The Voyage of the Swallow

Voyage of the Swallows

Cast Members

Arthur Ransome Gabriel Woolf
Evgenia Ransome Rosalind Shanks
Ivy Walker  Rosalind Shanks
Narrator  Gill Dervin
Dora Altounyan  Marj Waddecar
Molly Hanilton  Marj Waddecar
Ernest Altounyan Andrew Saalmans
C.P. Scott  Andrew Saalmans
Cyril Ransome  Barry Porter
Titty Altounyan  Christine Jackson
Young Arthur  Christine Jackson
Tabitha Ransome Christine Wright
 Ted Scott  Hugh Wright
Billy   Hugh Wright


About 18 months ago we were asked by Bill Johnson who is a member of U3A and knew we had previous experience with stage work and was a member of Ambleside Players, whether I could gather together a cast to perform a Radio Play about  the life of Arthur Ransome written by Eric Pringle called ‘The Voyage of the Swallow’.  This play was broadcast on Radio 4 in 1999 with Richard Briers and Susannah York playing the roles of AR and his two wives, Ivy and Evgenia.  This was to be the Saturday night entertainment  for the TARS members at their International AGM to be held at Windermere Hydroon Saturday 2nd June 2012. 
Bill obtained permission from the Literary Agents for this performance and we read the script.  It soon became obvious on reading  the play that we could not put all the sound effects  used by the BBC in to our play but by adding a Narrator and playing around with the script,  all amendments being agreed by  the author and Literary Agents, Bill and the Players had a script which was suitable for us to use. Bill had spoken to the Chairman of TARS, Gabriel Woolf, who is a professional actor and a Radio 4 performer to take the part of AR and he asked Rosalind Shanks, also a Radio 4 performer to take the  parts of Ivy and Evgenia.
We cast  the remainder of the parts (cast list below) and rehearsed and finally last Saturday got to meet the professionals, have a rehearsal in the afternoon, and perform in the evening.
I must say at this point that Gabriel and Rosalind, the two professional actors, were delightful people and although they were having to act with amateurs, there was no indication of an ’use and them’ situation which made reading the play very easy.
The play was very well accepted by the members many of whom afterwards came up to us and expressed their appreciation, even a member who had travelled from Toronto in Canada to be here just for the weekend.
The committee of TARS were very appreciative of our work and looked after us very well inviting us to join them for Dinner before the evening performance.  I have in fact now received a BIG THANK YOU email from Bill Johnson for our performance.     
I think that all the cast enjoyed the experience,  I certainly did, and it is something that we will all  remember for a long time.



Dear Gill (please pass this on to the others in the Cast)




May I extend appreciative thanks to You and the others from the Players from all “TARS this past weekend for your  input to this event in the programme




I know the rest of the Committee don’t really know (and understand) the tremendous amount of time you all put into preparing for your performances.




I hope you will accept this big  THANK YOU from a very appreciative, arm-twisting chairman of the planning committee




Thank you all very much indeed




Kind regards