Monday, August 12, 2013

Jane Shaw Encyclopedia: Elizabeth Rogers

Elizabeth Rogers is a pupil at St. Ronan’s. She has black hair and is known to her friends as Liz. She appears in all three stories set at the school: Susan’s School Play, Susan at School and Susan’s Trying Term. She was a friend of Midge’s before Susan and Tessa’s arrival at the school and becomes friends with both of them too.  In Susan at School, Elizabeth joins Susan, Midge and Tessa when they go to House Night as the Loch Ness Monster, which they refer to in code as the L.N.M. to avoid other pupils knowing about their idea. When Susan discovers what she thinks is the school’s famed lost treasure, Ronan’s Heap, Elizabeth identifies one of the pieces as a Georgian copper jug. Elizabeth’s greatest attribute is her acting skills. However, she often loses the best part in plays to Hermione Pennington-Smith, a spoiled prefect who is given the roles because her father is Clerk to the Governors. However, the teaching staff will never admit that the reasons for not giving the part to Elizabeth are political. In Susan’s School Play, Elizabeth is passed over for the role of Ariel in The Tempest and the mistress in charge, Miss Crumbles, explains that it is because Elizabeth is young and has more years ahead of her for leading roles, while Hermione is in her final year. However Liz is called in at the last moment to replace Hermione, who unbeknownst to everyone else, has been locked up in a shed by Peregrine Gascoigne. Liz gives a brilliant performance. In Susan’s Trying Term, Elizabeth is passed over yet again in favour of Gabrielle Gascoigne, who is awarded the leading role in The Splinter of Glass by Hermione (who seems to have had a year added on to her school career). But Liz shows little resentment and is happy to have the part of Gerda in the play. Again, she gives a brilliant performance. Liz hopes to go to drama school, although her grandmother is opposed to this plan. However, after a television producer decides to film the play for the small screen, everyone is sure that the grandmother will relent and let her pursue her dream. Elizabeth is very dedicated to acting and, much to Susan’s bewilderment, can often be found rehearsing in a corner all alone and learning chunks of poetry for the fun of it. She also has an internal alarm clock that never fails. She tells herself what time she wishes to wake up and she does. Susan describes her as a “first-class waker-upper”. She is also generous with chocolate.