MUSIC AND DRAMA
Australian Play for New York
Max Afford's play, "Lady in Danger," which J. C. Williamson Ltd. have been promising for some time to produce at the Theatre Royal, is likely to be staged in New York in Feb- ruary or March. Williamson's will probably put the show on in Sydney for a matinee season eary in the New Year.
The play was purchased in New York on the understanding that the prominent American writer and actor, Alexander Kirkland, should be per- mitted to make some changes in it. Americans will see "Lady in Danger" as a thoroughly Australian play, and the Australian News and Information Bureau (the Department of Informa- tion) is collaborating with Mr Kirk- land in ensuring that all production
details are correct
Some of the changes Mr Kirkland has made in the play are interesting. Instead of the villain of the piece being a Nazi (as those who saw the play at the Independent Theatre will remember him) he is to be a Japanese spy operating in Australia, and the final rescue of the heroine in the New York version will be carried out by American marines. Mention of General MacArthur is made in the script.
In cables to Mr Afford, Mr Kirkland explained that the changes were de sirable because in America it was be- lieved that the Nazis would soon be out of the war and that, in any case there was a great Ameiican interest in Australia and a play about this country would be a novelty in the United States. Chances of the play being made into a film, Mr Afford has been led to believe, are bright.
It is some time now since Mr Afford wrote "Lady in Danger," and his script toured Australian professional and amateur theatres without provoking much interest until it was produced quite successfully at the Independent in February. Representatives of J C Williamson Ltd, saw the Inde- pendent production and took an option over the play. It is under-
stood that but for production
difficulties, The Firm would have given a matinee season of the play earlier.
Mr. Alec Coppel, of the Minerva Theatre, and Miss Doris Fitton, of the Independent, have made a part- nership arrangement to bring Jack Kirkland's sensation piece, "Tobacco Road" from North Sydney for a week's season at the Minerva. The show will open on Saturday and run for a week, when it will be followed by "Peter Pan" which Mr. Coppel will present in collaboration with Mr Garnet Carroll. The Barrie play will be produced by Mr. Frederick
Miss Fitton said during the week that she would put on "Tobacco Road" at the Minerva in precisely the same form and with the same players as those used in the Indepen- dent season. This is interesting because some time ago Mr. Coppel cast the ploy and was preparing to put it on when the Chief Secretary sent for the script and made such cuts in it that the production was
From January 3 there will be two daily matinees of "Peter Pan" at the Minerva and night productions of "Separate Rooms," a comedy bv Alan Dinehart, American actor and pro- ducer, who had a hand in writing among other things, "Applesauce," "The Patsy," and "Meanest Man In the World ". Hal Thompson, Dick Bentley, Neva Carr-Glynn, and Wayne Froman are among those cast for
the Dinehart show.
According to Mr Coppel, his agents in New York and London are finding plenty of plays for him. He says his production schedule will not be at all interrupted because he will not be able to put on the English thriller "Mur- der Without Crime." Mr. Coppel believed he had purchased this play but after having received the script was informed by the London agents that it had been discovered that the Australian rights had been sold earlier to J. C. Williamson, Ltd.
The Kirsova Ballet will begin its three-weeks' Christmas season at the Conservatorium on Friday. Included in the opening programme will be Kirsova's new ballet, "Harlequin."