Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 13. September 12, 1957
Thespians do — Time Remembered"
In Jean Anouilh's "pieces roses" the plots are all fairly similar. The nobility are enormously wealthy and all are eccentric; the lower classes are proud and are not blinded by either title or money. There is always a Cinderella, but she is sometimes fated not to be wed her prince. In "Time Remembered" she does catch her prince, a real one and very rich. Amanda, a milliner, is inveigled by the Duchess of Pont-au-Brone to impersonate Leocadia, a dead singer, with whom the the Prince Albert Troubiscoi, her nephew, had fallen in love for three days before she so tragically died. All the places that they visited together have been rebuilt on the estate and the Prince broods in this make-believe world. Amanda impersonates Leocadia until she learns that the Prince was not really in love with her, and that she herself is. The play ends happily with the memory of Leocadia shattered, symbolised in the death of a rare bird shot by the Duchess.
This play needs a lightness of touch, stylised acting and production which keeps the delicate balance between fairy story and farce. It is in fact a souffle. which must be cooked very carefully. Unfortunately, these ingredients were not to be found. Noeline Armstrong, as the Duchess, spoke every line so slowly, paused so often, as if to say to the audience. "Go on. laugh. This is funny," that she destroyed the most amusing thing about the Duchess—her complete and utter eccentricity. The whole production itself was too slow and rather heavy-handed. Speed and gaiety are the two necessary ingredients for this play, and only in Amanda (played by Virginia Todd) and Prince Albert (John King) were these to be found. Both played with spirit and attack, though John King was, at times, a little too moody. As is usual with Thespians, the minor parts were uniformly bad, with the exception of Ronald Lynn as Lord Hector, who pottered around delightfully in his own little world.