Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 7. June 23rd, 1948
I have seen Tchekov's "The Bear" presented at V.U.C. before, with considerably more understanding of the characterisation. Smirnov is not a common ruffian; he is a gentleman with an ungovernable temper. Bill Sheafs performance would have been much more amusing if he had been told this and if his costume had looked less like Cary Grant preparing for a shave. He missed, a lot of laughs by not co-ordinating his actions with his lines. Gweneth Carr as Mme. Popova was suitably placid at the beginning, but her change to that state of divine intoxication called love was, to say the least, uninspired. The way these two continued, without prompt or light,'when the fuse was blown, deserves high praise.
Chris Pottinger, as Louka, was badly cast, but at least he knows what to do with himself on the stage. The cutting of the coachman and gardener at the end made the climax fall flat. Surely the producer and stage manager could have filled in here.