Beggar My Neighbour

Presented as part of the Faringdon Coronation Celebrations

A comedy by Arnold Ridley
Friday 22 May 1953 - Saturday 23 May 1953
Faringdon Corn Exchange, Corn Market, Faringdon SN7 7JA
Directed by Rees Dee

Performances start 7:30 pm.

The author Arnold Ridley achieved fame as Private Charles Godfrey, the gentle platoon medic, in the BBC comedy-sitcom, Dad’s Army from 1968 to 1977.


The action of this three-act play takes place in a room in the Norton’s semi-detached house near Twickenham. The star of the show is of course the latest available gadget, called a ‘television’. The play tells a story about how television is ruining the cinema experience. (Only 1 in 5 households in the UK had one at this time!).

The Devil enlists a past-his-prime pantomime performer to use a ‘cursed’ television set to make people miserable. One of the victims receives it as a retirement gift, only for crowds of neighbours to descend nightly on his rooming house. (This did actually happen for the Queen’s coronation later on that year!) Another gives the set to his wife only for his plans to study for an important exam to come a cropper. It then passes to a third, a shy bachelor, who becomes besotted by a TV Lonely Hearts singer.

The programme for this production was part of the programme that was produced for the celebrations that took place in the town for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Coronation.

Cast (in order of appearance):

Mrs Rignold - Pat Purcell
Jill Norton - Kathleen Allanson
Sylvia Rignold - Betty Lilley
Jim Norton - Peter Lilley
Henry Rignold - George Young
Lester Harrington - Ron Venn
Mrs Entwhistle - Kathleen Hill
Mr Parkinson - Graeme Gibson

See programme for further details.

Production No.10 (2 shows were performed over 2 days).