Actor Robert Speaight, candid in his criticisms of Catholic Youth's acting abilities at Toynbee Hall Theatre, London, on Sunday, told them to aim high in their choice of one-act plays. Occaslon was when the Westminster Catholic Youth Association staged three plays for the finals of a Drama Festival that started on November 7 with 19 clubs as competitors. He thought that " The Lover " by Martinez Sierra, and " The Cradle Song " would make good material for clubs.
Points from his remarks included; " The best show (of three taged that afternoon) was the most ambitious:Reference was to " The Weakness of Frau Boikhardt," spy-melodrama consisting of a series of telephone conversations and written for broadcasting. In this connection Mr. Speaight thought that " radiogenic " plays like this one were worth staging, ability being required to make up with vocal and facial acting what was lost through lack of movement.
His special commendations went to a boy and a girl who in their respective plays had acted " naturally." and he reminded his hearers that success goes to players who achieve a complete identification of part with actor.
Not shirking his duty as critic, Mr. Speaight regretted the " clumsiness " of the production of another play, saying that " nothing attracts thc attention of the audience so much as an actor doing nothing."
Finalists on Sunday were Our Lady of Lourdes Club, East Finchley: Northfields Catholic Youth Club, and Catholic Youth Club of Hendon. These received Certificates of Merit from the Rev, T. J. Fitzgerald, chairman of the Association, as also the following; St. Joseph's, Moorfield ; St. Paul's, Wood Green ; Twickenham and District Catholic Youth Club: St. Monica's, Hoxton t and Shepherd's Bush and East Acton Catholic Youth Club.