NEW AUSTRALIAN PLAY.
Another light and entertaining play by Mac Luker was presented by the Players' Club at St. James's Hall on Saturday evening.
"Dutch Courage" is constructed on some- what conventional lines. The plot is simple, the usual love theme running its romantic course through the several scenes of two acts, to the customary happy ending. The dialogue, however, is crisp, and is brightened by occa- sional humorous tit-bits, which, on Saturday, did not fall on barren ground. It might be
inferred from the title of the play that the "Dutch Courage" discussed is that comfort- ing stimulus-invariably kept In a decanter which moves weak men to heroic deeds; but it is not so in this instance. All that it amounts
to is the result of homely advice offered to a
timid builder by several well-meaning relatives, the most insistent of whom is the younger
The action of the play has been feet in the lounge-room of the Berrick home at Rose Bay, and the locality afforded the producer. Dr. Raoul Cardamatis, an opportunity for arrang- ing an artistic scene, in which the moonlit harbour, viewed through the lounge door, made a charming little picture,
The plot concerns a contractor, who, fearing the risks, hesitates about tendering for big things; and a brother-in-law who forges ahead because he trusts more to luck. In the end the plodder wins out.
"Dutch Courage" was brightly acted by a well-selected cast. Myrna Dickey, who appeared as Polly, the Cinderella daughter of the household, was happily placed. Equipped with a good stage presence, a musical voice, and a winning smile, she gave strength to the production. In the scene in which she was left alone with her father and learned from him of his secret, she was convincing. Rita Humfress, as Ada Berrick, her mother, also had a part to which she did ample justice, with the help of her natural manner and good voice. Marion, the Berrick's eldest and less domesti- cated daughter, had a good exponent in Gladys
Parkinson, who gave a life-like touch to the selfish and "cattish" aspects of the part. Edward Cavell interpreted with requisite re- straint the role of the calculating Joseph Ber- rick, who, for the sake of his wife and daugh- ters, "played for safety," Horace Salier's Samuel Bowley was played in a patchy, uneven way. He was at his best in the last scene with his sister, when, with a mystified air, he departed, not to be seen again. Ashley Martin, the rich young gentleman for whom Marion angled unsuccessfully, had a satisfac- tory exponent in Jack Appleton, and Bryan Molloy, as Horace Coleman, made an effective cave-man lover. Joyce McTavish was the housemaid.