WHAT with "Saint Joan" at the Old Vic, "Candida" at the Piccadilly, and "Dear Liar" at the Criterion, there seems to be something of a Shaw revival. "Dear Liar". described as "A Comedy of Letters", is a tour-deforce in which the famous correspondence between Shaw and Mrs. Patrick Campbell is cleverly dialogued between Jerome Kitty and Cavada Humphrey.
The fact that a performance longer than the average play seems far shorter is sufficient tribute to the protagonists, their interpreters, and the simplicity of the production. But it is Shaw himself at his worst, if also often at his funniest.
The personal adventure is only of real interest because Shaw possessed the genius which expresses itself in every line of "Saint Joan" and which could make a slight and hardly credible triangle of the Rev. James Morell, Candida, and Eugene Marchbanks into firstclass theatre with a paradoxical, yet so well-founded moral.
Shaw, irrepressible, vain, often silly and shallow, yet possessed the insight, the wit, and the technical ability to write plays for posterity. Those who do not think so should see Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray, Jeremy Spenser and, not least, Gillian Raine as the eternal "Prossy". giving exceptional pleasure at the Piccadilly for a limited season. M.B.
THE LAUGHING ACADEMY By Charles Hamblett (Princes Theatre)
rr HERE was a time when play
wrights with little to say, but saying it eminently well, appealed to fashionable society: then came the period of the middle classes with much repressed feeling. and many unspoken words. But to whom does the modern theatre appeal, with a lot of unfathomable thoughts and not a clue as to how to express them?
I am amazed how Anthony Page, the director of this unfunny episode, managed to convince his actors so successfully into believing the "significance" of this piece so that they managed to give good performances in a lamentable
evening velinsi m
ng of boredom and sy
Patriarch of Jerusalem In 1185, the foundation and dissolution of the Charterhouse, and in 1627 the Jesuit College in Clerkenwell.
The pageant, narrated. by Ernest Milton and played by a large company of amateur actors continues until July 2. M.B.