Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 4 April 14, 1943
If music be the food of love . . . — Twelfth Night
If music be the food of love . . .
What does one ever say about Shakespeare? He's bawdy as usual; there's a riot of a drunken scene which has to be experienced to be believed; there's some graceless punning; there's much silken, silver ado about love and so on and so forth and the Repertory (in these days of couponising) went to town with the costuming. That's what it was, William Shakespeare! And "Of course we had to come, darling. I always come to see Shakespeare!" was heard from fluty throats, and camouflaged by wholehearted snores all through the evening.
Joking apart, though, it was well worth seeing. Modern dramatists can't touch the licentiousness of the Avonside man; no, not even Sheridan Whiteside, as Woolcott's burlesque, has the vituperative excellence of Sir Toby Belch. But the Repertory weren't suave enough—they did not have the final gloss and the convincing veneer —though far be it from me to say for one moment that the parts were not well conned; they were. As for the scenery, it was too good to be true. I'faith, it was elegant!
The individual acting was worthy, with certain headline exceptions. Sebastian must have pulled a string or two for inclusion in the cast, and neither Orsino nor Olivia were entirely "compos." Of the histrionic plums Viola carried away the fairest number, her voice being heard clearly in every nook and cranny and her manner being excellent. The clowns clowned well (Sir Andrew even over-clowned), and if there's any one person I like in this play it's Sir Toby, that wine-swilling, beer-toping, foul-mouthed, pretentious braggadocio—a genuine Englishman if ever there was one!—