SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1932. Volume 3. Number 5.
"No Go," Says Miss Webber
"No Go," Says Miss Webber.
In the past the V.U.C. Dramatic Club has been more fortunate in its choice of plays than it has been in choosing "The Ship" for production at such a time as this. No matter how well acted, such a play could not be widely popular from the point of view of entertainment, and so would not draw as large an audience as would probably have been the case had the choice been happier.
Even if there is great difficulty in procuring stage property, there are many plays with no greater difficulty in staging, that afford more relaxation and create a happier atmosphere. Among many, other plays of St. John Ervine's might be suggested. "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary," or "The First Mrs. Fraser." The Ship" is depressing. Why not help to alleviate the general "sorry-for-ourselves" atmosphere instead of augmenting it?
If a comedy or farce is produced it does not lose greatly by being acted by inexperienced or amateur actors—but a drama has its atmosphere of strain and suspense added to and exaggerated so that one loses the pleasure one expects from an evening's entertainment. In other words, depressing plays become more depressing very often when produced by amateurs.
"Hedda Gabler" is, I think, even more depressing than "The Ship," requiring also more masterful and efficient treatment, as it is difficult to interpret convincingly. Coming so soon after the last production, it seems an unwise choice—as the action and "themes" are not unlike. Suicide: drowning; tragedy, is too near the life of reality for us to wish to see it duplicated upon the stage. If it is not too late, I would like to suggest a choice of something more cheerful and light.
The Dramatic Club has a large and very enthusiastic following at 'Varsity. Students of all ages, types and capabilities are keen, so that I think the difficulty of casting is exaggerated. The difficulty lies in the fact, perhaps, that the choosing of the cast is in the hands of a few persons who seem to be very conservative in that they keep the "parts" within their own circle. Among the students interested, men especially, there may be found actors of greater talent and versatility than those we see so often on the Dramatic Club stage.
It is very likely that the excellent reputation that the Club has, owing to its past productions, will suffer a serious decline as a consequence of "putting on" plays that are not suitable for amateur production, or plays that are not suitable for production at such a period.