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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 12. September 20, 1951

A Play — Treasure Hunt

page 7

A Play

Treasure Hunt

There would have been several ways of improving this play which was recently done by Repertory. A first would have been for the three characters who spoke stage "Irish" to have spoken it comprehensibly: then we wouldn't have had to wait for the next person speaking and try to deduce what the highpitched gabble had been about.

A second would have been to have had all the cast speaking in a similarly incomprehensible fashion. Admittedly this would have meant that none of the dialogue could have been understood, but we are persuaded that this is by no means a disadvantage: nor could the dialogue have been more incomprehensible than the socalled plots nor than the reason why Repertory chose the play at all (or for that matter why the authors wrote the play at all). But let us not be too hard: there were redeeming features. One was the inconsequentially mad old aunt (all the best Irish whimsies have a mad old aunt) who was the only convincing character. She at least behaved like someone sane but acting mad: all the others were quite the reverse. The other redeeming feature was that recurring scene in which everyone milled wildly round the stage playing "Hunt The Thimble." This seemed to be in the plot, and its inclusion saved the play from passing peacefully away in its sleep. We would otherwise have been forced to the (kindly) conclusion that the whole cast likewise was asleep in this dullest of plays though they continued to talk restlessly: but the movement in those scenes dissuaded us, because surely so many people could not be sleepwalking at the same time.

A third way of improving it, would have been to show it to an audience of children visiting the city from a school at Waikikamukau. Seven year olds might have been sufficiently inexperienced to be taken in by the publicity which (shamelessly) called this "farce."

And a fourth improvement would have been to show it elsewhere because while the Paramount's seats are excellent, they aren't quite as good as our David McRae.

We suggest the formation of a Dramatic Euthenasia Society to put plays and players like these quietly out of their misery.


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