


Arthur Wicksteed – Barry Imms
Muriel Wicksteed – Rosemary Phillips
Dennis Wicksteed – Dan Phillips
Constance Wicksteed – Dorothy Colman
Mrs Swabb – Carole Parker
Canon Throbbing – Trevor King
Lady Rumpers – Ann Smith
Felicity Rumpers – Mandy Brookes
Mr Shanks – Jim Denham-Vaughan
Sir Percy Shorter – Peter Baio
Mr Purdue – Fred James


Director – Ray Archer
Lighting & Sound – Mike Astles, Peter Lilley & Christine King
Stage Manager – Paul Hughes
Assistant Stage Manager – Alan Willis
Continuity – Paul Parker
Properties – Kathryn King
Stage Crew – Claire Garbitt, Sam Charnock, Chris Fry, Russell Colman, Andrew Dunkley, Emma Corser, Sue Adie
Poster Design – Debbie Lilley
Set Design – Ray Archer
Set Construction – The St John’s Players