Salient. The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 19, No. 5. May 5, 1955
Gals, Gals, Gals ... — Repertory Freshmen and "The Young and the Fair"
Gals, Gals, Gals ...
Repertory Freshmen and "The Young and the Fair"
Waal, point is guess ah could jest abart thrown a nickel on th' stage and walked rart art ett th' end of th've-ery first scene. Mercifully, at that point the American accent was almost drapped, and except for occasional adenoid trouble whan sarmbudy lost track of what was happening and felt it encumbent upon her to remind us that we were witnessing a psychological drama of conflict between freshmen and sophemore in Brook Valley Academy (a girls' Junior college, not far from Boston, Mass., U.S.A.) we were spared further agony. Now don't get me wrong. It wasn't such a bad sort of play and suitably adapted it certsinly could be quite good enough for serialisation in "Girls' Crystal". (I cast no' aspersions whatever on that thoroughly wholesome publication). Nevertheless it was only with the greatest self-control that I was able to refrain from throwing things when I was obliged to sit through such dialogue as—Little Sister: "Oh Fran (short for Frances), we never used to quaaral like this before." Big Sister: "Waal, let's have no more quaarals, Dumpling." (Of course they did.)
However on the credit side the cast often came very near to overcoming the script, and at times there were cameos of acting which deservedly drew spontaneous applause. In particular, the depth of expression in the eyes and hands of Jennifer Opperman, acting a frightened, neurotic girl who indulges in kleptomania to prove to herself that she is not a coward, showed such a complete integration with her part that I am still wondering whether she managed to recover or whether the inevitable psychiatrical treatment drove her into a mental asylum.
Though no-one else carried quite that degress of conviction there were a number of very good performances. Claire Maengarb was excellent as Big Sister, (a type which I am sorry to confess revolts me in the extreme); Lee Brewer, playing the sensitive little Jewess girl who is afraid of further anti-Semetic persecution, was delightful; Elie Petric, the villainess of the piece, was good; Mary Webb was well cast as the forthright, Jolly-decent room-mate (and little sister) wrongfully - accused of-stealing-from-her-pals; and Paddy Hlghet gave a vivid portrayal of the tired, broken headmistress, striving pathetically to get an endowment to free her school from the tyrannical Board of Trustees who were liable to throw her out on her ear at the least sign of "Incompetence." The set was clever and other parts were not badly acted, but perhaps enough said.