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Salient. The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 20, No. 2. March 29, 1956

Theatre — Googie Withers in Simon and Laura


Googie Withers in Simon and Laura

If you like smart, slick non-witty comedy, in the styles of "Travellers' Joy" and. "Dear Charles" then you must have enjoyed "Simon and Laura." Expertly produced and well acted this comedy is a very pleasant evening's entertainment. But the task of keeping the evening's entertainment entertaining falls on Miss Googie Withers.

When she is on the stage we can sit back and enjoy ourselves. She plays the part of the infuriating actress with just enough tempestuousness and humour to make us like her, though in real life we should probably not stand her for very long. She can hold an audience and make every line tell.

Mr. McCallum. who plays her actor husband Simon, was less convincing, though at times very amusing.

Mr. Charles Tingwell, who directs Simon and Laura in the TV serial. nearly steals the show as the over-enthusiastic BBC ("CT", "DTD", "BBD") producer. In his first and best scene, he demonstrates, with acute timing and movement, to the about-to-be divorced Simon and Laura, that he wants them to act the ideally happily-married couple. He overplayed the part just enough to make it one of the most amusing scenes in the show.

Simon and Laura consent to do the programme because they are broke but they insist that the arrangement is purely a business one. Simon goes off for a weekend at Le Touquet with the scriptwriter and Laura stays the night in the producer's flat.

In the one original and really amusing scene where Simon and Laura are before the TV cameras, in their home, they start quarrelling. Everything ends in confusion. But I need hardly add that they quarrel because they are in love with each other all the time.

The rest of the cast is adequate, which is as it should be. The set and costumes were, as usual, smart and tasteful. But when will English dramatists get away from the May-fair living-room and society?