REPERTORY THEATRE SOCIETY. DRAMA AT ITS BEST. Another successful excursion into pure <lruM wm made by the Canterbury Rtspertory Theatre Society laat n!«ht, when thrw one-aet playa were produced before members of the Society at the Jellico« Hall. Each waa the work of a different producer and of a different c M U and each had its own special appeal, but together they made up an inatroet.Tß and diverting entertainment To have had ordinary stage experience is not necessary to excel in oneact i.lavs- some of tLose who played laat night were making their first public appearance ia such drama, but it mr be at once that there waa not m weak or unskilled player among the •leren who took the stage. Tbrj first production was a work by Brighousc -The Oak **«*!«." witb a eaate of fire, and with Mim Magdalen Hall as producer. The curtain opens on a room of an old English farmhouse, with Josiah Barton, an old farmer, deaeribed br her husband as an "Oetogeranium," confined to his armchair with "scrutinizing" pains of rheumatism Anne Barton. hU wife, is chiefly remarkable for the bloom on her cheeks despite b*>r vears and for her wpll-main-dialect. The only other interesting thing in the room is an imitation "Qupen Anne" oak settle, which the i playwright us*'s to demonstrate how ; shrewd simple village folk caD b- w!,f. n : a married couple, down from the city on their wedding anniversary covet the antique "Queen Anne." And in spite of the 100 rJer cent, profit they make on the transaction. Mrs Barton is still busv branding the couple a* "thieve*" as the curtain falls, because they have neglected to pay for their glass 0? milk. The play is alive with piquant actuations. H. Dunford plays the part 1 of the rheumaticky old man, who finally I consents to the sale of the settle, and 1 Dora <»ill as Anne Barton aids and abets J him. Both fit admirably into their 1 part* and ti* ebara.ft#ri»«tio». of Aane
Barton was one of the features of the evening. Win. C. Collins is seen aa the architect down in the country with his wife celebrating hia wedding anniversary and he is man enough to listen to the pleas of his covetous but charming wife when Bhe sets her heart on the oak settle as her choice of a wedding anniversary present. John Thompson is Joe Sykes, the carrier. By way of contrast tragedy intervenes in the next play, "Legend," written by Philip Johnson and produced by Mrs C. K. Beeby, who also plays the tragic role. The piece has the tang of the sea all through and one cannot help thinking of Conrad, so real ia the treatment of the omnipotence, now stated now implied, of the sea. It is the story of a wife who is wedded to the sea, but who has lost her nearest and dearest by its hand —at least so she thinks. She is haunted by the belief that one day her husband, who was drowned, will return, but the climax is reached when her son, whom she also mourns as dead, return*. This is the role which Beatrice Beeby interprets so aptly. Eileen Grundy as her sceptical and gossiping neighbour, was one of the big successes of the evening, and the repertory stage should see more of her. Harold Shaw is th? comforting village parson, and G. Davis the son who conies back again. •'The Open Door," by a well-known playwright, Alfred Sutro, has only two characters, and is a problem when it begins. At first one ia not sure if a modern novel has not been turned open at random and one of the many sentimental passages extracted and read on the stage, but as the dialogue develops, its character becomes patent, but the body of the play is better than either the beginning or the end. The calibre of the piece is not equal to that of the other two, though of a character entirely different, but the two players, Magdalen Hall and R. F. \\\ Ashwortb. do their parts full justice. Mrs Spence Clark is producer. The plot is the common one of a woman having married the wrong man, while his friend, in order to be the "good fellow" stands by and suffers, the mutual confession being made only years later. And here the author takes his leave.
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ONE-ACT PLAYS., Press, Volume LXV, Issue 19786, 26 November 1929
ONE-ACT PLAYS. Press, Volume LXV, Issue 19786, 26 November 1929
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