Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 13 July 5, 1939
Art critics assembled in the Gym. on Thursday, and more importantly on Friday, to review the "Stage Door" presentation by the V.U.C. Dramatic Club. They showed early signs of being seduced by the feminine charms displayed on the stage, hence their beautiful clear critical faculties were benumbed. The charms, we must admit, were somewhat self-consciously displayed, but nevertheless we hope everyone enjoyed the evening after the play. If you wish to advertise, if you want friends—or more friends—go on to the 'Varsity stage.
On this stage there are always two types—the out-and-out University type, which is in everything and is, of course, out of place on the stage, but which, because of the out-and-outness, gives us pleasure; and the type which is mercifully able seriously to lose its identity once behind the footlights. This is, of course, the true stuff.
The honours went to both types on Friday night. Margaret Freeman as Terry played the lead. As one of the audience said, "You're got something there!" Certainly Margaret was the only person from whom the shell of University completely fell. In her acting there is just a hint of subtlety which we find far from commonplace, a certain gilding over that is necessary. Although not sensitive enough, a more introspective glance at her part next time may accomplish a great deal for her. Because complete self consciousness is the beginning of art. However, we do not believe that the University stage is becoming as serious as this.
Helen Reay as Jean managed to pull off a glamorous part quite successfully, although she bordered on hysteria now and then. There was another thing that struck us as unpleasant—the voices. Towards the end nearly all became hoarse and strident. Whether or not this was due to the effect of affecting the American twang we do not know, but we imagine it to have been a huge effort and the play to have been better without it.
It was obvious that the most elementary rule of the stage, i.e., sitting with the legs correctly disposed of, had been carefully attended to. But we noticed an inordinate and vulgar desire to bustle through the love scene. Also the kiss was nursery-like—it smacked. This bustle, however, was not manifested in the bedroom scene, where they were inclined to dally! The feat of issuing undressed from behind a wisely-placed screen was magnificently and simply accomplished, without any clumsiness whatsoever. We learned one lesson from this and various other similar scenes; that satin is the ideal material for all night wear. . . .
Others who pleased us were Ngaire Carver as Kaye, with a bit of heavy weather stuff to play; Irene English as the inevitable Mattie in a dustcap, and Geraldine Kean and Helen Maysmor, mostly because they had something funny to say. There were various vocal parries and thrusts cleverly executed.
The men were definitely not at home with their women. . . . However, perhaps they had become badly shuffled up. Keith (Ian Allan) had a pleasant stage presence, while the great [unclear: Gretzl] (Malcolm Grey) although taking his seat as if he had a tail between his legs, showed promise with a certain vigour.
Whole-heartedly we thank the producer and the cast for a splendid show. And we rejoice to find, breaking through it all, something, in several individuals, permanent and true.
The dance held after the show on Friday night was equally a success, and most of us stayed until the end of a very enjoyable evening.