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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 3 March 28, 1945

Film and Stage

Film and Stage


Gaslight, Repertory's show, is an excellent play, excellently presented. Far from being a "little" play with a "slight" plot, as it is dismissed in the Wellington papers, Gaslight is a genuine psychological study, entertaining and thrilling. The acting in this production was of a very high standard, and Zita Chapman, playing the tortured wife, rose to great dramatic heights. Howard Wadman, equally line, played his part skilfully, never for a second overacting, as could quite easily have been done.

The plot is about a man who, already having one murder on his hands, sadistically and calculatingly proceeds to drive insane his distracted wife. He adopts a cat-and-mouse technique of giving her small objects, stealing them back, and then, when she is unable to produce them on demand, tells her she is going mad. The character is a most unpleasant one, and, what with him taking up with the pert maid on the side and [unclear: wepping] about generally, I felt very [unclear: grad] when he finally got what was coming.

The [unclear: see] in this play was complete in its period detail and awfulness. All the trappings were there; the nobs on the red plush curtains and the antimacassars and aspidistras and whatnots. One hopes that our current furnishings and styles will not look so fearsome in 50 years.

Repertory are to be congratulated on this fine presentation. The play isn't world-shaking, but it's a good deal better than most presented in Wellington.

New Films

A very fine film was tucked away in a small theatre last week. It was The Male Animal, a brilliant American satire by James Thurber. Chase this to the suburbs if it comes round again. It's worth it.

The general run of films in the last week or two has been of a very low standard, the distributors obviously saving up for the holiday period—a short-sighted attitude, 1 must say. Some monster films are due to screen, including the widely billed Song of Bernadette and Going My Way, both triumphs of propaganda for the organisation they are boosting.

If you can't stand the general run of films, and desire to see some of your old favourites, a small theatre here is carrying out a policy of "requests." Double features are screened, and, although it is possible to see some of the worst films ever made, there is frequently a showing of a notable film of earlier days.