FOR THE CONNOISSEUR
DORIS LESS1NG'S "Play with a Tiger" (Comedy Theatre) sets out to be a courageous and sensitive exploration of what two lovers go through when they realise they cannot defy convention any longer because convention is really the sum total of the responsibilities of the individuals, including themselves, making up society. But the exploration goes on too long and too many devices are overworked to prolong it. It is rather like Shaw writing for an audience of women's magazine readers.
Siobhan McKenna gives a cornpetent performance as the middleaged Bohemian who takes pity on the sweet young American (nicely played by Anne Lawson) with whom she shares her lover, played in the best "West Side Story" tough tradition by Alex Viespi. Godfrey Quigley and Maureen Pryor get the best out of minor roles. A play for the connoisseur
who has seen the rest but definitely not for the coach parties
from Luton. D.F.
EVERYTHING IN THE GARDEN (Arts Theatre).
THIS play appears at the outset to be about an ordinary suburban couple discontented with marriage and life in general, but intent upon keeping up appearances whatever the cost. The pace is slow; the plot pointless and insignificant until half-way through the Second Act. when an unusual domestic crisis shatters the already shaky foundations of their marriage. The climax is quite unexpected, and coupled with the performances of Derek Godfrey and Geraldine McEwan as the husband and wife, lifts this play from the rut of "kitchen sink" dramas, by providing a startling but frightening solution to their problems. VS.