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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 10 July 28, 1943

Told by an Idiot

Told by an Idiot

The T.C. Drama Club set themselves a difficult task in their major production this year, first in that they staged two plays, and secondly in that both plays were difficult.

"The Willing Horse." a New Zealand play, was an amusing, accurate and very catty satire on country society, gave excellent scope for characterization, but it was weakened by a rather extremely conventional ending, and by a climax which, although ingenious, was artificial and unconvincing. The leading actors were placed in a very awkward position by the development of the play.

In face of rather unpromising material the players performed excellently. Pat Cummins as "The Willing Horse" was admirable, notwithstanding a tendency on the first night to lapse into everyday speech, and she weathered the sticky ending very convincingly. Judith Kane carried off the bloodless part of Jane Fraser well, but was happier in her scenes with the invisible Fred Hartley than in the emotional scenes with Kate Wilkes. Miss Fahey was magnificent, but in fairness to the other principals it must be said that hers was by far the best-written part of the play.

"Androcles and the Lion" also presented great difficulties, it being a Siamese-twin union—the satirical farce of Androcles with the semi-tragic and highly intellectual theme of the Christian persecution. Result: the audience was rather dazed at the final curtain. In view of the loose structure of the play (including an awkward anti-climax) and of its frequent violent contrasts of love, the T.C. Drama Club showed great courage in undertaking its production in the competence with which they carried it out. All the players deserve hearty congratulation. I mention the names of some because they had to sustain their parts longer than others. Reg Berney was a delightful Androcles. Jenny Grant, Laurie Gardiner and Dick Campion acted with conviction, dignity and polish. Theo Hills performed with great credit in a part which almost demanded a split personality. The intricate set for this play was very well constructed, and the masks were a triumph.