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Exeter Drama Company

The Tinder Box 1968

In the Tinder Box, by Nicholas Stuart Gray, Peter, a wounded soldier disbanded from the army, is homeless, hungry and alone. Due to the folly of a wicked old witch, a magic tinder box falls into Peter's possession. He realises the tinder box has magical properties. He becomes a very wealthy and generous nobleman, and falls in love with a princess. The king and queen have been told by a fortune teller that their daughter will marry a soldier. They are mortified by this and lock up their daughter. Meanwhile, the witch is desperate to find Peter and retrieve the box, and takes a position as lady-in-waiting to the imprisoned princess. But with the help of his magical friends, Peter manages to combat the witch, win the hand of the princess and bring respectability to the 'common soldier'.

We do not have a cast list for this production, but thanks to reviews in the local press we can identify some of the actors and the parts played. David Guthrie played the King, a young schoolboy Ian Hancocks played the hero Peter and alongside him Marilyn Smith was Princess Gisella. Olive Smith was the Witch, with Joy Hancocks and Janet Robinson making "cute cats", alongside James Montgomery, Gail Chard and Sylvia Ball's "endearing dogs." The Queen was played by Susan Jewell, Roy Kitchen was Kurtz, Carole Smith Countess Helga, Robert Smith Lord Bartram, and Colin Baser was Duke Eldred.

The production was directed by Joy Spear.