Page 3, 6th November 1959

6th November 1959
Page 3
Page 3, 6th November 1959 — THEATRICAL CHAMPAGNE

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Locations: Oxford


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"THE MARRIAGE GO "THE MARRIAGE GO ROUND" at the Piccadilly Theatre is the champagne of the theatre vineyard. A connoisseur may consider it inferioito a wine of noble vintage, for this is imitation. hut like a gay sparkling champagne it is commonly preferred to a wine of noble vintage. Robert lielpmann, the director, prefers to flaunt this quality and sell honestly; the comparison to "La Ronde" is not disguised. and the influence of Schnitzler's "Anatol" is sufficiently obvious to make it worthy of correspondence, on the craft of comedy such as that between Athene. Seyler and Stephen Haggard. Certainly the evening's entertainment, and it is not a play. relies on the "bubbles", but who cares when they sparkle sufficiently. Kay Hammond, with John Clements in attendance, certainly bubbles. and Angela Browne has the same effect on the audience. The settings by Hutchinson Scott arc worthy of the wrappings round the best magnum, and if the champagne is more blue than pink it is s moral hangover.

"R ou.o" (Strand Theatre) by ' Marcel Achard, adapted by Felicity Douglas, has been "sent down" from the Oxford Playhouse. Any further such deportations from Oxford-for whatever reasons-will . be welcome in the West End. This production is professional, not as opposed to amateur, but because it does not resort to any external stimulants in providing successful theatre. There is not one star actor, and not even the inportation of a single curvaceous "film star" who has rarely acted in films. The performances are excellent by any standard, particularly that of Leo McKern, who is cast in theleading part. The settings are imaginative, without being ridiculous, and Frank Hauser does not rely on trick staging but provides a highly amusing entertainment. In French comedy love and consequent affairs are not unknown; in this case they are not offensive. but very entertaining, 0.H.

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