P RIGHTO! Thank you to absolutely wonderful audiences, the very accommodating MBA, and a terrific production team for an incredibly successful and rewarding run of Mr. Pim Passes By! We truly appreciate your support and the opportunity to share this hidden gem from Mr. Milne.
And take with you this sage advice: “Best way is to hang ‘em up and see how you like ‘em then. Always take ‘em down again.”Read The Tennessean review (8/4/13)
A. A. Milne’s ‘Mr. Pim Passes By’ Makes Nashville Premiere August 2-10
Mr. Pim Passes By, a 1919 comedy of manners and morals by British author A. A. Milne, will make its Nashville debut August 2-10, for five performances in the Dead Poets’ Society Auditorium on the campus of Montgomery Bell Academy. Presented by Carrick Productions, Mr. Pim will play two weekends: Friday and Saturday, August 2-3, and August 9-10, at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday, August 4, at 2 p.m.
Written five years before Milne’s iconic Winnie-the-Pooh series, and staged to great acclaim in London (1920) and New York (1921) – where it was praised as “the most brilliant light comedy since Oscar Wilde” – Mr. Pim Passes By is set in the formal manor house of a Buckinghamshire country estate shortly after World War I (think Downton Abbey). During a visit to Marden House, out-of-towner Mr. Pim’s casual revelations about a chance meeting throw the ordered lives of his host and hostess into complete disarray. Embraced for its witty dialogue and high-spirited – and often, high-minded – characters (think Noel Coward), Mr. Pim Passes By also weaves a thread of social commentary throughout its comedic dilemma by prompting a question worthy of George Bernard Shaw: Do rules of convention outweigh matters of the heart?
The cast features Rick Seay as George Marden, J.P.; Caroline Davis as his wife, Olivia; Lizzie Boston as George’s niece and ward, Dinah; Aaron Ardisson as Dinah’s suitor, Brian Strange; Wesley Paine as Lady Marden, the family matriarch; Merredith Brittain as the housekeeper, Anne; and Gregg Colson as the title troublemaker, Mr. Carraway Pim. Seay will direct and Jennifer Rybolt is producer. June Kingsbury will handle the 1920 costumes.
Tickets for Mr. Pim Passes By are $10, with $8 senior (55+)/student rate, and can be purchased at the door. Cash or checks only, please.
The Dead Poets’ Society Auditorium is in the Lowry building on the MBA campus. Free parking is available in a garage located adjacent to Lowry and accessible via the S. Wilson Boulevard entrance (near West End). Visit montgomerybell.edu for a campus map.
For more information, contact Caroline Davis
About the playwright: Known worldwide for his stories and poems about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh, Alan Alexander Milne (1882-1956) was lauded as a playwright, humorist, novelist, essayist and screenwriter before the enormous success of Pooh overshadowed his previous work and interests. A native Londoner, he studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge, and wrote for the student magazine. After graduating in 1903, Milne came to the attention of the leading British humor magazine Punch, where he became a contributor and later an assistant editor.
With encouragement from his idol J. M. Barrie (of Peter Pan fame), he applied himself to playwriting, which he declared “the most exciting form of writing.” Milne’s first real hit was Mr. Pim Passes By, which premiered in London in 1920 (with a young Leslie Howard in the cast). In the 20 years following Cambridge, Milne wrote 18 plays and three novels, and was one of the most popular and produced British playwrights of the time. In 1924 he introduced a collection of children’s poems, When We Were Very Young, about a boy called Christopher Robin (named for his son, born in 1920) and various characters inspired by his son’s stuffed animals. The remaining entries in the Pooh canon – a second poetry collection, Now We Are Six (1927), and the story collections Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) – assured his literary legacy.