Page 12, 9th December 1938

9th December 1938
Page 12
Page 12, 9th December 1938 — Good-By Mr Chips

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Good-By Mr Chips

TO take a mediocrity and make him a hero is not new to literature or drama; but to make him a hero largely because he does what he can't help doing, grow older every yea; is something of a novelty.

Mr Chipping, who takes the Latin in the Lower Fourth, is finally the hero of Brookfield because he has been there so long. Many men, and

women too for that matter, will see in Leslie Banks' charming portrayal a Mr. Chipping of their own; and it is this essential humanity In the story, and the acting, that make the play so comp mendable a one for the Christmas season, through which it will certainly run.

Leslie Banks plays the part of Chips with, I think, extraordinary skill and understanding. Skill, because as a; technical achievement in histrionics Mr Banks' portrayal of a man through soma sixty years of his life in periods of ten and twenty years is an outstanding per. formance. And with understanding, because the interpretation of the character is subtle and satisfying. Chips, the man with the second-rate degree and third-rate ambitions, as the world counts this virtue, is by the end of the first act already a real and lovable character. He is the apotheosis of the ordinary, " The Little Man " this time in the common room.

Charmingly as Mr Banks plays the love scenes, seemingly so ill placed in Mr Chipping's unheroic life, he rightly in the later acts makes It seem an episode, and Chips daydreams his way into another world with a mind full of names, and his eyes trying to recall the faces of boys—thousands of them.

Constance Cummings is a most attractive and convincing Katherine, and conveys just the right degree of constraint to make it obvious that had she lived—which her all ton short appearances make us foolishly wish—Chips would have become MR Chipping, Esq., her perspicacious common sense so naturally complemented his selfeffacing genius that he must of necessity in time have occupied the Headship.

B. P.


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