Page 3, 26th October 1945

26th October 1945
Page 3
Page 3, 26th October 1945 — Play

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THIS WAY TO THE TOMB I ANTHONY, Abbot of Santa Ferrate, site on a high rock, brooding upon life and death. Below him, at a eimulated distance, work and pray the Brothers who have separated them

selves from the res, the community at Santa Ferrate to be with Father Abbot. The set is like a picture by Giotto and the dialogue is almost entirely in heaven.

Time alters from medieval its modern. The tomb replaces the brooding thane; life has given place to death; heavenly mysticism has been replaced by vulgar mystery; a new teligious sect called the Astral Group, come 1C. -tamd their experiences at the saint's burial-place. They bring all the paratinalia of microphones anti all the muddle-headednest of tree though: to the situation, and the saint shows up their mumboUunboism in monosyllabic phrases.

Whether the author is preaching reincarnation oe. merely immortality is not quite certain. but the basically Christian message is unaffected, and Ronald Duncan emerges from the ordeal of playwright for the stage a more promising figure than that of Thornton Wilder although at (he moment there is a little too slavish a following after Eliot an. Auden.

Mr. Duncan's two greatest assets are the music of Benjamin Britten., who is equally at home with plainchant as he is with percussipn, and the voice of Mr. Robert Speetight which speaks the complex verse so smoothly. until it is nearly incantation —(Mercury.) I. C.

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