THE Old Vic in giving us
Measure for Measure for its last presentation bef ore the changeover to the National Theatre Co. goes out in a blaze of deserving glory. Though Old Vic hero Laurence Olivier will preside over the new creation, a valuable institution revered both in the Waterloo Road and at the New Theatre is sadly to be lost.
Riddled with contradictions; wide open in scope for the stage designer; giving broadest interpretations for the cast, Michael Elliott's production of Measure for Measure grips intensely. Malcolm Pride's set is a magnificently mellowed two-level affair of wooden beams, gilded decorations and latticework which varies little to accommodate the virtuous, the pseudo-virtuous and the bawdy.
The Duke (James Maxwell) phoney as a friar, over-deified as Duke; Angelo (Lee Montagu) no ascetic he; Isabella (Dilys Hamlett) ultra-chilly type; and the much wronged Mariana (Irene Hamilton) give a quartet of powerful perlormances; all gaining by being ;lightly over-played. Palm of the evening for a single masterpiece of a comic performance goes to Esmond Knight (Pompey).
(NONNOISSEURS will revel in 1.-4 all the twists and turns and question marks of Naked, at the Royal Court Theatre, but others may find it too trying an operation, so many layers of life are uncovered,
Luigi Pirandello wrote it in 1922, 24 years before he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Diane Cilento has translated it in contemporary style, abbreviated its original title ("To Clothe the Naked"), and taken on the role of of the play's heroine—a beautiful young governess who is eventually crushed under a mountain of untruths after her tangled story of a jilted love is headlined by a journalist. She is splendidly supported by Joseph Wiseman as a novelist who sees her as excellent material for his next book.
It is probably these two performances. plus Freda Jackson's, that save the evening for many. T.Mc4).
URANK D. GILROY'S Who'll .12 Save the Plowboy? (Haymarket) is a sort of refrigerated Tennessee Williams, a cat-in-a-cold New York-attic matrimonial =scup. Husband (Harry H. Corbett) is waiting to welcome old wartime buddy (Donal Donnelly) who saved his life 15 years before: will he have changed much? Buddy has. elle is dying and his visit is realty to discover if his heroism was worth while. But the man whose wlifiethhaensiadvieodt cihs iuldnhappily married
Buddy goes off in despair, but somehow love has been reborn. It's not worth asking how or why. This is a ponderous psychological enquiry which never gets off the ground. Pity to waste the talents of Maxine Audley (as the soured wife) and Donal Donnelly on this D.F. re-hash.