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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 6. May 28, 1947

Outstanding Acting

Outstanding Acting

It would be churlish to expect students to be good actors. I didn't, and I was surprised by some of the cast. Dick Collins, in particular, was the epitome of all Mr. O'Malley could be. With confidence and a delightfully jovial benignity, he acted the deus ex machina of Utopanella with all that bubbling good humour lying deep in the soul of every leprechaun. Jeff Stewart was a knock-out as Lady Macbeth, and his farcical mimicry of Maryrose Miller should induce the latter to clear her throat before her next Shakespearean appearance. Jeff also was the only performer with a singing voice that didn't sound like a cement-mixer, though I'm told he was barely audible in the gallery. Peter McConnon displayed well the heartiness of an old salt, and Peter Mitchell effectively portrayed the cold arrogance and genteel, horror of his Duffield. With an ability at dialect unusual in students, Don McClymont, George Webby and Nat Beatus as the Three Witches succeeded in a difficult piece of slapstick that would have been more amusing if it had been shorter. As a cave-man with a wrist-watch and a mighty hunger, Nigel Taylor looked and sounded neanderthal enough in a role that had the unehviable task of sustaining the final curtain.

As for the choruses, they were better trained and had more volume than usual, except for the Communists who sounded very hesitant and nervous and quite lacking in the confidence of the rest of the cast. But the leg-line was shapelier than I've ever seen in the corridors or the Cafeteria, and the ballet in the Third Act did a masterly job of keeping the audience engrossed without dancing. The burlesque ballet in the Second Act was much the same as ever, though a little more-restrained and on that account more amusing.

It was a wise move on the producer's part to save one of his gems till the end of the show when the action was becoming a little tiresome. The extraneous appearance of Davy Jones, his locker and its contents demanded all the talents of John McCreary and Gurth Higgin to put it over. But, "nothing risque, nothing gained," and their number became the highlight of a show that had more sparkle and life, more good lyrics and was more capably produced than any other Extrav. in the last ten years.

And if this sounds rather like fulsome praise, I can only add that I, to my great surprise, am going along to see it again.

John D. O'shea.