SAINT JOAN REVIVED
From Our Theatre Cotrespandent
wE thank T.R.T. (Travelling Reper tory Theatre) at King's, Hammersmith, for permitting us once again to appreciate Mr. Shaw's splendid capacity for spectacular skating on the thinnest of theological ice; and to admire an astounding psychological grasp of a set historical situation in terms of human characters and formal reactions. The humour and puckish impudence are as vividly alive as they were a generation ago. Shavian Problem Plays will impress audiences so long as great victors will come forward to bring them a new actuality. While do Baudocoures and Grand Inquisitors of the stature of Esmond Knight remain, and Saint Joints as inspired as Anti Casson walk the boards, G.B.S. may compose his soul in peace. His creations will live on, outliving him.
However thin and unauthentic the plot of Song of Norway at the Palace, supposedly based on the life of Edvaid Grieg, an excellent nose-en-srene is the surest warrant of its success. The story serves as a vehicle for a relatively wide selection from Gricg's best-loved music. Robert' Helpmann's choregraphy for the doing hetet, like the conducting of the orchestra by Gideon Fagan, are examples of the expert care Hutt has gone into the preparation, The histrionic athletics of the English farce in an adaptation from the American, Fifty-Fifty at the strand brings the genial presence and benign Brooklynese of Mr. Hairy Green back to London after a too-long absence. Mr. Green glows like a good joke in a worried world. Mr. )~Tank Pettigell, his droll accomplice, views the -same world with the bland detachment of a seal educated in Yorkshire. The kernel of the comedy is conflict between a self-made man and his workers; the idea was good, even if it went overboard in the first act. Every character at some point jumps, it seems, ten feet in the air, hovers awhile and then makes a two-point landing, screeching apoplectically. Tough as it must have been on her nylons, Miss Beryl Baxter leaps and squeals with the best of them; and manages to look pretty in all opera,tions. Good fun and not a shady line in the show.