THOSE brave pioneers who are
trying to bring the theatre back to London seem to believe—and they may be right—that the public want fantasy and not fact. Berkeley Square set the ball rolling and now we have Dear Brutus with its magic wood, its Midsummer's Eve and its second
chance. And the greatest of all the fantasies is the second chance which comes, alas, to none of us.
Still, it is nice to imagine what we would do if we had it and to see what Barnes characters did when they got it. So the second act of Dear Brutus holds the attention. even if the " whimsicalities " — this word refuses to be left out of a Barrie play notice—are not quite in tune with the times.
There is no doubt at all that Barrie was " fey " and that he was able to translate that quality into words. He did it in the island scene in Mary Rose and he does it in the wood scene here. And if you haven't lived in the Scottish Highlands you can't be expected to understand how he does it.
TOHN Gielgud has gathered a distinJ guished cast about him, playing Gerald du Maurier's old part himself and, in conjunction with Muriel Pavlow as " Margaret" the dream-child, gives us a line second act.
At times I felt that this performance was rather like a lot of soloists playing in an orchestra and in the case of Margaret Raw lings I felt that she was putting the brake hard down on her individuality and, on the whole, was being wasted.
'I he audience seemed to be a mixture of reminiscing elders and curious youngsters who are certainly going to this show if only to see what their parents saw in it twenty odd years ago.