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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 33, Number 9. 25 June, 1970

Drama Review — The Dark Lady of the Sonnets

Drama Review

The Dark Lady of the Sonnets

Photograph from The Dark Lady of the Sonnets

A Lunchtime one-act play providing humour and an insight, dare George Bernard say it, into the origin of some of Shakespeare's memorable lines, was presented in the Common Room. The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, despite its forbidding title, showed spontaneity and fresh though brief action.

Director John O'Leary's expanded use of an almost barren end of the common room gave the whole a spacious effect, and the play did not suffer from lack of sets. Emphasis was on the witty script and on actors' ability.

At the Wednesday performance. Will Shakespeare (Paul Holmes) muffed his lines, one one or two occasions, but few in the audience noticed this. His experience overcame any detrimental effect. However his opening exchange with the Beefeater (Roy Middleton), who took the part at short notice and played it well, was not entirely clear.

Elizabeth I (Jane Cole) certainly showed an elegant austerity. Surprisingly she had great tolerance for Will's impudence. Kate Jason Smith (the 'Dark Lady') has an admirable range of facial and verbal expression, which failed to introduce any serious contrast to a predominantly funny script. Perhaps she was supposed to be nothing but an hysterical woman to be laughed at too, but we were otherwise occupied, chiefly with Will's retorts.