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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 3. 1962.

The Lady of the Camellias

The Lady of the Camellias

With the Dumas play came an interesting see-saw of talents. While most of the company sank to mediocrity, Vivien Leigh rose to mediocrity, and things evened out considerably.

As I hinted above, the only possible reason to produce this trivial piece is the fact that there is only one real character in it, and she must, almost inevitably, hit the audience in the face. This time she did not. The play has been described as a virtuoso piece for the leading actress. The "Old Vic" turned it into a concerto for diarrhoeic costume-designer with "theatrical" accompaniment.

Little more can, or should, be said. Most of the actors were obviously embarrassed with the material they were called upon to use. To describe John Merivale's Armand Duval as far below his Sir Andrew is more complimentary to his taste than condemnatory of his talent. The producer, too, seemed to be uncomfortable, and the switching of stage sides when Armand and Marguerite were alone resembled some farcical square dance.

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The only person who seemed to be at home was Miss Leigh.